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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.
Weinstein Gallery might catch your eye when you walk past. You might ask, "Is that a Chagall, a Miro, a Dali, or a Picasso?" and be delightfully surprised to find that they are all represented here - the gallery is positively brimming with their works. Many of the paintings are on consignment from their owners, while others are owned by the gallery. The staff is more than friendly, and they're willing to share their in-depth knowledge of these elation-invoking pieces of art. Check the website for further details.
Stunning paintings beautify the plain white walls of the Christopher-Clark Fine Art, located in Union Square. The gallery proudly exhibits paintings, sculptures and etchings of high standard and great skill. Artists such as Marc Chagall, Albrecht Durer, Royo and Mary Cassatt have paintings exhibited here. The gallery is replete with enthralling varieties including Barbizon, Belle Epoque, Landscapes and contemporary art in several mediums.
The Legion of Honor houses more than 87,000 paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and tapestries. Some pieces date back 4000 years. The main floor is dedicated to the museum's permanent collection, much of which features the works of Rodin. European and ancient art are also on display at the Legion of Honor. The lower garden level features temporary exhibitions, ranging from Andy Warhol to Francis Bacon. Take a break in the museum cafe, which features light snacks and meals and has outdoor seating. The gift shop, though small, has a nice selection of postcards, books, posters, jewelry and some reproductions from this and other fine arts museums. Admission is free the first Tuesday of each month.
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.