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De Young Museum, San Francisco

Reviewing: Fine Arts Museums Of San Francisco De Young Museum  |  Rating:
May Monten By May Monten on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Destinations Expertise:

This is an art museum in Golden Gate Park. It's in a new building, which opened two years ago.

The most stiking thing about the museum is the building itself. It's clad in a copper material that is supposed to turn green, eventually, but is now a reddish brown. At one end there is a tower that twists up out of the park, visible from many points throughout the city.

The building is very controversial. I know a lot of people who hate it, but I like it.

What I especially like is the inside. There are a lot of glass walls that look out on greenery, which gives the appearance of bringing the outside inside.

Downstairs they have special exhibits, usually one or two at a time. On the two upper floors there are the permanent collections of contemporary art, American painting, textiles, and collections from Africa, South and Central America, and the Pacific islands.

They do a great job presenting the special exhibits, in some cases using very dramatic lighting and placing temporary walls in such a way as to greatly enhance the way you see the work.

Don't miss going up into the top of the tower. This is a room with glass walls on all four sides that gives a stunning view of the city and, on a clear day, beyond. By the way, you don't have to pay museum admission to go up into the tower. You can go into the tower, the huge lobby, the outdoor sculpture garden, the cafe, and the gift store without buying a ticket. You only need a ticket if you want to see the art exhibits.

Also, check out the cafe. The food is really good, and, appropriately for a museum, presented in a visually appealing way.

I'm a member of the museum, and I go there fairly often. If you're visiting the city, definitely check it out.