Fine Arts Museums Announce Upcoming 2023 - 2024 Exhibitions

Jul 17, 2023

The Great Wave

Katsushika Hokusai, Under the Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa (The Great Wave), from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, ca. 1830–1832. Color woodcut, 9 13/16 x 14 1/2 in. (25 x 36.9 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts Endowment Fund, 1969.32.6. Photograph by Randy Dodson. Courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Announce Upcoming 2023 - 2024 Exhibitions

SAN FRANCISCO The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to share a preview of upcoming exhibitions at the de Young and Legion of Honor museums.

Crafting Radicality: Bay Area Artists from the Svane Gift
de Young
July 22–December 31, 2023

Drawing from the unprecedented Svane Family Foundation gift, Crafting Radicality launches a new series of exhibitions at the de Young featuring contemporary Bay Area artists. In 2022, the Svane gift brought 42 artworks by 30 emerging and mid-career Bay Area artists and collectives into the Museums’ permanent collection. Crafting Radicality unites the works of 12 of those artists who are reconfiguring the hierarchies of the past and the material processes of art-making. Within a framework of craft, Sadie Barnette, Demetri Broxton, Sydney Cain, Woody De Othello, Kota Ezawa, Angela Hennessy, Liz Hernandez, David Huffman, Koak, Rashaad Newsome, Ramekon O’Arwisters, and Muzae Sesay open a dialogue about the critical importance of artistic reclamation of both materiality and meaning, approaching art-making as a form of resistance.

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Drawing the Line
Legion of Honor
August 5, 2023–February 25, 2024

Drawn entirely from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s extensive holdings of works on paper at the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Drawing the Line presents a selection of drawings united by a common formal thread: the outline. Through an array of rarely seen works and masterpieces by beloved artists from five centuries, this selection traces a journey of the technical and expressive possibilities of the line, from sinuous figure studies by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Pablo Picasso, and Ruth Asawa, to the minimalist and functional outline drawings by Jusepe de Ribera, Andy Warhol, and Michelangelo. Drawing the Line is designed to dialogue with the work of Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, hailed as “the master of the line,” whose drawings will be presented later in the Legion of Honor exhibition Botticelli Drawings.

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The de Young Open 2023
de Young 
September 30, 2023–January 7, 2024

The de Young Open returns this year as a newly established triennial, once again celebrating the diverse talents and unique spirit of the Bay Area arts community at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The only exhibition of its kind at a major US museum, The de Young Open is an open call to artists from the nine Bay Area counties, composed entirely of submissions juried anonymously by Museums’ curators and four established local artists. The 2020 pilot presentation drew nearly 12,000 applications and saw more than 800 artworks installed in the de Young’s largest galleries, in what one participant called “a giant love letter to the people of the Bay Area.” Now a Fine Arts Museums tradition, The de Young Open continues to amplify the voices and visions of those who are rooted locally and thinking globally, about art and the world around us. 

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Contemporary Indigenous Voices of California’s South Coast Range
de Young 
October 7, 2023–January 7, 2024

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and California Native American Day, the de Young will present a special exhibition featuring photographic portraits by Kirti Bassendine of Indigenous community members from the South Coast Range (from the San Francisco Peninsula south through the Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey Bay, and lower Salinan Valley). The images are accompanied by powerful personal statements from Native community members calling attention to cultural connections to the land and ecology in the region, land rematriation, and concerns and responses to climate change. Bassendine’s ability to bring together so many Indigenous community member voices to share perspectives creates a singular experience for audience engagement, blending still photography, videography, and biography to tell cultural stories. Supported and partly funded by California Humanities and organized in consultation with the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, in collaboration with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, the Confederated Villages of Lisjan, Esselen Tribe of Monterey County, Indian Canyon Chualar Tribe of the Costanoan-Ohlone People, Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area, Tamien Nation, the Salinan Tribe of San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties, and the Salinan T'rowt'raahl tribal community.

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Botticelli Drawings
Legion of Honor
November 19, 2023–February 11, 2024

A quintessential artist of the Italian Renaissance, Sandro Botticelli has had an enduring influence on contemporary culture, from art and design, to dance, music, fashion and film. He was also an expert draftsman, whose drawings underlie and animate his greatest compositions. Although key to his continued relevance and popularity, there has been no major exhibition dedicated to Botticelli’s art of drawing—until now. Bringing together nearly 60 works from 42 lending institutions across the United States and Europe, Botticelli Drawings is the first to explore the central role that draftsmanship played in the artist’s practice. Anchored by extensive research, the exhibition unveils several newly attributed drawings alongside the majority of Botticelli’s surviving graphic output and key paintings, offering a rare opportunity to explore the artistic process behind some of the world’s most beloved masterworks.

