a young woman with black hair and an older woman look at an oval-shaped artwork with stripes of turquoise, white, green, and pink

Soul of a Nation member opening, 2019. Photograph by Gary Sexton

Curatorial Support Groups

These focused interest groups draw individuals together around education and social opportunities, as well as specific areas of the collections. Participants enjoy exclusive events, lectures, and trips.

Auxiliaries of the Fine Arts Museums

Consisting of five membership groups, the Auxiliaries raise funds that support the Museums’ goals. This includes the coordination of Bouquets to Art, the Museums’ largest annual fundraiser, in addition to smaller initiatives and social gatherings throughout the year.

San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums

The San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums was founded in 1941 by Helen de Young Cameron, with the clear purpose of raising funds for the de Young and Legion of Honor. Although we are called the San Francisco Auxiliary, there is no requirement that one must live in San Francisco. In fact, members live throughout the Bay Area. 

Every year, the San Francisco Auxiliary produces Bouquets to Art, one of the Museums’ most cherished and successful annual fundraising events. During its one-week run, Bouquets to Art draws tens of thousands of visitors to the de Young to view the more than 120 floral installations inspired by artworks in the permanent collection. 

Through this event, the San Francisco Auxiliary has donated more than $7.5 million to the Museums, which has helped fund special exhibitions, conservation projects, and educational programs. To learn more about this event, watch What is Bouquets to Art?, featuring FAMSF Docent Maureen Murray Fox. 

Members of the San Francisco Auxiliary make financial and time commitments to Bouquets to Art. They bring their special talents to the various elements of producing and publicizing the event and enjoy special perks in the process. General meetings allow for behind-the-scenes opportunities, including lectures by museum curators and private docent-led tours of special exhibitions. In addition, and as a thank-you for the Auxiliary’s support, the Museums invite members to attend opening-night events for some of the hottest special exhibitions.  

Suburban Auxiliaries: Belvedere-Tiburon, East Bay, Hillsborough, and Ross

The Suburban Auxiliaries range in size from 50 to 140 members, with members who reside in specific geographic areas. These groups support museum activities by volunteering during Bouquets to Art, underwriting lectures, and making independent donations to the Education department and other museum programs. Each of the Suburban Auxiliaries has its own requirements for membership, but all share the mission of supporting the goals of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Requirements for membership include maintaining a current membership in the Museums, attending business meetings, and paying dues to the respective Auxiliary in the amount of $75 to $150 annually. The Suburban Auxiliaries meet throughout the year to participate in docent tours at the Museums, tours of private art collections, luncheons, presentations, and more.   

To learn more about becoming a member in any of the Auxiliaries, please email us at sffamauxiliaryinfo@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Achenbach Graphic Arts Council (AGAC)

Members of the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council (AGAC) share an interest in prints, drawings, photographs, and other works of art on paper. Your membership in the Council supports the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts (AFGA) and its world-renowned collection, housed in the Legion of Honor.

All FAMSF members are welcome to join AGAC through an additional contribution which supports the ongoing work of the Foundation. Memberships are offered on an annual basis.

Membership benefits include:

  • Invitations to AGAC events, including customized tours of selected exhibitions at the Museums and other venues, and visits to artists’ studios and fine art printers for demonstrations of artistic processes and techniques
  • Invitations to workshops, lectures, and seminars developed and presented by Achenbach curators
  • Members-only programs with the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books, a collection containing many of the greatest artists’ books of the 20th century
  • The opportunity to meet fellow collectors
  • The AGAC travel program, providing opportunities to experience graphic arts in locations outside the Bay Area
  • The AGAC annual members meeting, held at the Legion of Honor, including reports from Achenbach curators and the AGAC Board, as well as presentations of recent acquisitions

Your membership directly supports AFGA through:

  • The acquisition of art for the Achenbach collection
  • Sponsorship of a museum fellowship
  • Funding for exhibition catalogues
  • Support for special projects

