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Collection Articles

I was an art history major as an undergraduate attending college at the height of the Vietnam War. Protests were a daily occurrence on campus and the anti-establishment tenor of the day forced me to confront an uncomfortable...
The Fine Arts Museums have acquired the “Catination” Storage Jar (April 12, 1836), an inscribed ceramic created by the American potter and poet David Drake (ca. 1800–ca. 1870s). Drake, who worked in the pottery...
February is also known as Black History Month, an observance that originated in the United States. Recently it has gained official recognition in Canada. (Interestingly, it is also celebrated in Ireland, the Netherlands, and...
The subject of power is all around us these days as people fill our streets, some with songs and signs calling for justice and change, and others waving flags and carrying guns and pushing against that tide. People power,...
Though not firmly identified, this may be the same artist who created portraits of the Freake and Gibbs families—the artist thus known as the Freake-Gibbs painter. The few surviving portraits from this period provide...
“What a strange power there is in clothing.” – Isaac Bashevis SingerJohn Singleton Copley was largely self-taught, using the few resources that were available to him in colonial Boston. By the time he was twenty,...
In the hands of the carver who made this sculpture, dynamics of power are expressed through a coded confluence of imagery. Though diminutive in scale, it is a grand representation of woman's ubiquitous power.This...
As we prepare to welcome the public back to the Legion of Honor, some of our masterpieces of European painting have also returned to the museum. Frequent visitors sometimes notice that their favorite painting isn’t hanging...
The Scream (1966), a diptych by Mike Henderson is now part of the permanent collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Visitors may remember Henderson’s work; his painting “Non-Violence” was on view in...
In recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, celebrated this year on Monday, October 12, we would like to share excerpts from a recent publication from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco celebrating Native artists from the...

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