San Francisco has been a hot-spot for art and culture for decades. The hugely impressive SFMOMA, the largest modern art museum in the country, is just the beginning of what’s on offer in SF for art lovers and culture addicts. Ready for a serious dose of trip inspiration? These are the best museums to check out while visiting SF if you love art.
It’s safe to say that San Francisco is a magnet for amazing art. It started back in 1915 with the Panama Pacific Exposition, an event that attracted millions from around the world. Today, the city is home to dozens of world-class museums and top galleries with art from just about every period and style on display that you can think of… and that doesn’t even include the amount of street art there is to discover after you’ve arrived on your flights to San Francisco!
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The SFMOMA was the first museum to open on the West Coast that was entirely dedicated to contemporary and modern art. It’s where art-lovers young and old come to find inspiration and see pieces by their favorite artists. You’ll find the usual characters here like Frida Kahlo, Henri Matisse and Georgeo O’Keeffe, among hundreds of others.
- 151 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
- Open: Friday-Tuesday 11-5PM, Thursday 10-9PM, closed Wednesdays.
De Young Museum
This is the place to go for American art produced between the 17th and 20th centuries, plus art and textiles from Africa, Oceania and the Americas. There’s more than just paintings on the wall here; you’ll find plenty of American paintings but also masks, statues, costumes and textile arts from around the world too.
- 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA, USA
- Open: Tuesday-Sunday 9:30-5:15PM, closed on Mondays
Asian Art Museum
This museum houses one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian art in the world. Some of the works are more than 2,000 years old! Going through the collection can take the most part of your day so if you have other museums to check out, choose which rooms you’d most like to visit before you go.
- Asian Art Museum
- 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
- Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10-5PM, closed on Mondays
Contemporary Jewish Museum
Housed in a gorgeous old historic power station, the Contemporary Jewish Museum is a non-collecting museum, which means the works of art are always changing with new exhibitions and displays. One thing you can always count on, is that there will be some talk, workshop or event happening while you’re here. This place is always buzzing!
- 736 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
- Open: Thursday-Tuesday 11-5PM, Closed on Wednesdays
The Legion of Honor
Your entry ticket to the de Young Museum also includes entry to the Legion of Honor, an art museum housed in the most gorgeous French neoclassical building. The museum’s collection of classic sculpture, prints, painting and drawings are other-worldly, with an emphasis on the art historical and social/political movements of the last 4,000 years of human history.
- Legion of Honor
- 100 34th Avenue (Lincoln Park), San Francisco, CA, USA
- Open: Tuesday-Sunday 9:30-5:!5PM, Closed on Mondays
Museum of Craft and Design
This is San Francisco’s only museum that is entirely dedicated to modern craft and design and definitely has one of the most creative collections in the city. It’s non-collecting, so you will always see something new on display here, with exhibitions and displays to suit all ages. What kind of things are on display here? There’s architecture and sculpture, paper craft and even things made of wool and textiles.
- Museum of Craft and Design
- 2569 Third Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
- Open: Tuesday-Saturday 11-6PM, Sunday 12-5PM, Closed on Mondays