Arthur Szyk: Miniature Paintings and Modern Illuminations

December 4, 2010March 27, 2011

Arthur Szyk (American, b. Poland, 1894–1951) is best remembered for his diverse work as an artist and illustrator, from pochoir illustrations for traditional Jewish and Polish folktales and religious texts to watercolor designs for political cartoons that were regularly featured on the cover of Collier’s magazine throughout the 1930s and '40s. Szyk’s Polish and Jewish heritage remained central, and his attention to detail betrayed considerable historical research into his craft.



Arthur Szyk: Miniature Paintings and Modern Illuminations is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Lead exhibition support is provided by the Koret Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund.

Koret FoundationTaube Philanthropies

Additional support for the exhibition is provided by Bernard and Barbro Osher.

Left: King and Queen of the Roses, illustration for the chapter titled Little Ida's Flowers in Anderson's Fairy Tales (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1945). Watercolor and opaque watercolor. Collection of Irvin Ungar. Center: Arthur Szyk, Paris, 1930s. Photo credit: Louvre Studio. Right: King George VI, 1938. Transparent and opaque watercolor. Collection of Irvin Ungar

Aspects of Mount Fuji in Japanese Illustrated Books from the Arthur Tress Collection

Reva and David Logan Gallery of Illustrated Books
September 11, 2010February 20, 2011

Noted photographer Arthur Tress (b. 1940) began collecting Japanese books in the fall of 1965 when he was a student at the Zen study center associated with the Shōkoku-ji temple in Kyoto. “After classes I would wander the back alleys behind the school, and I accidentally came upon a small, dilapidated secondhand bookstore that was filled from floor to ceiling with thousands of ragged old Japanese books for only a few dollars each,” he recalls.  “I was enchanted by the lovely, soft paper and bold illustrations [that were] often by important ukiyo-e artists such as Utamaro and Hokusai.


Hokusai, Untitled (Fuji Seen from Above the Waves), [detail] from the book One Hundred Views of Fuji, 1835. Collection of Arthur Tress

Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave

February 5, 2011June 12, 2011

Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave is a painter by training, but textile and costume are her muses. Working in collaboration with leading costume historians and young fashion designers, de Borchgrave crafts a world of splendor from the simplest rag paper.

Ticket Information: 

Admission to Pulp Fashion is $15 adults, $12 seniors 65+, $11 youth 6–17 and college students with ID, and free for children under 6 and members.

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Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and sponsored by Lonna Wais. Additional support is provided by Nathalie and Garry McGuire and Elizabeth W. Vobach. Collection Connections is made possible by The Annenberg Foundation. The exhibition catalogue is supported in part by a grant from Friends of Fiber Art International.

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Isabelle de Borchgrave

Eleanor of Toledo (and detail), 2006, inspired by a ca. 1545 portrait of Eleanor and her son Giovanni de’ Medici by Agnolo Bronzino in the collection of the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. Photo: René Stoeltie

Rembrandt to Thiebaud: A Decade of Collecting Works on Paper

June 23, 2007October 7, 2007
The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, founded in 1948 by Moore and Hazel Achenbach, is the Fine Arts Museums’ department of prints, drawings, and photographs. It is the largest American museum collection of its kind west of Chicago; works range from the Renaissance to contemporary art and also include Asian art. Over the past decade the department has acquired more than 6,600 works on paper through gift and purchase. There has not been an opportunity to exhibit many of them until now.

Surrealism: Selections from the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books

September 15, 2007January 6, 2008
Although the term Surrealism was coined by the writer Guillaume Apollinaire in 1917, it was André Breton who formalized a movement around the term beginning in 1924. Breton asserted the centrality of automatism, submission to the subconscious, as the means to Surrealist expression. Found or random objects, textures, and imagery were central to Surrealism, as was the acceptance of dreams as worthy subject matter.
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), "Buste de Femme à la Chaise," frontispiece, in the book Anthologie de l'humour noir by André Breton (Paris: Editions du Sagittaire, 1940), 1940

Veterans Day at the Legion of Honor

November 10, 2007November 11, 2007
In celebration of the 89th anniversary of Armistice Day and the end of World War I, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present a weekend of special programs at the Legion of Honor. Museum admission is free for all active duty military personnel and veterans during the weekend of November 10–11.

