Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Announce Plans for 2011 – Lots Coming from the de Young and Legion Museums

See you after the jump for all the deets.

“San Francisco, January 2011––John E. Buchanan, Jr., the director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, announces a diverse roster of upcoming exhibitions in 2011 at the de Young and Legion of Honor.  Dates are subject to change. For access to the most current schedule of exhibitions, please consult the FAMSF website”

And here’s a sneak peek:

Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Dora Maar, 1937, Oil on canvas, Musée National Picasso, Paris, Photo: Jean-Gilles Berizzi/Réunion des Musée Nationaux/Art Resource, New York, © 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

All the deets:

Major Exhibitions at the de Young

Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico

February 19–May 8, 2011

de Young

Considered the “mother culture” of Mesoamerica and recognized as America’s oldest civilization, the people known today as the Olmec developed an iconic and sophisticated artistic style as early as the second millennium BC.  The Olmec are best known for the creation of colossal heads carved from giant boulders that have fascinated the public and archaeologists alike since they were discovered in the mid-19th century.  The monumental heads remain among ancient America’s most awe-inspiring and beautiful masterpieces today.  Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico, featuring over 100 objects drawn primarily from Mexican national collections with additional loans from over 25 museums, is presented at the de Young Museum.  Included in the exhibition are colossal heads, large-scale thrones, and monumental stelae in addition to precious small-scale vessels, figures, adornments, and masks.  Olmec brings together for the first time new finds and monuments that have never been seen by American audiences and reveals new scholarship on Olmec culture and artifacts.

Balenciaga and Spain

March 26–July 4, 2011

de Young

Balenciaga and Spain examines the profound and enduring influence of Spain on the work of haute couture master Cristóbal Balenciaga.  The impact of Spanish culture, history, and traditions is explored through the recurring themes in Balenciaga’s oeuvre and organized in the exhibition in six sections: Spanish Art, Regional Dress, The Spanish Court, Religious Life and Ceremony, the Bullfight, and Dance.  Hamish Bowles, the European editor at large for Vogue will serve as guest curator.  Objects are drawn from museum and private collections in France, Spain and the United States, including the FAMSF collection.

Picasso from Musée National Picasso, Paris

June 11–September 25, 2011

de Young

The de Young hosts an extraordinary exhibition of more than 100 masterpieces by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso from the permanent collection of Paris’ world-renowned Musée National Picasso. The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, made possible only because of the temporary closure of the Musée Picasso until 2012 for extensive renovations, comprises paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints drawn from every phase of the artist’s career.  The works on view demonstrate the wide range of artistic styles and forms that the artist mastered, including: La Celestine (1904), from the artist’s Blue Period; Two Brothers (1906), from the Rose Period; Expressionist studies for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907); the Cubist Man with a Guitar (1911), the Neoclassical Portrait of Olga (1917), the artist’s wife; the proto-Surrealist Two Women Running on a Beach (1922); Portrait of Dora Maar (1937), the artist’s lover and famed French artist; six Surrealist bronze heads of the artist’s mistress, Marie-Therese Walter; theHead of a Bull (1942) fabricated from a bicycle seat and handlebars; the bronze Goat (1950); the six life-size bronze Bathers (1956); and the late self-portrait, The Matador(1970).

African American Art from the Deep South
(working title)
Fall 2011

de Young
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, drawing upon the extensive holdings of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia, present African American Art from the Deep South, comprised of approximately 200 paintings, sculptures, mixed media assemblages, quilts, and drawings, as well as a full-scale re-creation of an artist’s art-filled yard.  The extraordinary artists whose works are represented in this exhibition, including Mary Lee Bendolph, Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, Joe Minter, Purvis Young and the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, have diverse personal biographies, as well as varying degrees of education, art-related knowledge, and intentions for their artworks.  However, they are representative of a generation of African Americans whose life experiences and artworks were shaped by the historical legacy of slavery and sharecropping, the institutions and strictures of “Jim Crow” racism, and the promise and fulfillment of the modern civil rights movement.

