So you’ve checked out the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, or BAMPFA, and the Oakland Museum of California, or OMCA, upon the Clog’s recommendations and discovered your new love for museums. Confused about where to go next? Don’t worry — the Clog’s got your back. Here’s our guide to the best museums in San Francisco.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Just a short BART ride away, SFMOMA is an artist’s paradise for $19 (ages 19-24) or free if you’re below 19. Even if you don’t have a clue about art, SFMOMA will not fail to impress you with its wide variety of fascinating exhibits and rich collections of artwork, with a range of works from Henri Matisse to René Magritte. My friend and I lost track of time as we made our way through the museum, learning about the ever-changing art styles that developed over the years, from impressionism and surrealism to pop, figurative and graphic art. While art is literally in its name, SFMOMA also features a thought-provoking exhibit, “Don’t! Photography and the Art of Mistakes” for all of you photography fanatics. I left SFMOMA with a greater understanding of the artistic movements that shaped the 20th century and was inspired to take an art history class to satisfy my arts and literature breadth requirement.
California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences, located in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, is also easily accessible by BART and Muni. The tickets may be on the expensive side — $28-31 per person with a student discount — but a single ticket gives you access to everything under the roof of this place. From the planetarium and the aquarium to the Kimball Natural History Museum and the rainforest, you’re definitely getting some bang for your buck. Whether or not you’re a science geek, you’ll surely have a great time exploring the museum’s intriguing displays on human evolution and biological adaptations of color.
Legion of Honor
With a $6 discounted ticket price for students, as well as free visits for Bay Area residents on Saturdays, the Legion of Honor is one museum that you don’t want to miss! Unlike the SFMOMA, the collections at the Legion of Honor span more than 4,000 years of European art and sculpture. Here, you have the opportunity to explore how the shifting political and social scene over the years in Europe has influenced Dutch, French and British art. Furthermore, some of the masterpieces on display include those of Claude Monet and Fra Angelico.
Asian Art Museum
As its name suggests, the Asian Art Museum features art and artifacts spanning thousands of years from Persia to China, Japan, Korea and more. With free admission every first Sunday of the month and $10 tickets for students, it’s definitely worth spending your weekend here and examining the art, including medieval decorative objects amd extravagant Hindu and Buddhist sculptures.
There you have it! Even if you’re not a habitual museum-goer, we still recommend that you check out these extensive collections. You don’t want to miss out on learning about the art, history and culture that attracts tourists from all over the world.
Contact Nandita Radhakrishnan at [email protected].