In the eighteenth century, women in European society used fans as dynamic objects to convey emotions, flick away suitors, and keep themselves cool. As such, fans were repeatedly folded and unfolded, causing their materials to tear and break.

The shimmer of gold and the brightly colored pages of medieval handmade books inspired some of the most creative artists in Britain in the late nineteenth century. Six illuminated manuscripts (so called because they were often embellished with gold or silver leaf), on loan from the renowned J.

Contemporary Muslim Fashions is the first major museum exhibition to explore the complex, diverse nature of Muslim dress codes worldwide, spotlighting places, garments, and styles to consider how Muslims define themselves—and are defined—by their dress. True to this pioneering nature, the exhibition has offered organizers across the de Young many exciting opportunities to collaborate on a series of innovative “firsts.”

At approximately 10 by 6 feet, Vertumnus and Pomona (1757), by François Boucher and his studio, is one of the largest paintings in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s European collection. Vertumnus, the Roman god of seasons and fertility, transformed himself into an old woman in order to seduce Pomona, the goddess of fruit and gardens.

The Textile Conservation Lab recently had two fascinating (and beautiful) examples of the weaving technique “double weave” in the lab at the same time: a length of fabric designed by William Morris in 1878–1881, woven on a Jacquard loom, and a contemporary artwork by W. Logan Fry, hand woven in 1991.

FRAME|WORK is a weekly blog series that highlights an artwork in the Museums permanent collections. Today we commemorate the 1906 earthquake and ensuing fire that ravaged the majority of San Francisco. Arnold Genthe’s Untitled (Portals of the Past), a jewel of the Museums’ photography collection, provides a look back at that dark day. This photograph is currently not on display, so please enjoy this exclusive virtual viewing.