​​The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Announce 2022 Exhibitions

Feb 9, 2022

Two painted portraits, one of man seated in chair in front of foliage, one of woman seated in printed dress

Kehinde Wiley, Barack Obama, 2018. Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution © 2018 Kehinde Wiley. The National Portrait Gallery is grateful to all of the generous donors who made these commissions possible and proudly recognizes them at npg.si.edu/obamaportraitstour.

Amy Sherald, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, 2018. Oil on linen. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The National Portrait Gallery is grateful to all of the generous donors who made these commissions possible and proudly recognizes them at npg.si.edu/obamaportraitstour.

SAN FRANCISCO—The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to share a preview of exhibitions opening in 2022 at the de Young and Legion of Honor museums. Although we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, the dates listed below may change due to circumstances caused by COVID-19. Please check with the press office for the most current information.

Benoit Éditeur
March 12–July 17, 2022
Legion of Honor

Benoit Éditeur presents thirteen illustrated books Pablo Picasso produced with the atelier of Pierre André Benoit of Alès, France, between 1957 and 1967. Both artists were prolific, valuing how a spontaneous approach to art making can capture emotion with immediacy and clarity of vision. Many of the rarely seen titles incorporate unconventional formats and materials, including miniatures, a binding with frog skins, and a device for creating interactive poetry conceived by poet Tristan Tzara. The exhibition also includes two PAB books illustrated by artist Jesse Reichek (1916–2005), who taught design at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1953 to 1986.

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Alice Neel: People Come First
March 12–July 10, 2022
de Young

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are proud to present the first comprehensive museum survey of work by American artist Alice Neel (1900–1984) on the West Coast. This retrospective positions Neel as one of the 20th century’s most radical painters—one who championed social justice and held a long-standing commitment to humanist principles that inspired both her art and her life. Featuring a multitude of Neel’s paintings, drawings, and watercolors, as well as a rarely seen film—unique to the de Young’s presentation—the de Young museum will be the only West Coast venue for this revolutionary exhibition.

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Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy
April 16–September 5, 2022

Legion of Honor

Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy celebrates the extraordinary designs of Guo Pei—hailed as China’s first couturier—and includes more than 80 works from the past two decades, highlighting her most important collections shown on Beijing and Paris runways. Through exquisite craftsmanship, lavish embroidery, and unconventional dressmaking techniques, Guo Pei creates a fantasy that fuses the influences of China’s imperial past, decorative arts, European architecture, and the botanical world. Through her extraordinary fashions, the exhibition reveals the trajectory of Guo Pei’s career as remarkable yet emblematic of China’s emergence as a leader in the fashion world in the early twenty-first century.

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The Obama Portraits Tour
June 18–August 14, 2022

de Young

Marking the first anniversary of the national tour organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, The Obama Portraits exhibition arrives at the de Young this summer for its San Francisco debut. Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald’s portraits of former president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are heralded for their exceptional aesthetic originality. The first Black artists commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint official portraits of a president and First Lady, Wiley and Sherald have throughout their careers consistently addressed the lacunae of Black representation in Western art history, using portraiture to explore complex issues of identity that transcend the individual pictured. The works in The Obama Portraits are rendered in their signature styles, capturing the sense of possibility and hope that the Obamas inspire the world over, and are presented here alongside a video in which the curator and artists discuss the portraits’ historical significance.

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Faith Ringgold: American People
July 16–November 27, 2022
de Young

Faith Ringgold: American People will make its West Coast debut at the de Young museum, bringing together over 60 years of work in the most comprehensive exhibition to date of artist Faith Ringgold’s groundbreaking vision. This exhibition traces the development of Ringgold’s figurative style and thematic vision as she evolved and expanded her practice to meet the urgency of the political and social changes taking place in America during her lifetime. From creating some of the most indelible artworks of the civil rights era to challenging accepted hierarchies of art versus craft through her experimental story quilts, Faith Ringgold’s body of work bears witness to the complexity of the American experience. Long overdue, this retrospective provides a timely opportunity to engage with the art of an American icon.

Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs
August 20, 2022–February 12, 2023
de Young

Ramses II was the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty in Egypt and is regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom—Egypt’s Golden Age—when it was a wealthy and powerful empire. The multisensory exhibition is filled with exquisite sculptures and objects related to this pharaoh, who was not only worshipped as a god during his lifetime but was venerated far into the future. Within the exhibition, there is a dazzling display of gold jewelry and other objects that demonstrate the fabulous wealth of the pharaohs, the extravagance and the luxuriousness of their tombs, and the superb workmanship of Egyptian artists.

Japanese Prints in Transition: From the Floating World to the Modern World
October 22, 2022–January 1, 2023

Legion of Honor

Presenting a fuller picture of the rich history of Japanese prints, Japanese Prints in Transition is the first US exhibition to encompass the artistic breadth of both Tokugawa- and Meiji-era artistic traditions. The presentation will trace the aesthetic development of color woodcuts from 18th-century ukiyo-e (or “floating world pictures”) of metropolitan amusements—featuring actors, geisha, and, later, scenic landscapes—to the brightly colored woodblock prints popularized during the imperial Meiji era, following the ouster of the shogun in 1868. These later prints reflected the new government’s vision of modernity, including interaction with other nations, with Western architecture, technology, and fashion prominently displayed. The more than 140 works in Japanese Prints in Transition 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), as their extreme light sensitivity precludes frequent public display.

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Additional Exhibitions at the de Young

Jules Tavernier and the Elem Pomo
Through April 17, 2022

Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love
Through April 24, 2022

Bouquets to Art 2022
June 7–12, 2021

Hung Liu: Golden Gate (金門)
Through August 7, 2022

To Teach and Inspire: The Collection of Julia Brenner
Through October 30, 2022

Nampeyo and the Sikyátki Revival
Through February 26, 2023

Additional Exhibitions at the Legion of Honor

Color into Line: Pastels from the Renaissance to the Present
Through February 13, 2022

Borderless: Artist’s Books by Enrique Chagoya
Through March 6, 2022

Michelle Erickson: Wild Porcelain
Through November 20, 2022

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco oversee the de Young museum, located in Golden Gate Park, and the Legion of Honor, in Lincoln Park. It is the largest public arts institution in San Francisco, and one of the most visited arts institutions in the United States.

The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park and was established as the Memorial Museum in 1895. It was later renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, who spearheaded its creation. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in October 2005. Reflecting an active conversation among cultures, perspectives, and time periods, the collections on view include American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco respectfully acknowledge the Ramaytush Ohlone, the original inhabitants of what is now the San Francisco Peninsula, and acknowledge that the greater Bay Area is the ancestral territory of the Miwok, Yokuts, Patwin, and other Ohlone. Indigenous communities have lived in and moved through this place over hundreds of generations, and Indigenous peoples from many nations make their home in this region today. Please join us in recognizing and honoring their ancestors, descendants, elders, and their communities.