Marie-Antoinette and the Petit Trianon at Versailles

November 17, 2007February 17, 2008
Marie-Antoinette, the Austrian-born queen of Louis XVI of France, was given the Petit Trianon, a small château secluded in the park at Versailles, upon her accession in 1774. An icon of French neoclassicism, it exemplifies the perfection of 18th-century French architecture through its delicate balance of form and proportion. Its interiors were furnished to the queen's order with pieces of the utmost elegance, restraint, and beauty. This exhibition gives a visual history of the Petit Trianon through 88 pieces of the finest furniture, paintings, and sculpture from this château.


Marie-Antoinette and the Petit Trianon at Versailles is presented by Bank of America and organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in cooperation with the Etablissement public du musée et du domaine national de Versailles. The exhibition is also supported by the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums, Dr. Kathy Nicholson Hull and Mr. Bill Gisvold, Clare C. McEvoy Charitable Remainder Unitrust and Jay D. McEvoy Trust, George M. Bowles Trust, Hurlbut-Johnson Charitable Trusts, European Decorative Arts Council of the Fine Arts Museums, and Mr. and Mrs. Adolphus Andrews, Jr.
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842) Marie-Antoinette "a la rose," 1783 (detail). Oil on canvas. Etablissement Public du musée et du domaine national de Versailles. Photograph © J. M. Manaï

Kahnweiler, Editeur: Illustrated Books Published by the Legendary French Art Dealer

January 12, 2008May 25, 2008
The first in a series of three exhibitions that focuses on legendary publishers, Kahnweiler, Editeur showcases twelve books published between 1909 and 1928 by Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1884–1979). Kahnweiler was a German expatriate who opened his first gallery in Paris in 1907. Inspired by Ambroise Vollard, he made a lifelong commitment to publish books illustrated by his favorite artists, including André Derain, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, and others. He viewed his publications as promotional tools to introduce the young artists to new collectors of the avant-garde.
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) Mademoiselle Léonie dans une chaise longue, pl. 3 from the book, Saint Matorel by Max Jacob [Paris, Henry Kahnweiler, 1911], 1910

Highlights from the Israel Antiquities Authority: The Dead Sea Scrolls and 5,000 Years of Treasures

February 16, 2008August 10, 2008
This exhibition includes rotating examples of the rare and precious Dead Sea Scroll fragments in addition to artifacts spanning over 5000 years, from the Chalcolithic Age (4,000 BC) to the Fatimid Period (11th century AD). The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in history. Uncovered by Bedouin herders and excavated by archaeologists in caves along the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, fragments of the scrolls were pieced together to form more than 800 documents, many of them Biblical and Apocryphal manuscripts.


Highlights from the Israel Antiquities Authority: The Dead Sea Scrolls and 5,000 Years of Treasures is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Israel Antiquities Authority from the collections of the National Treasures. Major exhibition support is provided by Bernard and Barbro Osher, the Koret Foundation, the Taube Philanthropies, American Express, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, and the Alexander M. & June L. Maisin Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund.
Table, Byzantine Period, late 6th-early 7th century AD, Caesarea Maritima. Gold, glass mosaic. Photo courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005

March 1, 2008May 28, 2008
For decades, Annie Leibovitz has artistically captured the icons of popular culture with her award-winning photography. Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005 looks at 200 of these photos as well as those she has taken of her family and close friends, and thus views a full “photographer’s life.” As Leibovitz says: “I don’t have two lives. This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it.”


Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005 Organized by the Brooklyn Museum. Sponsored by American Express. The San Francisco presentation is made possible by RBC Dain Rauscher Wealth Management and GAP Inc. Additional support is support is provided by Jim and Dana Tananbaum, Maurice W. Gregg, Marie and George Hecksher, The John and Lisa Pritzker Family Fund, and Paul Sack and Shirley Davis.
L: Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rob Besserer, Cumberland Island, Georgia, 1990. R: Susan's Shell Collection, King Street Sunporch, New York, 1990. Photographs © Annie Leibovitz


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