Black Power, Black Art at the de Young Museum
In a city such as ours, known for its fog, its grey sky, and its frequent bursts of rain, visitors and residents alike can sometimes find their daily plans challenged. What to do if an afternoon at Golden Gate Park or walking around Fisherman’s Wharf becomes soaked with a chilly drizzle of rain? Fortunately, San Francisco is not only well-known for its outdoor activities and sights. In fact, some of the most entertaining and renowned museums in the country exist in our city, just waiting for you to decide to forgo the outdoors in favor of a more climate-controlled environment!
Choosing the best museums in the city is absolutely not possible. There are simply too many excellent collections and locations to choose from! Instead, we are going to discuss a number of different museums over the course of numerous posts, giving you the chance to decide for yourself which you would like to visit.
One of the oldest museums in the City is the M.H de Young Memorial Museum. Founded as an offshoot of the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, the museum, most commonly referred to as the de Young, is one of the nation’s top fine arts museums. With its focus on American art created between the 17th and 21st centuries, the permanent collection of the de Young still boasts of stunning artifacts well beyond this scope, such as costumes and textiles from the Pacific and Africa as well as international contemporary art.
Currently on special exhibit at the de Young is an exhibition created by the Tate Modern in London which focuses specifically on art created by Black artists between 1963 and 1983. Between these years, issues of race, national identity, and revolution became increasingly key points of reflection, and artists who bloomed during this period displayed astonishing levels of passion for the convergence of the art and activist worlds.
At the de Young, the Tate Modern’s exhibit will be given an added focus on Black artists working in San Francisco during this time, with special attention played to the role of the Black Power movement throughout the Bay Area.
The de Young museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30am until 5:15pm. The exhibit Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 will run now through March 15th of 2020.