San Francisco buzzes over new de Young museum
Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
Even if with a controversial architecture, I think the de Young will
give a new impulse to the African Art in California, and be a new
attraction and extra reason for tourists to visit San Fransico .
African art curator Kathleen Berrin kberrin
Founded in 1895 in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the de Young
Museum has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and a
cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors to the region
for over 100 years.
On October 15, 2005, the de Young Museum will re-open in a
state-of-the-art new facility that integrates art, architecture and the natural
landscape in one multi-faceted destination that will inspire audiences from
around the world.
Designed by the renowned Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and
Fong & Chan Architects in San Francisco, the new de Young will provide San
Francisco with a landmark art museum to showcase the museum’s priceless
collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and art of
the native Americas, Africa, and the Pacific.
de Young Grand Opening
The Grand Opening of the new de Young is on October 15, 2005. Opening
ceremonies start at 10 a.m., and the museum will be open continuously from NOON
on Saturday, October 15, through 5 p.m. Sunday, October 16. Admission is
Young African Art
The de Young's African art collection
features work from many areas of sub-Saharan Africa, and showcases
some of the oldest and most diverse traditions in art. This
collection is growing rapidly, and the addition of stellar pieces
like a terracotta Yoruba lidded pot from Nigeria, a power figure
from Zaire and a Makonde helmet mask from Mozambique are enhancing
the de Young's reputation in this area.
By Michael Kahn Sat Oct 15, 7:58 AM ET Reuters found on http://news.yahoo.com
San Francisco may finally have built its own masterpiece of modern architecture -- a towering $200 million copper-clad
museum near the Golden Gate bridge.
That would mark a big development in a city known for hilly Victorian neighborhoods and historic cable cars and where residents have long focused on preservation rather than embracing the kind of modern architecture symbolized by the new de Young museum, its supporters say.
So far, the de Young, which opens on Saturday, has struck the chord its backers had sought with critics hailing it as a "museum for the 21st century" and a "notch below perfection.
Sitting in Golden Gate Park, the three-level museum features a gently twisting tower that rises above the main building. The renowned Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron sought to make the museum unique to San Francisco and its famously fickle weather by designing a structure that incorporates, rather than dominates, the park's constantly shifting natural surroundings, said Deborah Frieden, the museum's project director.
"Unlike cities like Paris and New York, San Francisco has not paid attention enough to the great architectural accomplishments of its time," Frieden said. "This is the first great statement."
The building's copper skin mimics filtered light through a canopy of trees to create an abstract pattern that will turn to green over time due to exposure to the sun, rain and fog. From afar, the building seems to fit snugly into the surrounding landscape.
Inside, visitors flow through different wings that bend and come together to give the museum an organic feel that is reinforced with plenty of natural and artificial light.
"The architects wanted the building to have certain qualities of the natural landscape that are constantly changing," Frieden said. "In different lights, for example, the skin has different qualities. It changes with the sunlight. It changes with the fog."
Turning the de Young into a cultural cornerstone for San Francisco has not been easy. The original de Young, which was built in the park for the California Midwinter International Exposition in 1894, was closed about five years after the city said the slapped-on braces strengthening it after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake were insufficient.
A cash-strapped City Hall had no money to repair the original and voters twice rejected bond proposals to pay for a new one, putting at risk the museum's future. Finally, supporters raised about $200 million on their own and the original de Young was demolished to make way for the new one.
Not everyone welcomed the new design. Some critics thought it was too tall. Others worried the nearly 300,000 square-foot building would dominate the landscape and upset the tranquillity of Golden Gate Park. Some simply thought it was too weird.
"The de Young is for better or worse a watershed in terms of San Francisco and the Bay Area being confronted with contemporary architecture," said John King, an architecture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle.
"This is a building that is very much in the vanguard of how some of the world's most creative and innovative architects are exploring the shape and form of a building and the materials that are used," he said.
Frieden said excitement surrounding the museum is spurring many collectors to donate art to the de Young, which houses American, Pacific Islander and African art.
read also : De Young and the old
New Guinea claims the San Francisco museum doesn't have a right to items
in an exquisite collection. It adds a twist in the debate over cultural
The De Young reopened in October with Marcia and John
Friede’s collection of Papoua
New Guinea art put on display upstairs.
African masks from Known Collections
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