The Asian Art Museum is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. Its holdings include nearly 15,000 treasures spanning 6000 years of history, representing cultures throughout Asia. Renowned architect Gae Aulenti oversaw the dramatic transformation of the building: it now features 40,000 square feet (3716 square meters) of gallery space, allowing the museum to better fulfill its mission of leading a diverse global audience in discovering the unique material, aesthetic and intellectual achievements of Asian art and culture.
Developed by physicist Frank Oppenheimer and opened in 1969, this innovative and interactive museum is dedicated to art, science and human perception. Relocated from the Palace of Fine Arts to Piers 15 and 17, the modern space features plenty of new green technologies including the largest solar panel roof in San Francisco and offers over 600 hands-on exhibits. These hands-on displays unveil the mysteries of science and language, and present these theories simply and succinctly. Webinars, special events and seminars occur throughout the year. This San Francisco gem is a must visit.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art houses a permanent collection of over 15,000 works, including more than 4,700 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and 9,000 plus photographs. Originally opened in 1995, the museum has exhibited the works of Henri Matisse, Richard Diebenkorn, Dorothea Lange, Paul Klee, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney and many contemporary artists. Designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, the space itself is a wonder to behold. After a major renovation completed in 2016, the SFMOMA now boasts seven floors of art along with exciting features including a living wall, sculpture garden and impressive views of Yerba Buena Gardens.
Located in Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the greenest buildings in the city and has a platinum certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The museum features the renovated and expanded Steinhart Aquarium, complete with a hands-on tide pool and the well-known alligator swamp. Other exciting features are the Morrison Planetarium, the four-storey rainforest dome, and the Tusher African Hall. In addition to these educational gems, the museum features other natural history exhibits as well as exhibits about global warming. The Academy Café offers international cuisine, while the elegant Moss Room restaurant is the only dining option available in the park past museum closing time.
Acting as a major cultural destination since 1895, the De Young Museum reopened in October 2005 in a facility designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and Fong & Chan Architects in San Francisco. The building is magnificent and from the observation tower you can get a great view of the park. It is open, airy and massive. It also has a perforated and embossed copper facade which goes very well with the greenery around the museum. The museum houses the world-renowned American Painting and Sculpture collection, dating from the 17th to the 20th Centuries. Primitive Art is highly represented with extraordinary pieces of Native American Art (from the ancient Teotihuacan City), African Art (statues and potteries) and Oceanic Art (shields, dance dress and masks). Admission is free the first Tuesday of each month.
This Berkeley museum doubles as a research center at the University of California at Berkeley. Its evolutionary history collections and exhibits include invertebrates, microfossils and paleobotany. The free museum is also known for its accomplishments in technologies such as environmental scanning electron microscopy and molecular paleontology. You will find the latest cutting edge research here. After a trip to the museum, take a walk through the university's beautiful campus.
Delve into the rich and illustrious past of Tenderloin with a quick stop at the city’s Tenderloin Museum. A city icon since the year 2015, it was established to portray the neighborhood riveting history and heritage through exhibitions, events and various arts-based installations. Various exhibits at the museum share an insight about Tenderloin’s socio-cultural fabric, its long-standing political scenario and its thriving entertainment industry. Additionally, the museum also serves as a lively venue for literature readings, dance shows and musical concerts, thus emerging as a multi-faceted locale for the city’s community to engage and interact on various platforms.
Having undergone refurbishment, The David Ireland House is one of the most beautiful art galleries in San Francisco. David Ireland, an American artist personally worked on the restoration of the house, transforming it into an art gallery and a studio. Many of the art collections inside, most of which are things and appliances used by Mr. Ireland himself are beautifully restored and conserved even today. Guided tours to the house and other public programs - workshops and exhibits are regularly conducted.
San Francisco's Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) devotes itself to showcasing, through various mediums, the movement of Africans throughout the world. Photographs, artwork, narratives, all of these contribute to a growing understanding and appreciation of this complex human phenomenon. The museum holds a wealth of exhibitions, both on-location and online.
Run by the SF Recreation Department, this is a children's' museum that provides an array of activities and entertainment. In addition to numerous nature, science, and art exhibits, Randall Museum features an animal room with birds, lizards, snakes, mice, an owl, as well as an operating see-through bee-hive, and a petting area. Topics covered at the weekly education and workshop series for adults and children range from jewelry-making to model trains. On Saturdays it offers one-day classes that start at 1p, for children of all ages.