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Collection Articles

In the hands of a master navigator of the 19th through early 20th centuries—who had the knowledge to possess it and activate it—this effigy became a powerful spiritual ally to safeguard the navigator and his vessel while at...
In April 2018, the Fine Arts Museums acquired a compelling polychrome wooden sculpture of Saint Francis of Assisi. Attributed to Spanish sculptor Bernardo del Rincón (1621–1660), this devotional figure depicts the saint with...
Among the greatest strengths of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s fashion collection are its exemplary holdings of designs by the preeminent French couturier Christian Dior. From the debut of his first collection in...
On October 5, 1789—just as the momentous Women’s March on Versailles was bringing the royal family of France face-to-face with the country's Third Estate—Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, portraitist to Queen Marie Antoinette...
Arnold Genthe (1869–1942) photographed images of San Francisco on April 18, 1906 and for at least two weeks after much of the city was reduced to rubble by an earthquake and a subsequent fire that devastated its downtown....
Chiura Obata (1885–1975) was one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most influential, respected, and beloved artists. Throughout his life, and particularly in times of great adversity, he found inspiration in what he termed “...
The hat had been sitting there in the dark for years, unremarked upon. Its swirl of freshwater pearls, the imperial double eagle on the front, the decoration of thick gold braid on red velvet; none of it was included in the...
James Tissot: Fashion & Faith is the first major reassessment of Tissot’s career in over 20 years. New scholarship on the artist presented in this international retrospective, co-organized with the Musée d’Orsay...
In this post from the objects conservation lab, Catherine Coueignoux discusses a decorative technique known as marquetry used in the making of an 18th-century French writing table. Coueignoux is a former associate objects...
In its first exhibition in the continental United States, the artist Lisa Reihana’s extraordinary 70-foot-long video, in Pursuit of Venus [infected]—recently acquired by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco—is...

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