Museums in San Francisco, California

Museums in San Francisco, California

Since the founding of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art SFMOMA, it has been the only museum on the US West Coast devoted exclusively to contemporary art. In January 1995, the museum, founded in 1935, moved to a new location in the district south of Market Street (South of Market/SOMA), which was reopened in May 2016 after several years of renovation. Outstanding works of painting, photography, architecture, sculpture, media art and design are exhibited here. In particular, the works of art by Paul Klee attract a lot of attention. The SFMOMA is a private, non-profit organization.

The De Young Museum is located in the famous Golden Gate Park . It bears the name of a co-founder of the well-known San Francisco Chronicle, Michael H. de Young. He had the idea to build the art museum in the park on the occasion of the 1894 international exhibition “California Midwinter International Exposition”. Today, the premises mainly house art objects by almost all famous American artists as well as art from Africa and the Pacific Islands.

Across Marina Boulevard is the Palace of Fine Art, with its classic Rococo dome built by Bernard Maybeck for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. The dome was initially only constructed in plaster mortar and was only rebuilt in 1967 by a millionaire living in the area in such a way that it would survive the next 100 years. In 1970, the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, a now well-known concert venue with almost 960 seats, was opened, in which not only well-known stars but also show groups made guest appearances. This is also where the annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival takes place.

According to, San Francisco and its surrounding area is one of the world’s high-tech locations. The surrounding universities are known for their groundbreaking research results in the fields of physics, medicine and biology. The California Academy of Sciences is not only an academy of science, but also a state-of-the-art natural history museum. In addition to a planetarium, there is an artificial rainforest and huge aquariums. In the new building, which was built between 2005 and 2008, one of the most modern museums in the world has emerged. Great exhibitions await the visitor.

Originally housed in the Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium has moved as a public learning lab in 2013 to Piers 15 and 17 at the San Francisco Embacadero. The interactive museum created by the physicist Frank Oppenheimer aims to explain the mysteries of the natural sciences in a playful but clear way using examples. Not only children enjoy it, but also adults. From its early years, this museum was considered the best of its kind. The museum bills itself as a hybrid between a mad professor’s playground, a scientific funhouse and an experimental laboratory on subjects such as the physics of light and sound, electricity and magnetism, and biological processes the origin of life and human behavior. Historic Pier 15 underwent a major renovation prior to the opening of the

The Cable Car Museum on Mason Street is dedicated to one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. It illustrates the history of this unique cable tram. The oldest cable cars are on display. At the same time, the visitor learns a lot about the technology and how it works. As a non-profit organization, the Cable Car Museum is an important cultural part of the city.

San Francisco also has its own wax museum: The Wax Museum, on Jefferson St., near Fisherman’s Wharf. There, visitors can observe famous people who have been artistically modeled in wax up close. Among the figures on display are images of historical figures, politicians, actors and singers. The Wax Museum has been divided into several departments. For example, one section is dedicated to religious people, including Moses with the 10 Commandments and Jesus at the Last Supper. Well-known artists can be admired in another department. A separate exhibition room has been dedicated to the King of Pop Michael Jackson. It becomes historical in the section showing the royal tombs of ancient Egypt. The fantasy figures Dr. Frankenstein and Count Dracula.

Museums in San Francisco, California