• Podcast: Timothy Horn: Bitter Suite
  • Who was Alma Spreckels?
  • Conservators and Bitter Suite
  • Miguel Covarrubias mural at the de Young
  • Extended hours for Chihuly at the de Young
Friday Nights at the de Young
The de Young is open Fridays until 8:45 pm with special programs for everyone.

  • July 18: Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, dance lessons by Cynthia Glinka, and AudioBus
  • July 25: Closing reception celebrating The Crucible, live music by Classical Revolution

More information »

Sunday Jazz Brunch
at the Legion of Honor

from 11 am–2 pm. Enjoy a prix fixe brunch and live music by Hélène
Attia in the Legion Café. Reservations: 415.750.7633.

More information »

Cinema Supper Club: From the Golden Gate to the Silver Screen
Thursday night at the Legion of Honor from July 10 through August 21,
this series presents movies shot in the City by the Bay, dining in the
Legion Café, and an opportunity to view the exhibition Women Impressionists after hours–and without the weekend crowds.

  • July 17: The Conversation
  • July 24: What’s Up, Doc?
  • July 31: So I Married an Axe Murderer

More information and complete schedule »

Timothy Horn (Australian, b. 1964), Diadem (light heavyweight) 2008
Mixed media
Podcast: Timothy Horn: Bitter Suite

Take a personal guided tour of the exhibition Timothy Horn: Bitter Suite, with FAMSF Curator of European Decorative Art Martin Chapman and artist Timothy Horn. In our latest podcast episode, the curator and artist discuss the works on view in the Collections Connections exhibition Timothy Horn: Bitter Suite, on view at the de Young Museum through October 12, 2008.

podcast episode is available in two different formats, MP3 and M4A
(enhanced with images). Download the podcast by following the links
below, or subscribing to the podcast RSS feed.

Sir John Lavery (Irish, 1856-1941) Mrs. A.B. Spreckels, 1932
Who Was Alma Spreckels?

Legion of Honor founder Alma de Bretteville Spreckels
(1881–1968) was the wife of the millionaire Adolph B. Spreckels, who
derived his fortune from sugar, as heir to and head of the Spreckels
Sugar Company.  Born the daughter of a poor laundress, Alma’s
Cinderella-like rise to queen of San Francisco society was a path
littered with success and heartbreak.  Despite her position she was
shunned by much of San Francisco society but found her way forward with
philanthropy, notably art and charity projects.

The stuff of
amusing anecdotes and legends––some of which turn out to be
true––Alma’s exploits were a centerpiece of San Francisco intrigue and
gossip for two generations.  A handsome, Rubenesque woman, Alma came to
fame as the model for the figure of the Republic on top of the Dewey
Monument in Union Square.  Her greatest enterprise was founding the
Legion of Honor.  It is often viewed as one of the most beautiful
museums in the United States for its ravishing position overlooking the
Golden Gate; its restrained neoclassical architecture inspired by the
eighteenth-century Hôtel de Salm in Paris; and its fine collections of
Auguste Rodin sculptures, Old Master paintings and French
eighteenth-century decorative art.

Paradox was endemic to Alma’s
existence. She could be overbearing and yet extremely generous.  Alma’s
elevated social position, gained by her formidable determination, was
tinged with sadness and disappointment.  In her search for acceptance,
beauty and the grotesque were poised very closely to each other.

Timothy Horn (Australian, b. 1964) Motherload, 2008
Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist and Hosfelt Gallery.
Photograph by Jason Schmidt.
Bitter Suite: A Technical Feat

the use of new mediums in art today, the role of an art conservator is
constantly changing. As creative as an artist is with his materials,
the conservator has to be equally creative in preserving them.  Such
was the case for Timothy Horn’s exclusive exhibition for the de Young
museum, Bitter Suite, on view through October 12 on the
second floor of the de Young. When Elizabeth Cornu, head objects
conservator for the Fine Arts Museums, and her team learned that two of
his pieces—a life-size chandelier and a carriage—would be coated in
crystallized rock sugar, they had to rethink their typical conservation
techniques.  How do you preserve a piece of art that is potentially as
susceptible to decay and insects as the contents of your kitchen pantry?

Horn’s skill as an artist lies not only in his ability to craft
beautifully baroque art, but also in his skill as a draftsman. Cornu’s
concerns as a conservator were quelled by Horn months before the
artwork arrived at the museum. The chandelier and carriage, modeled
after eighteenth-century works in the Legion of Honor’s collection of
European decorative art, were constructed mostly with wood and
aluminum, giving them a sturdy support. Horn then covered the frame
with crystallized sugar, giving it a rock candy look. Finally, to
prevent decomposing and attracting any pests, the pieces were covered
in several coats of shellac, which have traditionally preserved
centerpieces made of sugar. Part of the de Young’s Collections
Connections series, Timothy Horn: Bitter Suite presents a fascinating reinterpretation of the decorative arts, and technically, a visually stunning exhibit.

Covarrubias Mural on View
at the de Young

The Fauna and Flora of the Pacific, one of a six-part series of fanciful, larger than life-size maps created by noted Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias
(1904–1957) for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition on
Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, has been restored and put on
display in the Art of the Americas galleries at the de Young. The map
will be on view through spring 2009. Two free lectures by noted
Covarrubias scholars will be presented as part of “Friday Nights at the
de Young” on July 18 and August 1, 2008.

July 18, 2008
7 pm, Koret Auditorium
The Wondrous Murals of Miguel Covarrubias
scholar Adriana Williams discusses the 1939 Golden Gate International
Exposition on Treasure Island and how Covarrubias was chosen to paint
the murals for the Pageant of the Pacific series.

August 1, 2008
7 pm., Koret Auditorium
Mexican Muralists’ Influence on the United States: Diego Rivera in San Francisco
Maynez, historian of the Pan American Unity fresco by Diego Rivera at
City College, addresses the influence of the Mexican Mural movement on
San Francisco.

Dale Chihuly, Persian Ceiling
Photo by Terry Rishel
Chihuly Exhibition Extends Weekend Hours

Beginning Saturday, August 2, Chihuly at the de Young will extend its weekend hours to accommodate the large crowds that have come to see the exhibition.

extra hour will be added on Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of the
run of the exhibition, with the last ticket sold for 5:15 pm entry and
the galleries open until 6:15.

We strongly suggest purchasing your timed ticket in advance of your visit given how popular the show has been. Visit http://www.chihulyatthedeyoung.org for ticketing and visitor information.

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