In the Galleries at the de Young

Developed and Undeveloped: Photographic Landscapes

October 9, 2010–March 20, 2011

de Young

At once powerful and vulnerable, the natural environment is alternately portrayed as an object of adoration and a victim of civilization in Developed and Undeveloped: Photographic Landscapes.  The exhibition features a diverse selection of over 35 photographs of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.  From the pristine western views of Ansel Adams to the scarred quarries of Edward Burtynsky, the exhibition presents a variety of approaches to framing the landscape, with scenes of unspoiled wilderness contrasted with sites bearing evidence of human intervention.  In the 19th century photographers played a decisive role in preservationist movements, and their descendants continue to shed light on the precarious condition of the planet.  Drawn from the collections of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Paul Sack Trust, and Charles and Diane Frankel, the exhibition also includes works by Mathew Brady, Carleton Watkins, Robert Adams, Shi Guorui, and Michael Light.

Rupert Garcia: The Magnolia Editions Project 1991–2011

February 19July 17, 2011

de Young

The exhibition includes approximately 25 prints made by renowned Bay Area artist, Rupert Garcia, at the presses of Magnolia Editions, Oakland.  Garcia is an artist committed to creating artwork not only as a means of achieving aesthetic ends, but also as a viable way of addressing social and political concerns. Through his bold silkscreens and layered pastels and paintings, Garcia catalyzes discussion and debate in a broad audience about the pressing issues that have faced the late 20th and early 21st centuries. His recent editions elaborate on his political concerns as well as addressing his interest in challenging notions of folk and high art.  For over two decades Magnolia has worked closely with artists to produce and publish fine art projects, including unique and editioned works on paper, artist books, and public art.

Bouquets to Art

March 14–19, 2011

de Young

For five days, March 15–19, the 27th annual Bouquets to Art features 150 floral exhibits displayed among the de Young’s permanent collection. The Fine Arts Museums’ largest fundraiser features floral demonstrations, seated lunches and teas and a benefit drawing of luxury prizes. This year, Bouquets to Art, sponsored by the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums, celebrates the much anticipated exhibition Balenciaga and Spain. This groundbreaking exhibition will be on view at the de Young Museum shortly after the close of Bouquets to Art. Visit the event website at for additional information.
Marco Breuer: Line of Sight
April 2–September 4, 2011
de Young
Marco Breuer is one of the most innovative contemporary artists working in photography today.  He is well known for using an extensive range of processes to extract abstract and visually compelling images from photographic materials.  Line of Sight comprises a selection of photographs made by Breuer and placed in dialogue with objects from the de Young’s permanent collection.  Selected and installed by the artist in a compressed time period of twenty-four hours, Breuer sets up a dynamic exchange between the works of art, the collecting practices of the institution, and the viewing habits of museum visitors.  This single-gallery exhibition is part of the Collection Connections program of Cultural Encounters.

Young at Art Festival

May 10–May 15, 2011

de Young

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Visual and Performing Arts Office of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) proudly unveil Young at Art, the annual celebration of student creativity in visual, literary, media and performing arts hosted by the de Young. The festival celebrates the creativity of all San Francisco students with exhibits and performances at the de Young and the Concourse Bandshell in Golden Gate Park.  For more information, go to

Highlights from the Caroline and H. McCoy Jones Kilim Collection

(working title)
Fall 2011

de Young
A significant collection of great kilims gifted to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco by Caroline McCoy-Jones in 1989 is showcased in an exhibition of 20 of the finest examples. Presented fittingly in the Caroline and H. McCoy Jones Galleries at the de Young, the pre-19th century Anatolian kilims include a variety of design types, regional styles, as well as superb examples of technical and structural features.

Major Exhibitions at the Legion of Honor

Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave

February 5–June 5, 2011

Legion of Honor

Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave is a painter by training, but textile and costume are her muses. Working in collaboration with leading costume historians and young fashion designers, de Borchgrave crafts a world of splendor from the simplest rag paper. Painting and manipulating the paper, she forms trompe l’oeil masterpieces of elaborate dresses inspired by rich depictions in early European painting or by iconic costumes in museum collections around the world.  The Legion of Honor is the first American museum to dedicate an entire exhibition to the work of Isabelle de Borchgrave, although her creations have been widely displayed in Europe. Pulp Fashion draws on several themes and presents quintessential examples in the history of costume—from Renaissance finery of the Medici family and gowns worn by Elizabeth I and Marie-Antoinette to the creations of the grand couturiers Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Christian Dior, and Coco Chanel. Special attention is given to the creations and studio of Mariano Fortuny, the eccentric early-20th-century artist who is both a major source of inspiration to de Borchgrave and a kindred spirit.