Membership levels

AGAC annual membership is offered at the following levels*:

Member: $250

  • Curator-led group tours of select FAMSF exhibitions
  • Group visits to Bay Area galleries, museums, artists' studios, and presses
  • Option to participate in AGAC’s travel program
  • Periodic bulletins and newsletters
  • Annual membership meeting in June

Contributor: $500

  • All of the above, plus:
  • Priority admission to limited-attendance Achenbach events (workshops, lectures, seminars)

Advocate: $1,000

  • All of the above, plus:
  • A behind-the-scenes tour of the Achenbach’s historic collection of works on paper, including the paper conservation lab
  • Priority notice for the AGAC travel program, which may include tours of private collections

Patron: $2,500

  • All of the above, plus:
  • Letters of introduction to two works on paper departments at out-of-area museums
  • An informal consultation by an Achenbach curator providing general advice regarding starting or building your private collection, or an informational consultation with a paper conservator on best practices for displaying and preserving your private collection. Your private collection must be located within 60 miles of the Legion of Honor for an in-person consultation, otherwise the consultation must occur remotely.

 *AGAC annual membership renewals occur on the anniversary of the month a member joined; the current dues schedule will apply to each member’s next membership renewal. Each AGAC membership level provides benefits for the member plus a guest. As always, FAMSF membership is required.

Join now

The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts (AFGA) is the most comprehensive collection of works of art on paper in the western United States. It began as the vast print and drawing collection of Moore and Hazel Achenbach, given to the City of San Francisco in 1948. The Achenbach’s holdings include more than 90,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and artists’ books that document European, American, and Asian graphic arts from the 15th century to the present. The collection features over 3,000 drawings, 3,000 photographs, Indian miniature paintings, Japanese prints and drawings, a theater and dance collection, posters, and rare books. The collection's extraordinary size and scope is due to the gifts of generous donors and careful purchases by curators from a limited endowment. AFGA offers a continuing program of changing exhibitions from the permanent and loan collections.

Fill out this form to join or renew your AGAC membership. As a member, you will receive emails about upcoming AGAC member events.

Contact info

Phone: 415.750.3676
Email: agac@famsf.org
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Board of Directors 

  • Luanne Andreotti, Chair
  • Laura Nagle, 1st Vice Chair
  • Xin Sun, 2nd Vice Chair
  • Jeanine Catalano, Treasurer
  • Michele Anderson, Secretary
  • Pat Belotti
  • Mickey Griffin
  • Morgann Trumbull

American Decorative Arts Forum (ADAF)

The American Decorative Arts Forum (ADAF) encourages the study, understanding, enjoyment, and preservation of American art and design from their earliest beginnings to the present.

Founded in 1983 to promote the study and appreciation of decorative arts, the ADAF has broadened its scope to include many areas of American fine arts and design, including fashion and architecture.

The Forum sponsors up to 12 lectures annually which are held in-person at the Gunn Theater, Legion of Honor, San Francisco and/or via Zoom. Members also have access to special events, including curator-led tours of exhibitions, visits to private collections, and travel opportunities. In addition, members receive a newsletter and emails containing updates and schedules of lectures and events.

See the Forum’s website for the schedule of upcoming lectures and membership information.

Ancient Art Council (AAC)

The Ancient Art Council (AAC) supports the ancient art department. Membership is open to all who care about the preservation and promotion of the antiquities and culture of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. The program is varied and includes lectures by noted archaeologists, curators, and historians; exclusive tours of the permanent collection and special exhibitions; and travel to other museums and ancient sites. 

Contemporary Support Council (CSC)

The Contemporary Support Council (CSC) brings together a group of trailblazers that make challenging, high-profile, and international contemporary art programs possible at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

CSC realizes exceptional and unusual projects for the Museums and participates in the artistic development and curatorial process with artists. As a member, to toast your support and celebrate artists’ creativity, you will enjoy a broad range of special programming including private curatorial tours of exhibitions, intimate visits with contemporary artists, private receptions at collectors’ homes, and priority access to innovative talks and performances.

