International Arts & Crafts Comes to San Francisco
C.F.A. Voysey, clock.
Mahogany, painted and gilded, brass and steel. 50.8 x 27.1 x 17.2 cm.
Britain , 1895-1896.
Mahogany case made by Frederick Coote; movement made by Camerer, Cuss and Co.
V&A: W.5-1998 © Victoria & Albert Museum/V&A Images
The de Young in San Francisco was my favorite museum growing up - true, it's right across from the Academy of Sciences, which has its own allure to a 12 year old boy. But the de Young, with its dark nooks and crannies, sarcophagi and urns, and menacing statuary, was especially attractive. I was especially entranced with the wonderful reflecting pool outside the front door, full of koi and turtles and other waterlife. Egrets and herons liked it, too - probably for the small feeder fish - and were frequently found there.
That de Young is gone, replaced with something larger and more earthquake-resistant, and the new rusty monolith in its place is very different but beautiful in its own asymmetrical way. So far I've only seen it from the outside, but I will soon have the opportunity to visit the interior as well, and not just for their excellent regular collection: the Victoria & Albert Museum's traveling International Arts & Crafts exhibit, moving slowly across the country, will be opening in less than two months. Most recently in Indianapolis, the show opens here in California on March 18 2006 and runs for three months, through June 18.
The show itself doesn't need much of an introduction or explanation; its long title, "International Arts and Crafts: William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright" pretty much covers it: the whole shebang, the entire foundation of the movement, from the UK, the US and various international outposts of the movement (yes, even India). This is an absolute cannot-miss for anyone with even slight interest in the movement; if you are in Northern California, go to the show! We'll have a complete review after the opening, as well as more details and photos between now and the opening date. Hope to see you there!