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New de Young Museum Celebrates 5th Anniversary

This year the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco celebrate two important anniversaries: the 5th anniversary of the new de Young Museum and the 40th anniversary of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. This celebration is bolstered by the remarkable, record-breaking five-year attendance figure at the de Young: 8.1 million visitors, making it one of the highest profile museums in the country and a local phenomenon.

Five years ago in October the de Young Museum reopened in a state-of-the-art building designed by Herzog & de Meuron with Fong & Chan Architects on the site of the original museum, which was founded in 1895. Director John E. Buchanan, Jr., says of the de Young, “Our proudest moments come from watching how the building is used—both by the staff in creatively installing exhibitions and presenting public programs, and by the public, who have really embraced the designers’ vision of a building well integrated with its natural environment.” In honor of the 5th anniversary, the public is invited to visit the de Young’s distinguished permanent collection on Saturday, October 16, for $5. The $5 ticket is also good at the Legion of Honor for the opening day of Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism. $5 tickets can only be purchased at the de Young.

2010 is the year of another milestone in San Francisco. Forty years ago the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor united to form a new institution called the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF). Since 1970 the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park has housed the distinguished collections of antiquities and European art from both museums, as well as the works of art on paper of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, while the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park has showcased American art from the 17th century through the present, international textile arts and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa.

Recently visitors have enjoyed unique joint programming between the de Young and the Legion of Honor with an aim to enhance the visitor experience through complementary exhibitions that extend a theme across FAMSF’s extensive permanent collections. Joint programming examples are: Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the de Young with Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine at the Legion of Honor; Birth of Impressionism at the de Young with Impressionist Paris: City of Light at the Legion of Honor; Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond and Pat Steir: After Hokusai, after Hiroshige at the de Young with Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism at the Legion of Honor.

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