Membership levels

Advocate ($5,000)

  • Invitations to contemporary exhibition opening celebrations
  • Invitations to curator-led tours, talks, and dinners with artists, private collections, and artist studios
  • VIP seating and complimentary tickets to contemporary performances and lectures
  • Complimentary Dual membership granting free admission for two members and two guests (four tickets per visit) to the permanent collections and special exhibitions at the de Young and Legion of Honor

Sponsor ($10,000)

Everything above, plus:

  • Recognition on all contemporary projects organized by FAMSF
  • Travel to exciting art destinations with curators
  • A personal curator-led tour of an exhibition/installation of your choice for up to four guests
  • Invitation to attend one Leadership Circle event, the Museums’ premier annual giving society
  • VIP passes to art fairs

Join now

For more information, please contact us at csc@famsf.org or 415.750.8905.

Friends of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas (FAOA)

With premier gallery space, growing collections, and expanding public programs, the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas (AOA) have become integral to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s interpretive framework. These unique holdings reflect the Bay Area’s passion for diverse cultural and artistic traditions. Their breadth and quality places them among the top collections in US art museums.

We invite you to become a member of the Friends of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas (FAOA), a support group that gathers together collectors and others devoted to these arts (with noncommercial interests) to aid the Museums in meeting strategic goals for collection development, staffing, and special exhibitions. Members of our group include serious collectors of tribal or ancient art, those with an interest in these fields, and those who are interested in developing their knowledge in these areas

By joining FAOA, you can increase our momentum and actively advocate for the art of these collections. Most of all, you will have the satisfaction that comes from supporting AOA art in San Francisco, asserting its importance, and ensuring that the Fine Arts Museums continue to have exciting and pioneering AOA exhibition programs.

Become a Friend of AOA

There are four membership levels to choose from. Please note that current membership with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is required.

Members enjoy these benefits:

  • VIP invitations to exclusive exhibition previews and opening receptions year-round, and FAMSF-hosted events during the annual Tribal & Textile Art Show in San Francisco
  • Invitations to special programs, lectures, symposia, and luncheons with visiting scholars and collectors
  • Listing as a Friend in the Fine Arts member magazine
  • Complimentary FAMSF exhibition catalogues

For more information, please contact:

Christina Hellmich
Curator in Charge, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas and the Jolika Collection of New Guinea Art

Hillary Olcott
Assistant Curator, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

San Francisco Ceramic Circle

The San Francisco Ceramic Circle (SFCC) is a museum affiliate group of pottery and porcelain collectors and others interested in ceramic art. The SFCC supports the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s ceramic collections with a program of lectures and assists with funding purchases for the collections.

SFCC lectures on ceramic topics augment talks by museum docents and provide an excellent way to learn about this art form. SFCC lectures are given by ceramic specialist curators, collectors, and dealers and are held on Sunday mornings at the Legion of Honor. Lectures are free with museum entry.

The SFCC sponsors two annual social events where members can meet in informal settings and organizes special events, including seminars and ceramic collection visits.

Textile Arts Council (TAC)

As an integral part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Textile Arts Council (TAC) promotes and broadens appreciation of the textile arts.

Membership benefits include:

  • Free admission to most TAC-sponsored lectures
  • Advance notice of seminars, workshops, field trips, and other special events
  • Free subscription to the TAC newsletter, published three times a year.
  • International travel opportunities with a textile arts focus
  • Use of the Textile Study Center (by appointment, for researchers with a specific focus of study)
  • Special interest study groups

Your membership fees enable TAC to:

  • Promote interest in textiles
  • Provide a wide variety of programs focusing on textile-related subjects
  • Bring a new sector of support to the textile arts department and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Students wishing to attend TAC lectures can make special arrangements through teachers in their field.