6 Master-pieces to see at de Young Museum

6 Master-pieces to see at de Young Museum

The internationally acclaimed de Young Museum is one of the most visited art museums in the USA. Located on the west coast, this museum offers a lifetime experience to art lovers. For someone who is deep into architecture, culture, and art, de young is a paradise.

I’ve discussed the topic with one of my friends- J.Atkinson who is owner of an amazing art blog and we came to an answer to what are the must sees at de Young Museum.

The place was founded in the year 1894 and since then it has witnessed the evolution of art with time. But, what you see now is a recent structure that was completed in the year 2005 by Herzog & de Meuron and Fong & Chan Architects. The place is home to American history, and a preservation center to all kind of craftworks from different parts of the world, including Africa and the Pacific. While visiting the place you will come across, sculptures, textile crafts, contemporary art pieces, and much more.

1.   ‘Ahu ‘ula (cloak)

In Hawaiian culture feathers from birds were considered precious than anything. The natives collected feathers from the mountainous region and created stunning garments out of it. These holistically made garments were considered to have sacred power and were culturally important for chiefs. Out of the many preserved feather work, the 18th-century clock ‘Ahu ‘ula (cloak) is one of the largest. It’s a beautiful blue and yellow cape that can’t be seen anywhere else. If you want to understand more about the Hawaiian culture, this cloak shares a great deal of history.

 2.   De young exterior

Constructed of natural materials and warm tones like copper, stone, wood, and glass, the museum beautifully mixes with its lush exterior. Some highlights of the museum are the sphinx sculptures, palm trees, pool of enchantment, and of course, the tower. Surrounded by fern, redwood, and other plants, it creates an open and inviting structure for the public. If you are at de Young, do not rush to get in and take a moment to appreciate its exterior. 

3.   Rover’s Garden Grows

This is a pretty imaginative display of art that pops with color. It’s a 1991 piece by Dale Chihuly and Italo Scanga. What amazes the audience is the balance of color in the entire setting. The inverted bronze dog table filled with colorful vase and spiraling flower stem is fun-fun. The art depicts a journey of two worlds, the ancient sophisticated art with modern playful colors. Full with imagination, the art is a must-see piece.

4.   Portrait of Dorothy Spreckels Munn

The art piece depicts a lady seated on a rock with a blue background, which is supposed to be deep sea with surreal creature here and there. The portrait is of a young heiress Dorothy Spreckels, who was also known as “sugar princess”. This surrealist style of art is well-known for its mix of feminism and mystic background. This is also the first full-length portrait by Dali, which was much adored by Dorothy. She loved it so much that she decided to share it with the world, and we are glad she did.

5.   The 144 ft. Tower

Even the classic de Young building from 1921, had a tower. But, making it fancier, the architects added an observation tower of 144 ft. The tower is open to the public for free, which means you can walk through it even if you are not buying a ticket. Take your camera and capture the 360-degree panoramic views from up there. The view is just mesmerizing.

6.   The Wire Sculptures

On the tower hangs a wire sculpture, which escalates its beauty by leaps and bound. The Wire Sculpture is a work by Ruth Asawa who is an art teacher from San Francisco. Even though she calls San Francisco her home, her roots go back to japan. It was due to her heritage, she was sent to the internment camp, where she learnt weaving, mostly to meet her basic needs.

Ruth was so inspired by the DIY work, that she pursued it as her career. She started using more and more wire in her art and later became famous as a teaching artist. Her work is very famous and entirely inspired by her roots and struggling life.

When to visit?

The place stays open every day, except that of Mondays and special holidays. You can visit anytime between 9.30 to 5.15 pm. Adults are charged somewhere around $15, however, for kids below 17 it’s free. Even senior citizens can avail some good discounts.

For special exhibitions, time and charges may vary. You can take public transport to reach de young or hop into a Muni streetcar, which will save you $2 while buying the general ticket.

For art lovers, anytime is a good time to visit de Young, it takes approximately one and half hour to cover all the special pieces of the museum. So, plan accordingly and do not forget to take a good view from the Tower.

If you are interested in arts and everything connected with it you can check out his website Arts and Food. It will help you advance in the ocean of art for sure!

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