Dutch and Flemish Art Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection

(working title)

July 9–October 2, 2011

Legion of Honor

One of the finest collections of 17th-century Dutch Old Masters belongs not to a museum, but to Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo, who have been called “the most important collectors you’ve never heard of.” Masterworks from this collection are constantly sought after for American and international exhibitions. Now for the first time the Van Otterloos’ marvelous Dutch Golden Age paintings are showcased together in an exhibition, debuting in the Netherlands at the Mauritshuis (the Royal Picture Gallery in The Hague) and then coming to America and the Legion of Honor. The selection of paintings includes premier examples of quintessentially Dutch subjects—from portraits and still lifes to landscapes and charming scenes of everyday life. Collectively these works chronicle a 17th-century Holland that served as a model for early American society and culture. Consummate examples of the craft of painting, the works in the Van Otterloo collection are extraordinary in their beauty and in excellent condition. Famous artists such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Hendrick Avercamp are featured, as are genre specialists Frans van Mieris and Gerrit Dou, whose magical Dog at Rest is so typically Dutch in its quiet intense study of a small dog curled up asleep.

Pissarro’s People

Fall 2011

Legion of Honor

Camille Pissarro had a unique and lifelong interest in the human figure. From his earliest years in the Caribbean and Venezuela until his death in Paris in 1903, Pissarro drew, painted, and made prints featuring human subjects from every walk of life, and outnumbering the figural works of his colleagues Monet and Sisley. Pissarro’s Peoplecelebrates the painter’s humanism in all its aspects and brings together over 100 works of art including some 50 paintings and numerous works on paper made over the course of Pissarro’s entire career.  Highlights include portraits of the artist’s friends and family as well as notable genre scenes set in the fields and marketplaces of rural France. Pissarro’s paintings of townspeople, peasants, and farm workers stress their individuality rather than their mythic qualities, which so preoccupied Millet, his predecessor in the agricultural figural tradition.  The cast of characters represented reflects Pissarro’s equally unique engagement in contemporary political, social, and economic issues, and reconsiders Pissarro’s people within a rich contextual setting.

In the Galleries at the Legion of Honor

Arthur Szyk: Miniature Paintings and Modern Illuminations

December 4, 2010–March 27, 2011

Legion of Honor

Arthur Szyk (American, b. Poland, 1894–1951) is best remembered for his diverse work as an artist and illustrator, from pochoir illustrations for traditional Jewish and Polish folktales and religious texts to watercolor designs for political cartoons that were regularly featured on the cover of Collier’s magazine throughout the 1930s and 40s. Szyk’s Polish and Jewish heritage remained central, and his attention to detail betrayed considerable historical research into his craft.  His work recalls the intricate illumination present in medieval manuscripts, Near-Eastern miniature paintings, and traditional Polish and Jewish folk arts.  Arthur Szyk: Miniature Paintings and Modern Illuminations is a presentation of approximately 70 drawings and illustrations.

Marvelous Menagerie: A Roman Mosaic

April 23–July 24, 2011

Legion of Honor

First unearthed in 1996 during construction on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway in Lod (ancient Lydda), Israel, this large and extraordinarily detailed mosaic floor has only recently been carefully removed from its site and conserved.  Found in a large villa believed to belong to a wealthy Roman, the excellently preserved mosaic floor dates to about AD 300.  Two rectangular end panels flank a large square medallion.  The medallion and one of the end panels contain depictions of delightful animals and exotic beasts.  The remaining panel portrays a fabulous marine scene filled with a profusion of fish and Roman merchant ships.   This glorious mosaic is in America for a limited time before it is returned to Israel where it will become the focus of an archaeological center in Lod. The Fine Arts Museums is one of only four museums to display this treasure.

The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy

August 21, 2011–January 1, 2012

Legion of Honor

The Mourners: Tomb Sculpture from the Court of Burgundy, consists of 39 sculptures from the tomb of John the Fearless (1342–1404), the second duke of Burgundy. His elaborate tomb, once housed at a monastery on the outskirts of Dijon, is now one of the centerpieces of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. The exhibition draws almost entirely from the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, which, with the Dallas Museum of Art, is organizing the exhibition.

Details to come:  The Magna Carta at the Legion of Honor, Spring 2011

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