San Francisco Museums Offer Artistic and Cultural Delights; Guide to a Dozen Galleries Includes Beat Generation, Cartoons, Modern Art, Disney

By Corrigan, Patricia | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), November 18, 2012 | Go to article overview

San Francisco Museums Offer Artistic and Cultural Delights; Guide to a Dozen Galleries Includes Beat Generation, Cartoons, Modern Art, Disney


Corrigan, Patricia, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


SAN FRANCISCO Treasures of all sorts are housed in museums large and small in the City by the Bay. Among the artistic and cultural delights on display in the coming months are ancient Chinese terra- cotta warriors, original art from the animated 3-D film "ParaNorman," Marie Antoinette's bejeweled vases, Rudolph Nureyev's sweat-stained costumes, Johannes Vermeer's "Girl with the Pearl Earring" and a jacket that belonged to Jack Kerouac of the Beat Generation.

Here, in alphabetical order, is a guide to a dozen of San Francisco's many museums.

ASIAN ART MUSEUM

"China's Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor's Legacy" will bring 10 of the astonishing life-size figures to the Asian Art Museum, located in the Civic Center neighborhood. On display Feb. 22 through May 27, the exhibition also will feature bronze and jade artifacts, gold and silver ornaments and architectural objects from the tomb of China's First Emperor.

The permanent collection includes more than 18,000 treasures that span 6,000 years. As you stroll among the stone sculptures, paintings, jades, manuscripts and ceramics, look up, because some galleries have breathtaking ceilings. And make time to linger in the contemplative alcove. (asianart.org)

THE BEAT MUSEUM

The brightest lights of the Beat Generation are celebrated at the Beat Museum, located in North Beach, where Jack Kerouac, Neil Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the others hung out in the 1950s. Said to be the only one of its kind, the museum displays original manuscripts, first editions, letters, personal artifacts and even the 1949 Hudson used in the new movie "On the Road," starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart and Elisabeth Moss. (kerouac.com)

CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES The Steinhart Aquarium, the Morrison Planetarium, the Kimball Natural History Museum and a four- story rainforest fill 100,000 square feet of exhibit space at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. The permanent exhibits all are worthy, plus something new pops up or swims by almost every month. Don't miss the 2.5-acre "Living Roof," where birds, butterflies and curious human visitors all are drawn to the native California plants. (calacademy.org)

THE CARTOON ART MUSEUM

In the Yerba Buena neighborhood, the Cartoon Art Museum celebrates all forms of cartoon art. On display now through Feb. 17 is "The Art of ParaNorman," original art from the popular feature film produced by LAIKA, an animation studio in Portland, Ore. The exhibition features concept art, puppets, costumes and more.

"Sketchtravel," on display through Feb. 3, is a sketchbook passed among 72 artists over five years and across some 35,000 miles. Illustrators, animators and painters all contributed. The museum's permanent collection includes 6,000 pieces of original and cartoon and animation art, including editorial cartoons, comic books, graphic novels, anime, Sunday funnies and even cartoons from Saturday morning television. (cartoonart.org)

CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM

Next up at the Contemporary Jewish Museum is "The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951," on display through Jan. 21. Located in the Yerba Buena neighborhood, the museum does not collect art, but "partners with national and international cultural institutions" to build exhibitions. "The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats" will be on display through Feb. 24. Make time to pop in at the beautiful Yud Gallery, studded with 36 diamond-shaped skylights. (thecjm.org)

DE YOUNG MUSEUM

Fans of dance will flock to the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park to see "Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance," which runs through Feb. 17.

More than 80 costumes and 50 photographs from the legendary dancer's personal collection will be on display. The De Young will present "Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis" from Jan. 26 through June 2. …

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