two people looking at an artwork in the Legion of Honor

Installation view of Color into Line: Pastels from the Renaissance to the Present, Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 2021. Photograph by Gary Sexton, courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts guidelines for class visits

I. Scheduling

  • Instructors must send an email to requesting a visit by January 15 (spring semester), May 15 (summer session), August 15 (fall semester); advanced undergraduate and graduate courses that will benefit most from in-person viewing of the collection will receive priority until all available spots are filled.  
  • Due to high demand, instructors may only bring one class per semester.  
  • Classes may not exceed 18 individuals total.  
  • Appointments are available on Tuesdays or Fridays, 10 am to 4 pm. They are scheduled subject to staff availability. Weekend and evening classes cannot be accommodated.  
  • Classes typically last one hour to one-and-a-half hours. Instructors must indicate duration and must not exceed this limit.  
  • The Study Center closes promptly at 4 pm. 

II. Preparing for class visits

  • The instructor must provide the projected number of students in the class in their initial visit request and confirm the number expected to attend at least two weeks prior to the visit.  
  • The instructor must provide a list of no more than 15 works on paper to view when they send their visit request. Please use FAMSF’s Art finder to select artworks you wish to see.  
  • Everything on the list is subject to curatorial approval. Artworks that are oversize, unavailable, framed, or fragile may not be viewable. In these cases, a substitute of a similar work may be offered.  
  • If instructors have a preference as to the order in which works are arranged, they will need to indicate this in their email. 

III. During class visit

  • The instructor will wait at the entrance to the Legion of Honor, 100 34th Avenue, to greet the class.  
  • Only once the entire class is assembled should the instructor check in with the admissions desk (who will call an Achenbach staff member).  
  • Visitors will be asked to leave all bags in a secure space adjacent to the Study Room prior to entrance. Small notebooks, paper, pencils, and cameras are the only items permitted in the Study Center. Visitors should bring their own supplies. Photography without flash is permitted.   
  • No beverages, food, or gum are allowed in the Study Room.  
  • No one may touch works of art without prior permission.  
  • To prevent damaging the artwork, students should sit on chairs, when available, or to stand without resting on the tables and ledges. When leaning over to look closely at artworks, please prevent necklaces, hair, etc. from falling onto the works.  
  • FAMSF docents will be on hand to monitor visits, but it is the expectation that instructors will provide the content of the class.