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Art Talks: Bringing the Museums to You

Art Talks are entertaining, educational, multi-media art presentations delivered by museum speakers on site at your location.  We offer talks on all major special exhibitions at the de Young and Legion of Honor.  Our clients span the Bay Area, and include non-profits, libraries, clubs, businesses, senior residences and educational institutions.

To learn more and to reserve your talk, email us at AT@famsf.org .

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

November 9, 2019 – March 15, 2020

de Young Museum

Organized by the Tate Modern, London, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, 1963–1983, is a powerful and provocative presentation focusing on art made in the pivotal decades between 1963 and 1983, The works were forged in a crucible of institutionalized racism and codified prejudice that has pervaded America for centuries. Inspired by the Civil Rights struggle for equality and justice, these African American artists use art and culture as catalysts for self-definition, self-empowerment, and self-determination. The artists are from across the US and work in multiple media. A special group of Bay Area artists are included for the FAMSF show. Works include: paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, collages, assemblages, and custom clothing, which contributed to promoting the personal and cultural pride of the Black Power movement. Soul of a Nation

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Now available in English and Spanish

March 21 -July 26, 2020

de Young Museum

Frida Kahlo returns to San Francisco 90 years after her first visit to the city, in an exhibition examining how politics, gender, trauma, sexuality, and national identity influenced her diverse modes of creativity. The exhibition paints an intimate portrait of the artist through a trove of personal items, which came to light in her lifelong home in Mexico City decades after her passing. These items, including photographs, her vibrant Tehuana costumes, and personalized braces and prosthetics from the Frida Khalo Museum in Mexico City, will be on view with paintings and drawings by the artist and photographs reflecting her singular style with works drawn from the Fine Arts Museums’ collections. [Also available in Spanish.]   Frida Kahlo 

Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave

April 18, 2020 – August 30, 2020

Legion of Honor

In AD 79, the fiery eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii and nearby villages and farms almost completely under pumice and hot ash. The eruption killed thousands of people in the midst of their daily activities, but the art and artifacts preserved by archaeologists offer us a picture of what life was like in a thriving Roman city during the 1st century.  The exhibition takes us back into this world by focusing on everyday life–especially on food and drink. Along with the pots, pans, and other paraphernalia used in the preparation, and serving of food, this exhibition includes glorious works of art, which reveal the splendor and luxury so enjoyed by the wealthy Romans who called Pompeii their home.  Last Supper in Pompeii


Judy Chicago: A Retrospective

May 9- September 5, 2020

de Young Museum

Forty years after her landmark installation The Dinner Party (1974–1979) made its debut in San Francisco, Judy Chicago will get a homecoming of sorts in the largest exhibition of her work to date.  Chicago is considered among the foremost artists to come out of the Feminist Art Movement of the 1970s, in which she played a key role through her work in developing consciousness-raising arts education programs. This exhibition will look at the full breadth of Chicago’s work, which has spanned five decades and taken the form of paintings, ceramic sculptures, drawings, prints, and performance work.  Judy Chicago

NEW! Special Talk: Behind the Scenes at Bouquets to Art

Have you ever wondered how Bouquets to Art started and became one of the most popular events at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco?  Have you ever marveled at the floral designs   and the floral artists who created them, and admired the materials used?  This talk will reveal what goes on behind-the-scenes to make this highly successful event happen each year.  In addition, the speaker will show you works of art in the museum’s collection and how floral artists have interpreted them in their designs.  Now in its thirty-sixth year, discover what’s in store for 2020’s “June in Bloom” at the deYoung Museum.




NEW! Breaking with Tradition: Contemporary Women Artists

An introduction to the strong, innovative and successful women artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Painting, photography, works on paper, sculpture, cast glass, fiber and found objects are all materials for these very relevant artists.






More Presentations from the Museum’s Permanent Collections

  • An Afternoon in the Salon Dore: 18th century Parisian salons were known for their conviviality and conversation, but there were strict guidelines about who could attend, what they could talk about, what they could expect and what was expected of them.  Join us for an afternoon in the Salon Dore as we explore the mores and manners that dominated the decade prior to the French Revolution.
  • Legendary Stories Behind the Legion of Honor: The tales in the history of San Francisco’s Legion of Honor Museum are tall but true. A benefactress who was a force of nature (Alma Spreckels), a prince in Paris, a self-proclaimed emperor, a pioneer of modern dance, a renowned French sculptor, and the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Enjoy hearing these stories and more—and about the museum’s great art.
  • The World of Jane Austen: Art, Fashion and Eligible Gentlemen: This entertaining look at British art in the Legion of Honor brings to life the characters and settings of Jane Austen’s beloved novels.
  • Seeing is Not Believing: Still Life Painting in America: Artists sometimes deliberately set out to deceive, using what is right in front of you: meticulously rendered textures, scrupulous detail, tangible space, immaculate shadows and life-sized objects–to convince you that the objects are real.  Can you believe what is right before your eyes?
  • The de Young Museum: Making a Museum, Creating a Collection: Explore the history of the deYoung and the individuals who have contributed to the collection we enjoy today; individuals who have had the luck to find magnificent pieces of art, the resources to obtain it and the taste to pursue it.  Only after living with these art objects, do they donate them to the museum.  Using historical photographs of the 1893 Midwinter Fair, as well as images showing the artwork when situated in the collectors’ homes, we will trace the making of a museum and the creation of a collection.
  • Just Desserts: From Cheese to Chocolate: What could be better than dessert without calories! When artists portray desserts, they tempt the eye, tease the palate and tickle our memories. Explore desserts, whether sweet or savory, and the role they play in our everyday lives, our cultural history, and our art.