Locally rooted and internationally engaged, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco strive to connect visitors with local and global art to illuminate the past, speak of the present, and shape the future. Through a legacy gift, you can join other passionate supporters in ensuring access to the Museums’ collections, exhibitions, and education programs for visitors of all ages and backgrounds for generations to come.
The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism introduces audiences to the development of the Japanese print over two centuries (1700–1900) and reveals its profound influence on Western art during the era of Impressionism. This exhibition complements the de Young Museum’s presentations of paintings from the Musée d'Orsay, many of which are aesthetically indebted to concepts of Japanese art.
La ville lumière—“the City of Light”: Paris earned this nickname during the 19th century with the proliferation of gas lamps that lit up the French capital, turning night into day and boosting its economic vitality. Moreover, the radiance of the metropolis transcended the glow of its streetlights as Paris ascended to its role as the cultural capital of Europe. Authors, composers, and especially visual artists—painters, sculptors, printmakers, and photographers—thrived in this dazzling setting.
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Already an established writer known for his pacifist sympathies and the 1941 anti-war novel Journal of Albion Moonlight, Kenneth Patchen (1911–1972) and his wife, Miriam, settled in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood of San Francisco in 1950. They became friendly with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, founder of the City Lights publishing company and bookstore and Patchen became a contributor to Ferlinghetti’s Pocket Poets series.
Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine explores the modern scientific examination of mummies providing new insights into the conditions under which the Egyptians lived, bringing us closer to understanding who they were. The exhibition is a homecoming celebration marking the return of Irethorrou, the Fine Arts Museums’ mummy who has been on loan since 1944. CT-scans done by scientists at Stanford Medical School shed light on Irethorrou’s physical attributes and cause of death. The scans provide depth and scientific background to the exhibition and contribute to a three-dimensional “fly through” of the mummy and a forensic reconstruction of his head.
Cartier came to fame as the “King of Jewelers” during the Belle Époque for his beautifully made diamond and platinum jewelry created for the courts of Europe and Americans of the Gilded Age. With an extensive variety of jewelry forms—ranging from traditional white diamond suites to the highly colored exotic creations of the 1920s and 1930s—Cartier made its mark with the ingenuity of its designs and its exquisite craftsmanship. Cartier and America celebrates the imagination and creativity of Cartier in the 20th century. The jewelry and works of art include pieces from the private collection of Cartier.