Frequently Asked Questions - Membership
Due to the high volume of phone calls we receive on a daily basis, we may not be able to get back to you in a timely fashion. We hope that we can answer most of your questions with the following information and FAQs.
Members always receive unlimited free admission to the permanent collections at the de Young and the Legion of Honor.
Members also receive unlimited free admission to our current and upcoming special exhibitions Girl with a Pearl Earring, Impressionists on the Water, and Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years. However, daily ticket limits based on membership levels still apply. Members at the Individual, Out of State, Senior, Teacher, and Student levels can receive up to two free tickets per day. Members at the Family/Dual, Contributing, Supporting, and Sustaining levels can receive up to four free tickets per day.
No, it has always been our policy that membership benefits are not transferrable to non-members. Members are welcome to bring guests with them to visit the museums; guests (and children, for those with Family/Dual and above memberships) can only gain free entry when they are accompanied by the member named on the card. We cannot make benefits transferrable because we would lose revenue if an unlimited number of people could share one membership. The revenue we receive from membership dues and ticket sales goes to support exhibitions, underwrite special programs, maintain both museum buildings, and to expand and conserve our permanent collection—all of the things that make being a member worthwhile. Please note, the number of complimentary guests are dependent on membership level. In order to enforce this policy and preserve the privileges of membership for members only, we began asking for photo identification in 2008.
Click here, to purchase a gift membership. Order the membership with the recipient's mailing information and your billing information and we'll send a membership package directly to them. You can also purchase gift memberships on-site or by calling (415) 750-3636 (Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm).
We have taken several steps to improve your ticketing experience. Members receive free unlimited admission to current exhibitions, Girl with a Pearl Earring and Rembrandt's Century. Member will also receive free unlimited admission to upcoming exhibitions, Impressionist on the Water and Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years. However, daily ticket limits based on membership levels still apply. To save time and avoid waiting in line, members can reserve tickets online and print them at home. Click here for more information and to reserve tickets.
The following current and upcoming exhibitions do not require timed tickets. If you are a member, simply pick up your tickets at the Membership Desk on the day of your visit.
Eye Level in Iraq: Photographs by Kael Alford and Thorne Anderson, on view through June 16
Objects of Belief from the Vatican: Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, on view through September 8
Mapping the Contemporary Print: Selections from the Anderson Collection, on view through July 7
From the Exotic to the Mystical: Textile Treasures from the Permanent Collection, opening May 4
Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966, opening June 22
Legion of Honor
Gifts from the Gods: Art and the Olympic Ideal, on view through June 23
Artful Animals, on view through April 28
Darren Waterston: A Compendium of Creatures, on view through December 29
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are very fortunate to have membership support from over 118,000 member households. The cost of sustaining our membership program—the third largest art museum membership in the country—increases along with the number of members. In order to ensure that the majority of membership funds go toward our exhibitions and programs, and not administrative expenses, we needed to increase the revenue that we receive from membership dues. We appreciate that our members continue to contribute generously because of their dedication to the arts and their desire to support our exhibitions and programs.
The most recent change to membership rates took place in August 2010. Prior to that, the last change occurred on September 1, 2008, when the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco adjusted its membership rates for the first time in five years.
After doing a survey of comparable museums, we found that our dues were below the industry average, relative to the benefits offered. For example, at the previous rate of $95, a Family/Dual level membership includes—among other generous benefits—free admission for two members, two guests, and all children under 17 living in the same household at two museums (the de Young and the Legion of Honor). This rate is actually cheaper than buying four adult tickets to a single special exhibition. At the new rate of $125, the Family/Dual level is only a few dollars more—the value of a single adult admission in some cases—than comparable levels of membership at one-museum institutions in the Bay Area.
It takes two to four weeks to process your membership. It may take six to eight weeks before you receive your permanent membership card. In the meantime, we welcome you to visit the museums; just be sure to bring along photo identification. If you are a renewing member, your current card will still work.
