Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

de Young Museum

De young museum

M. H. de Young Memorial Museum

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco consists of two separate museum locations, the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park.

The American art collection of the de Young Museum consists of over 1,000 paintings, 800 sculptures, and 3,000 decorative arts objects.  The Museum’s textiles collection includes over 13,000 textiles and costumes from around the world. The Africa, Pacific, and the Americas collection is more than 1,400 objects of Art. The de Young Museum collection includes American Art from the 17th through the 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles, and costumes, and Art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa.

The de Young Museum is an art museum at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The de Young is named after its founder, early San Francisco newspaperman M. H. de Young.

Highlights of the de Young Museum

A Virtual Tour of the de Young Museum

  • The Last Moments of John Brown” by Thomas Hovenden
    • “The Last Moments of John Brown” by Thomas Hovenden depicts abolitionist John Brown (1800–1859) being taken to his execution in Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia), in 1859. Brown believed in and advocated armed insurrection as the only way to overthrow slavery in the United States. Brown’s actions as an abolitionist and the tactics he used still make him a controversial figure. He is both memorialized as a heroic martyr and visionary and vilified as a madman and a terrorist. Hovenden’s heroic image of Brown recalls a Moses type figure. His vision of freedom for future generations of African Americans was symbolized by the false legend of Brown blessing the slave child.

      A few months before the event depicted in this painting, Brown led a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (today West Virginia), intending to start a slave liberation movement. He seized the armory, but seven people were killed, and ten or more were injured. He intended to arm slaves with weapons from the arsenal, but only a small number of local slaves joined his revolt.

  • Justice by David Gilmour Blythe
    • Justice by David Gilmour Blythe depicts a policeman, who can be identified by the star badge and baton, leading a group of suspects into a courtroom. The suspects are carrying their tools of the trade, symbolizing recently arrived immigrants. The suspects are directed to join a musician with a banjo who is already seated on a bench. The presiding judge is symbolized by the man sitting on the high bench. He is below the scales of justice, which are held by an American eagle.

      The poster with the heading “Blood Tubs” attached to the judge’s bench refers to members of a street gang and political party that kidnapped and dunked political opponents in slaughterhouse barrels of blood. The members of the Blood Tubs supported the American Party, which promoted anti-foreign and anti-Catholic prejudice and sought to restrict immigration to the United States. The poster also has the visible initials “SAM,” and the word “ITALY” on it. “SAM” is an abbreviation for “Uncle Sam,” which was a nickname for the party, popularly called the “Know-Nothing Party.”

  • St. John the Baptist Preaching” by Mattia Preti
    • “St. John the Baptist Preaching” by Mattia Preti depicts John as the forerunner of Jesus, who announces Jesus’ coming. This painting shows John’s prophetizing and preparing the people for Jesus’ ministry as symbolized by his staff, which has a cross on top with a message.St. John is shown preaching and pointing to the heavens urging his audience to remember that their reward is waiting in heaven, and their salvation is in God’s hands. Preti has included the symbols for St. John the Baptist frequently is shown in Christian art, identifiable including the reed cross, his camel’s skin clothing, and lamb.

de Young Museum

Your Visit to the de Young Museum

Below are some details that may help you in planning your visit to the De Young Museum.

  • Location:                        San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, USA
  • Address:                          50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco
  • Public transit access:
    • 44 O’Shaughnessy Bus
    • 5 or 5L-Fulton Bus
    • 28 Bus
    • N-Judah Muni Metro

de Young Museum

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“Well done is better than well said.”
– Benjamin Franklin

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Photo Credit: By Template:Wtu (shared/WT Template:FromWt) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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