The de Young is San Francisco’s oldest art museum, treasured in a unique verdant setting. Beginning as the Golden Gate Park Memorial Museum in 1895, the museum has been a valued center of world art and culture, serving the Bay Area and, increasingly, national and international visitors and scholars. A city museum since 1924, it joined the Legion of Honor in 1972 to become part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, together preserving and exhibiting the most widely inclusive art collections in the city. Over the years, the de Young buildings changed in telling ways, transforming to protect and present a continuously expanding array of objects and their histories.
Published to mark the 125th anniversary of the de Young, this volume offers a new path to artworks from across its departmental disciplines: art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; American art; contemporary art and programming; costume and textiles; and works on paper. Poetic themes, curatorial insights, brief institutional histories, and an expanded historical timeline are accompanied by lavish new photography, presenting this beloved museum to audiences today. de Young 125 features a selection of 125 works from around the world that span more than two millennia and convey a shared human experience and creative achievement.