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Experience the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco as only a member can.

Along with unlimited free admission to special exhibitions and the permanent collections of the de Young and the Legion of Honor, FAMSF members also receive invitations to private viewing hours, priority ticketing, and an array of additional benefits. 


Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House

Rosekrans Gallery, Special Exhibition Galleries 20B-F
October 18, 2014January 18, 2015

Discover the history and elegance of Houghton Hall, one of England’s grandest country houses, built in the 1720s by Sir Robert Walpole (1676–1745), Britain’s first prime minister. Constructed in the Palladian style by architects James Gibbs and Colen Campbell and decorated by the influential designer William Kent, it has survived through the centuries in a remarkably well-preserved state.

Ticket Information: 

Adults $15-$18, seniors 65+ $12–$15, students with current ID $11–$14, youths 6–17 $10–$13, members and children 5 and under free.

Save $1 per ticket with advance online purchase. Prices in your online shopping cart reflect the automatic savings.

Groups of 10 or more have access to priority booking and private tours. Contact the group sales office at or 415.750.3620.

Prices subject to change without notice.


Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in collaboration with Houghton Hall. An indemnity has been granted by the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. 

Director’s Circle

The Buena Vista Fund of Horizons Foundation
The Michael Taylor Trust
Diane B. Wilsey

Conservator's Circle

Mr. and Mrs. Carl F. Pascarella

Patron’s Circle

Mr. and Mrs. Adolphus Andrews, Jr.
Giselle Parry-Farris and Ray K. Farris
Mr. and Mrs. William Hamilton

Opening Events Sponsor

Media Sponsors


Houghton Hall

L: William Kent, architectural drawing for the Marble Parlour at Houghton Hall, ca. 1730. Black and brown ink and brown wash on paper. Collection of Marquess of Cholmondeley, Houghton Hall. R: John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Sybil, Countess Rocksavage, later Marchioness of Cholmondeley, 1913. Oil on canvas. Marquess of Cholmondeley, Houghton Hall. Photo: Bridgeman Art Library

Houghton Hall

Guest Lecture: "Celestial Navigation," by Robert Darr, Director and Head Instructor at the Arques School of Traditional Boatbuilding

Claude Monet, "Sailboats on the Seine," 1874
September 29, 2013 - 3:00pm4:00pm

This talk describes the most fundamental elements of celestial navigation, the basics of which had become well established by the mid-nineteenth century.  The method, developed by Marcq Saint Hilaire in 1875,  became the normal practice during the period of the Impressionists and is still used today by navigators (including the speaker).  

Robert Darr, director and head instructor at the Arques School of Traditional Boatbuilding, is the son of a schooner captain based in Tahiti. He has been a wooden boatbuilder for forty years.

Guest Lecture: "The Pursuit of Grace: My Life with Wooden Boats," by Robert Darr, Director and Head Instructor at the Arques School of Traditional Boatbuilding

September 29, 2013 - 2:00pm3:00pm

This talk, richly illustrated by photographer Scott Wall, will explore the timeless appeal of traditional wooden boats like the ones depicted on the canvases of the Impressionist painters featured in the Legion of Honor's current exhibition Impressionists on the Water. The presentation will examine the aesthetic elements that made the wooden boats of this period so appealing in general, and so inspiring to those who built and used them.

Guest Lecture: "Ready About! The Thrills and Frills of Fin-de-Siecle Boating from Argenteuil to San Francisco Bay," by John C. Muir, Curator of Small Craft

September 22, 2013 - 2:00pm3:00pm

The exhibition Impressionists on the Water offers a rare and delightful window onto the boating culture of 19th-century France. San Francisco Bay was itself a nexus for much the same sporting spirit in this era, filled with sleek racing canoes, experimental yachts, and a lively waterborne social scene. John C. Muir will interpret the marvels of the current exhibition through a boatman’s eyes, and render the parallel period pleasures of our local scene through historic photographs from the archives of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

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