SAN FRANCISCO – The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to share a preview of exhibitions opening in 2023 at the de Young and Legion of Honor museums.
Sargent and Spain
Legion of Honor
February 11–May 14, 2023
Sargent and Spain is the first exhibition to explore the influence of Spanish culture on the dynamic visual practice of the American expatriate artist John Singer Sargent (1856–1925). Celebrated as the leading society portraitist of his era, John Singer Sargent influenced a generation of American painters. His captivation with Spain, which developed over the course of seven visits taken from 1879 to 1912, resulted in a remarkable body of work. The exhibition will present an array of Sargent’s dazzling oils, watercolors, drawings, and never-before-exhibited photographs from his personal collection, which highlight Spain’s rich culture (both historic and modern), its people, and its magnificent urban and rural landscapes. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Sargent and Spain will be on view at the Legion of Honor museum, the exclusive West Coast venue for this exhibition.
Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence
de Young museum
March 18–October 15, 2023
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are honored to host the US premiere of Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence, a new, monumental body of work created against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and the worldwide rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Expanding upon American artist Kehinde Wiley’s Down series from 2008, and inspired by Hans Holbein the Younger’s The Dead Christ in the Tomb (1521–1522), the exhibition meditates on the deaths of young Black people slain all over the world. Holbein’s painting triggered an ongoing investigation into the iconography of the fallen and recumbent figure in Western art, which Wiley reconceptualized into paintings and sculptures in a range of states, including struck down, wounded, dead, resting, in ecstasy, or an ambiguous combination thereof. These works stand as elegies and monuments, underscoring the fraught terms in which Black bodies are rendered visible, especially when at the hands of systemic violence.
Ansel Adams in Our Time
de Young museum
April 8–July 23, 2023
A self-described “California photographer,” Ansel Adams had his first museum exhibition at the de Young in 1932. In a San Francisco homecoming, more than 100 of his most iconic works are on view in Ansel Adams in Our Time alongside those of 23 contemporary artists who share his deep concern for the environment, Catherine Opie, Richard Misrach, Trevor Paglen, and Binh Danh among them. An unremitting activist for conservation and wilderness preservation in the spirit of his 19th-century predecessors, Adams is today beloved for his lush gelatin silver prints of the national parks. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in partnership with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Ansel Adams in Our Time is enhanced at the de Young by the addition of works from the Museums’ permanent collection and new interpretive framing that explores Adams’ close connection to the Bay Area and the state of California more broadly.
The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England
Legion of Honor
June 24–September 24, 2023
From King Henry VII’s usurpation of the English throne in 1485, to the death of his granddaughter Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, the Tudor monarchs used art to legitimize their reigns. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are proud to present The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England, the first major exhibition in the United States of portraiture and decorative arts of the Tudor courts. Organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cleveland Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Legion of Honor will be the exclusive West Coast venue of the exhibition presenting paintings, tapestries, sculpture, metalwork, and manuscripts drawn from numerous collections in Europe and North America, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England will examine the Tudors’ use of art to project an image of regal splendor and authority.
Bouke de Vries: Memories in Porcelain
Legion of Honor
July 22, 2023–March 24, 2024
Trained as a porcelain restorer, London-based Dutch artist Bouke de Vries uses broken ceramic shards, as well as glass and other materials, to create imaginative works of sculpture. Bouke de Vries: Memories in Porcelain at the Legion of Honor will feature eight works commissioned by the Fine Arts Museums. These pieces respond to the history of San Francisco, including the devastating earthquake of 1906, and complement the Fine Arts Museums’ extensive collection of European ceramics in the Bowles Porcelain Gallery. These include a number of De Vries’s distinctive “memory vessels,” in which the original shapes of broken ceramic vessels are re-created in glass to house the shards. Created with fragments of broken European and Asian ceramic pieces, De Vries’s contemporary sculptures capture what the artist describes as the “beauty of destruction,” challenging our notions of perfection and worth by finding new potential in that which is broken.
The de Young Open
de Young museum
September 30, 2023–January 2024
Calling all Bay Area artists! The immensely popular exhibition The de Young Open returns this year as a newly recurring triennial, featuring artworks from the region's diverse creative communities. For this presentation juried by four established artists from the area, as well as Fine Arts Museums curators, we invite submissions from artists who currently live in the nine Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Installed salon-style, the 2020 iteration of The de Young Open filled the museum's 12,000-square-foot Herbst Exhibition Galleries with 877 works by 762 artists. All proceeds from artwork sales, then and now, go directly to the artists. In 2023, the application period is June 5 to June 18. We look forward to seeing your submissions and to once again celebrating the creativity of Bay Area artists with this exhibition dedicated exclusively to their work.
Legion of Honor
November 18, 2023–February 11, 2024
A quintessential artist of the Italian Renaissance, Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi—better known as Sandro Botticelli—has had an enduring influence on contemporary culture, from art and design to dance, music, fashion, and film. An expert draftsman, Botticelli created drawings that 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 exhibition 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 works from the Galleria degli Uffizi, Musée du Louvre, and other museums that have never before left their lending institutions. Pairing Botticelli’s graphic output as a whole with key paintings, Botticelli Drawings offers a rare opportunity to explore the artistic process behind some of the world’s most beloved masterworks.
Current Exhibitions at the de Young
Hung Liu: Golden Gate (金門)
Through February 5, 2023
Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs
Through February 12, 2023
Richard Diebenkorn in Color at Crown Point Press
Through February 26, 2023
To Teach and Inspire: The Julia Brenner Textile Collection
Through July 9, 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
Michelle Erickson: Wild Porcelain
Through April 2, 2023
Paperworks: Fifteen Years of Acquisitions
Through June 25, 2023
Bookworks: Ten Years of Acquisitions
Through June 25, 2023
About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.
The de Young museum originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in 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 Legion of Honor museum was modeled after the neoclassical Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris. The museum, designed by George Applegarth, opened in 1924 on a bluff in Lincoln Park overlooking the Golden Gate. It offers unique insight into the art historical, political, and social movements of the previous 4,000 years of human history, with holdings including ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; and the largest collection of works on paper in the western United States.
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 communities.