de Young Museum is in Golden Gate Park at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr. at jct. John F. Kennedy Dr., following signs. It houses an outstanding collection of art from the Americas, Africa, New Guinea and Oceania. Art in America to the 20th Century, on the upper level, displays paintings, sculpture, furniture and decorative arts in spacious, high-ceilinged galleries. Among the masterpieces here are Albert Bierstadt's “California Spring,” which portrays a peacefully bucolic scene of cows grazing in a field contrasted with the fury of an approaching thunderstorm, and George Caleb Bingham's idyllic “Boatmen on the Missouri.”
The Art of New Guinea features beautifully displayed shields, ceremonial masks and carved wooden figures. Also among the de Young's more than 2,000 works are displays of 20th-century and contemporary art; Native American, Central American and South American art; Maori sculptures; textiles and costumes; photography; and murals. Major special exhibitions are presented regularly.
A highlight is the indoor observation deck at the top of the Hamon Tower. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls from this ninth-floor perspective offer great views, including a peek at San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. You can access the tower without paying the museum admission by following signs from the main entrance on the concourse level. Docent-led tours generally meet in Wilsey Court on the concourse level; rentals for self-paced audio tours are available near the main entrance.
Guided tours are available.
$10; $7 (ages 65+); $6 (ages 13-17 and college students with ID); free (first Tues. of the month; special exhibition fees still apply). An additional fee is charged for some special exhibitions. Parking: $4.50 per hour (Mon.-Fri.), $5 per hour (Sat.-Sun.) in the Music Concourse Garage.
Hours: Tues.-Sun. 9:30-5:15 (also Fri. 5:15-8:45, Apr.-Nov.). Last admission 1 hour before closing. Tower closes 45 minutes before museum. Closed Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.