We are no longer sending out expiration stickers. As long as your membership is current, your card will remain active.
As long as you added a second name to your membership and upgraded to the Family/Dual level or above, you will receive another membership card in approximately six to eight weeks. If you still have not received a second card, please call 415.750.3636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the card. Please specify the second name for the card. In the meantime, simply check in at the membership desk to receive you full upgraded benefits when you visit.
No. Once you have received your permanent plastic card, you will continue to use those indefinitely. As long as your membership is current, your card will remain active.
The benefit for Individual, Senior, Student, Teacher, and Out-of-State memberships allows for admission for one member and one guest. Only one name can be on the membership and the guest must be accompanied by the member in order to receive free admission. In order to receive two cards, you must upgrade to at least a Family/Dual level membership. Family/Dual, Contributing, Supporting, and Sustaining memberships allow free admission to the permanent collection and most special exhibitions for one member and one guest per card plus children in the same household up to age 17. Guests and children must be accompanied by a member to receive free admission.
No, you may upgrade your membership at any time during the year by paying the difference between your current level and the new level; your expiration date remains the same. Call the Membership office at 415.750.3636 and begin taking advantage of increased membership benefits.
Email your new address to us at email@example.com; call the Membership office at 415.750.3636; or, fill out a change of address form in person at either Museum.
Yes, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Membership office at 415.750.3636, 24 hours a day. If the museum is closed, leave a message and we will get back to you. Or, fill out a replacement card form in person at either museum. Please note there is a $5 fee per replacement card. Membership cards are permanent and remain current as long as your membership is active.
Yes! ArtPoint is the young professionals’ organization associated with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. ArtPoint emphasizes educational, social and networking opportunities. It can be added to any membership at the Individual level or higher for $50. For more information, visit the ArtPoint website at www.artpoint.org, email email@example.com, or call 415.750.3548.
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco participates in two reciprocal membership programs: the Western Reciprocal Program and the North American Reciprocal Program. Listings appear below.
Special stickers are issued to Contributing-level ($225) members and above which, when attached to their FAMSF membership cards, grant them limited member privileges at other museums across North America and in Bermuda. Click here for a list of museums that participate in the Western Reciprocal and North American Reciprocal Programs.
Privileges may include:
- Free general admission during museum hours
- Free admission to special exhibitions when no ticket is required
- Admission to members' previews
- Discounts on purchases made on the premises in art and book shops
- Discounts on film, concert, and lecture tickets
After much deliberation, we have had to remove the member ticketing kiosks. It has become expensive to maintain the outdated kiosks, which are not compatible with our new ticketing system.
However, there is a more important reason for this change. It has always been our policy that membership benefits are not transferrable to non-members. In order to enforce this policy and preserve the privileges of membership for members only, we began asking for photo identification over a year ago. The kiosks do not allow us to maintain this membership service standard because they create an opportunity for non-members to access the museums with a borrowed membership card(s). It is necessary for our members to interact with a museum staff member each time they visit us so as to limit the use of membership benefits to those who have paid for them.
The reason we cannot make benefits transferrable is that we would lose revenue if an unlimited number of people could share one membership. The revenue we receive from membership dues and ticket sales goes to support exhibitions, underwrite special programs, maintain both museum buildings, and to expand and conserve our permanent collection-all of the things that make being a member worthwhile.
We do apologize to those of you who enjoyed using the kiosks and hope you will understand our decision. Please call 415.750.3636, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to share your feelings about this issue with us. Thank you very much for your support of the de Young and the Legion of Honor.
Membership in the Fine Arts Museums is intended for non-commercial use by individual members and cannot be transferred. We reserve the right to revoke memberships for abuse of member privileges. For example, membership will be revoked if it comes to our attention that a member is selling free or discounted member tickets.
Do you have any questions which have not been answered here? We are committed to providing the best possible service to our members--please feel free to send your questions to us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Call us at 415.750.3636 or e-mail email@example.com.