The de Young Museum, with its perforated copper facade and spiraling tower in the center of Golden Gate Park, is as dramatic outside as it is inside. Follow the widening crack in the sidewalk into the atrium. It's an Andy Goldsworthy–created nod to the tectonic plates that carved out California, and that are emblematic of the museum, too: The previous building was damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake and rebuilt by Herzog & de Meuron, opening in 2005.
Inside, Gerhard Richter's wall-sized mural, made from digitally manipulated photographs, greets visitors. The museum specializes in American art, international textile arts and costumes, and art of the ancient Americas, Oceania, and Africa. Visiting exhibitions often focus on modern works and draw massive crowds. Recent blockbusters include Georgia O'Keeffe, Richard Diebenkorn, and David Hockney.
Make sure to visit the observation deck at the top of the tower. (It closes one hour before the museum.) It's a unique view over the low-lying western end of the city.
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Must see these Ruth Asawa sculptures
The de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is a wonderful spot to see art. Don't miss the Ruth Asawa sculptures near the elevators to the Hamon Observation Tower. The play of shadows enhances the sculptural beauty of these artworks. And yes, do take the elevator to the 9th floor observation tower. Here you'll have a 360 degree view of San Francisco; wonderful on a clear day and mysterious on a foggy day. Once you've seen all the exhibits inside the museum visit the outdoor sculpture garden and seek out the James Turrell Skyspace. Titled "Three Gems" it is a subterranean installation that features a view of the sky that highlights changing light and weather conditions outside. Café and gift shop on premises.
Included in your admission ticket to the fabulous De Young Museum, is access to the observatory tower. The views of Golden Gate Park, the Pacific and the city around you are more than special (and worth the ticket price).
Keep in mind the fact that they close the tower at 4:30 PM, so be sure to plan your visit within the museum around the chance to get up top and back down.
A special museum experience made even more spectacular with this view. Soak it up.
After two days exploring the outdoors of Golden Gate Park, I was ready for something different. I was therefore excited to find out that the tower of the de Young Museum is open and free to the public. We just walked in the front door of the museum, asked which way to go to get to the tower, took the elevator up, and were rewarded with 360-degree views of the city from the tower's glass walls. From here you can see the trees and gardens of Golden Gate Park, the green roof of the California Academy of Sciences, Coit Tower, and the surrounding hills of nearby neighborhoods and the Presidio National Park...definitely not to miss!
... San Francisco knows how to employ green, white and blue to torment people with beauty! Take the elevator to the 9th floor of De Young Museum and be prepared to stretch the limits of how much visual drama you can take in!
With a brilliantly designed copper facade, 144 foot observation tower and sprawling grounds which seamlessly segue into the natural environment of Golden Gate Park: The de Young Museum is as beautiful as some of the works of art that adorn its' halls and is a must when visiting San Francisco.
The DeYoung Museum is worth a visit if only for the building itself: the spiral tower with a 360 view of the city is hard to beat. The simulated earthquake crack that kids can follow from the front sidewalk, through boulders, to the entrance, the incredible, permanent exhibit, and the I-have-never-been-disappointed rotating exhibits have ranged from Chihuly to YSL gowns. It is manageable in its layout and number of pieces, the range of pieces are oooh-inducing, and the setting is extraordinary. Stay parked and go for a walk in the park after grabbing a bite in the cafeteria.
And if you are in SFO while the DeYoung flower show is on (usually May), it is a not to miss!!