Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco without Men

Duration : about 3 minutes per track

Ruth Asawa sculptures at de Young museum

Ruth Asawa installation, de Young museum ©️ Ruth Asawa Lanier, Inc. / Courtesy David Zwirner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Listen to a playlist featuring artworks by women at the de Young and Legion of Honor.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco without Men features artworks by women from our collections at the de Young and Legion of Honor. Listen to the playlist to encounter a giant beaded tapestry by contemporary artist Bisa Butler, a watercolor-like print by Impressionist Mary Cassatt, intricate wire sculptures from the largest collection of works by Ruth Asawa, and more.

This audio guide is the first in the series Museums without Men by art historian and podcaster Katy Hessel, highlighting women and gender nonconforming artists in the collections of museums across the globe. 

About Katy Hessel

Katy Hessel is an art historian, author, curator, and broadcaster. The Museums without Men series is a continuation of her work on The Great Women Artists Podcast and Instagram account (@thegreatwomenartists), and follows the publication of her bestselling debut book, The Story of Art Without Men (2022 UK; 2023 US).

Thank yous

Written and presented by
Katy Hessel

FAMSF curatorial support
Emma Acker
Emily Beeny
Tim Burgard
Laura Camerlengo
Jeffrey Fraiman
Isabella Holland
Isabella Lores-Chavez
Sarah Mackay
Hillary Olcott
Lauren Palmor
Furio Rinaldi

FAMSF production team
Patricia Buffa
Abram Jackson
Magnolia Molcan 
Lexi Paulson
Sheila Pressley
Antonia Smith

Audio production and editing

Nada Smiljanic

Featured works

Ruth Asawa installation at the de Young museum

Ruth Asawa installation, de Young. Photograph by Henrik Kam ©️ Ruth Asawa Lanier, Inc. / Courtesy David Zwirner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Painting of Psyche saying goodbye to her family by Marie-Guillemine Benoist

Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Psyche Bidding Her Family Farewell, 1791. Oil on canvas, 43 3/4 x 57 1/8 in. (111 x 145 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn; Phoebe Cowles and Robert Girard; Margaret and William R. Hearst III; Diane B. Wilsey; Barbara A. Wolfe; The Jay and Clara McEvoy Trust; The Michael Taylor Trust; The Margaret Oakes Endowment Income Fund; The Harris Family; Ariane and Lionel Sauvage; and an anonymous donor, 2022.2

Textile art of a man with an afro in a suit by Bisa Butler

Bisa Butler, All Power To The People (after Man with Afro, San Francisco, California, by Leon A. Borensztein)2023. Printed cotton, printed synthetic, synthetic lamé, cotton velvet, synthetic net, vinyl; quilted and appliquéd, 114 x 67 in. (289.561 x 170.18 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Textile Art Trust Fund and donations from Bettina S. Bryant, Joyce Dostale, and other textile arts supporters

Aquatint of a women bathing by Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt, Woman Bathing (La Toilette), 1890–91. Color aquatint and drypoint, 14 3/8 x 10 1/2 in. (36.5 x 26.6 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts Endowment Fund and William H. Noble Bequest Fund, 1980.1.8

Sculpture of a woman stepping forward by Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett, Stepping Out, 2000. Laminated mahogany, 64 1/2 x 21 x 17 1/2 in. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, The Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Art Fund, Inc., Beta Upsilon Boulé - Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, The Links, Incorporated - San Francisco Chapter, Fine Arts Museums Tribute Funds, Ms. Del M. Anderson and Mr. John Handy, Mrs. Marguerite Archer, Rena Merritt Bancroft, PhD; Ms. Jo-Ann Beverly, Rev. “J” Edgar Boyd, Mrs. Mary Pat Cress, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Geist, Maxwell C. and Frankie Jacobs Gillette, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Johnson, Jr.; Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lathan, Mr. and Mrs. Terry E. Perucca and Dr. Alma Ribbs, 1999.199 ©️ Catlett Mora Family Trust / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Sculpture of a woman by a fireside by Camille Claudel

Camille Claudel, Rêve au coin du feu (Dreaming by the Fireside), 1899. Marble, 8 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (22.2 x 31.8 x 24.8 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Gift of Marie-Joséphe de Touzalin Dunaway, 2018.88

Drawing of fantastical ballet dancers by Leonor Fini

Leonor Fini, Costume designs for the ballet Le Rêve de Léonor (recto), 1949. Gouache and pen and ink on green paper (recto); Gouache and pen and ink and graphite on paper, 12 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. (31.115 x 23.495 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts Fund and Prints and Drawings Fund, 2023.45a ©️ 2024 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Abstract soak-stain painting by Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler, Crusades, 1976. Acrylic on canvas, Object: 108 1/4 x 60 1/16 in. (275 x 152.6 cm); Frame: 109 1/4 x 61 3/4 x 2 in. (277.5 x 156.8 x 5.1 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Bequest of Susan Euphrat, 2014.55 ©️ Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Drawing of a young girl by Tamara de Lempicka

Tamara de Lempicka, Étude pour une jeune fille dessinant (study for Young Girl Drawing), 1932. Graphite on paper, 12 13/16 x 9 1/8 in. (32.544 x 23.178 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Lisa Sardegna and David Carrillo, Phoebe Cowles and Robert Girard, and Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts Endowment Fund, 2022.10 ©️ 2024 Tamara de Lempicka Estate, LLC / ADAGP, Paris / ARS, NY

Sculpture made of recycled materials (boxes, banister, etc) by Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson, Sky Cathedrals Presence I, 1959–1962. Painted wood and found objects, 107 x 120 1/8 x 21 1/2 in. (271.8 x 305.1 x 54.6 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Foundation purchase, Phyllis C. Watts Fund for Major Accessions, 2017.50 ©️ Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Abstract painting by Mary Lovelace O'Neal with two large red panthers in the foreground

Mary Lovelace O’Neal, Driskell’s Red Dogs, aka I Live in a Black Marble Palace with Black Panthers and White Doves #8, ca. 1990. Mixed media on canvas, 81 x 138 in. (205.74 x 350.521 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions, 2022.35. Photograph of installation at the de Young museum, 2023

Androgynous human figure with an antenna

Rose B. Simpson, Heights I, 2022. Patinated bronze, 85 x 16 x 9 1/2 in. (215.9 x 40.64 x 24.13 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions (AOA), 2023.11

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