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Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style
de Young
January 20–August 11, 2024

From bohemian styles to elegant evening wear, San Franciscans use fashion as a form of personal expression, inspired by the city’s location on the Pacific Rim and its inclusive mindset. Spanning a century of high fashion and haute couture worn by Bay Area women, the exhibition Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style at the de Young museum will examine the role of style as a marker of social identity. The Fine Arts Museums are home to one of the most significant collections of 20th- and 21st- century women’s costumes in the United States. Fashioning San Francisco will be drawn from the Museums’ exceptional costume holdings, presenting the work of more than 50 fashion designers, from Balmain to Miyake, Valentino to McQueen, with the majority of ensembles on view for the very first time. Fashioning San Francisco will be the first exhibition to share a richness of works from the costume collection in more than 35 years, exploring how women’s fashions have molded, and been molded by, the city of San Francisco. 

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Lee Mingwei: Rituals of Care 
de Young 
February 17–July 7, 2024

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to present Lee Mingwei: Rituals of Care, the first US museum exhibition of works by one of the most prominent Taiwanese American artists today. Rituals of Care features six projects by Bay Area–raised and educated Lee Mingwei created between 1995 and 2020, placing the visitor at the center of radical acts of generosity and immersing audiences in an intimate experience of reflection and exchange. Inspired by the artist’s personal experiences and recent world events that continue to resonate—such as the loss of his maternal grandmother, the attack on the World Trade Center, the US invasion of Iraq, the fatal illness of his mother, or the global COVID-19 pandemic—Lee’s work asks how art can serve as a conduit for human connection and emotional healing in a social environment defined by so much trauma and loss. Transforming ordinary gestures like writing and sweeping, mending, or breathing into rituals of engagement, Lee encourages us to find beauty, solace, and strength in the small acts that define everyday existence. Rituals of Care invites visitors to engage with installations in the de Young’s free public spaces as well as its galleries dedicated to art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Zuan-cho: Kimono Design in Modern Japan (1868–1912)
Legion of Honor,
March 30–August 25, 2024

A companion exhibition to Japanese Prints in Transition, Zuan-cho: Kimono Design in Modern Japan (1868–1912) features a selection of books containing color woodcuts of kimono textile designs. Called zuan-cho in Japanese, these books were used to communicate ideas between kimono dealers and their clients, as well as with craftspeople collaborators. Drawn primarily from the Museums’ permanent collection, and on view in the Logan Gallery of Illustrated Books, the presentation includes the work of Furuya Korin (1875–1910), a Kyoto artist whose modern designs featured abstract and geometric forms.

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Irving Penn
de Young
March 16–July 21, 2024

Irving Penn is widely recognized as one of the 20th century’s greatest photographers, renowned for his pared-down aesthetic and exemplary printmaking. Vogue’s longest-standing contributor, Penn revolutionized fashion photography in the postwar period, using neutral backgrounds to emphasize models’ character through gesture and expression. Although best known as a portrait and still life photographer, Penn would create a diverse body of work across his nearly 70-year career. Organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and presented exclusively on the West Coast at the de Young, Irving Penn represents every period of the artist’s dynamic career behind the camera. Featuring 196 photographs, the exhibition spans his early documentary scenes and portraits of cultural luminaries, celebrities, and workers with the tools of their trades to abstract nudes and fashion studies. A special section is devoted to portraits of hippies, Hells Angels, and local rock bands The Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company that Penn made in San Francisco during the Summer of Love.

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Japanese Prints in Transition: From the Floating World to the Modern World
Legion of Honor
April 6–August 18, 2024

Presenting a richer picture of the history and breadth of the medium, Japanese Prints in Transition is the first US exhibition to trace the artistic development of 18th-century ukiyo-e (or “floating world pictures”) of metropolitan amusements to the brightly colored woodblock prints of the imperial Meiji era, following the ouster of the shogun in 1868. Reflecting the new government’s vision of modernity, including increased interaction with other nations, these later prints would prominently feature Western architecture, technology, and fashion—an artistic exchange that was reciprocal. More than 140 works are drawn from the Fine Arts Museums’ Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, which houses one of the most significant collections of Japanese prints among US art museums. The exhibition presents a rare opportunity to view these prints, including Katsushika Hokusai’s iconic work The Great Wave (1830) and Utagawa Hiroshige’s brilliant One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (1856–1858) series, as their extreme light sensitivity precludes frequent public display.

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Current Exhibitions at the de Young

Ansel Adams in Our Time
Through August 6, 2023

Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence
Through October 15, 2023

Lhola Amira: Facing the Future
Through December 3, 2023

Nampeyo and the Sikyátki Revival
Through September 15, 2024

Current Exhibitions at the Legion of Honor

The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England
Through September 23, 2023 

Bookworks: Ten Years of Acquisitions 
Through July 29, 2023

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Together, the de Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park make up the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the largest public arts institution in the city and one of the largest in the United States. Both are located on the land of the Ramaytush Ohlone, the original inhabitants of the San Francisco Peninsula. 

Opened in 1895, the de Young is home to American art from the 17th century through today; textile arts and costumes; African art; Oceanic art; arts of the Americas, and international contemporary art. Opened in 1924, the Legion of Honor presents European painting; sculpture; and decorative arts; ancient art; works on paper; and contemporary art.