ASIAN ART MUSEUM OF SAN FRANCISCO The Asian Art Museum-Chon-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture recently unveiled its new building in San Francisco's Civic Center. The building, the former San Francisco Public Library, has been completely retrofitted and rebuilt to house San Francisco's significant collection of Asian treasures. The museum offers complimentary audio tours of the museum's collection galleries. "In a New Light," ongoing. There are some 2,500 works displayed in the museum's new galleries. They cover all the major cultures of Asia and include Indian stone sculptures, intricately carved Chinese jades, Korean paintings, Tibetan thanksgas, Cambodian Buddhas, Islamic manuscripts and Japanese basketry and kimonos.
ONGOING FAMILY PROGRAMS --
Storytelling, Sundays and the first Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. This event is for children of all ages to enjoy a re-telling of Asian myths and folktales in the galleries. Meet at the Information Desk on the Ground Floor. Free with general admission.
"Target Tuesday Family Program," first Tuesday of every month. Free with general admission.
"Family Art Encounter," first Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Drop in to make art related to the museum's collection. Children must be accompanied by an adult. In the Education Studios. Free with admission.
DOCENT-LED ART TOURS -- The museum's docents offer two types of tours: a general introduction to the museum's collection and a highlight tour of specific areas of the collection. Free with museum admission.
ARCHITECTURAL GUIDES -- Tuesday through Sunday at noon and 2:30 p.m., Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Learn about the former Main Library's transformation into the Asian Art Museum on this 40-minute tour. Free with museum admission.
RESOURCE CENTER -- Tuesday through Sunday, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Watch a video, or learn more about Asian art with slide packets, activity kits and books. Free with museum admission.Free with general admission unless otherwise noted.
$7-$12; free children under age 12; $5 Thursday after 5 p.m.; free to all first Sunday of each month. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. 200 Larkin St., San Francisco. (415) 581-3500, www.asianart.org.<
BEAT MUSEUM Formerly located on the California coast in Monterey, the Beat Museum now sits in historic North Beach. The Museum uses letters, magazines, pictures, first editions and more to explore the lives of leading beat figures such as Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and many others. A gift shop and bookstore are open to the public free of charge."North Beach Walking Tour,", ongoing. A 90-minute walking tour of North Beach with Beat Museum curator Jerry Cimimo. See the bars, coffeehouses, homes, and other Beat-related highlights of North Beach. Call for info. $15.$4-$5. Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. CLOSED MONDAY. 540 Broadway, San Francisco. (800) KER-OUAC, www.kerouac.com.<
CABLE CAR MUSEUM The museum is located in the historic Cable Car Barn and Powerhouse. Visitors can see the actual cable winding machinery, grips, track, cable and brakes, as well as three historic cable cars, photo displays and mechanical artifacts. The best way to get to this museum is by cable car; street parking is practically non-existent.Free. April 1-Sept. 30: daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 1-March 31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1201 Mason St., San Francisco. (415) 474-1887, www.cablecarmuseum.org.<
CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
"Nightlife," ongoing. 6 p.m. Thursdays. Every Thursday night, the Academy transforms into a lively venue filled with provocative science, music, mingling and cocktails, as visitors get a chance to explore the museum.
"Where the Land Meets the Sea," ongoing. Exhibition features sculpture by Maya Lin.
BENJAMIN DEAN LECTURE SERIES -- ongoing.
$14.95-$24.95. Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. (415) 379-8000, www.calacademy.org.<
CHINESE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA The CHSA Museum and Learning Center features a permanent exhibition, "The Chinese of America: Toward a More Perfect Union'' in its Main Gallery, and works by Chinese-American visual artists in its Rotating Galleries. "Leaders of the Band," ongoing. An exhibition of the history and development of the Cathay Club Marching Band, the first Chinese American band formed in 1911.$1-$3; free children ages 5 and under; free for all visitors first Thursday of every month. Tuesday-Friday, noon-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m. 965 Clay St., San Francisco. (415) 391-1188, www.chsa.org.<
DE YOUNG MUSEUM The art museum has now reopened in a new facility designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog and de Meuron and Fong and Chan Architects in San Francisco. It features significant collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries; modern and contemporary art; art from Central and South America, the Pacific and Africa; and an important and diverse collection of textiles.
"Van Gough, Gauguin, Cezanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay," ongoing. Exhibit open through Jan. 18, 2011.
LECTURES AND SYMPOSIA -- ongoing.
$6-$10; free for children ages 12 and under; free for all visitors the first Tuesday of every month. Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m.-8:45 p.m. Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco. (415) 863-3330, www.deyoungmuseum.org.<
GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND MUSEUM The museum is a project of the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) Historical Society.EXHIBITS -- ongoing.
$2-$4. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. 657 Mission St., Suite 300, San Francisco. (415) 777-5455, www.glbthistory.org.<
INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN 101 Howard Street, Suite 480, San Francisco. (415) 543-4669, www.imow.org/home/index.<
LEGION OF HONOR MUSEUM DOCENT TOUR PROGRAMS -- Tours of the permanent collections and special exhibitions are offered Tuesday through Sunday. Non-English language tours (Italian, French, Spanish and Russian) are available on different Saturdays of the month at 11:30 a.m. Free with regular museum admission. (415) 750-3638.
ONGOING CHILDREN'S PROGRAM --
"Doing and Viewing Art," ongoing. For ages 7 to 12. Docent-led tours of current exhibitions are followed by studio workshops taught by professional artists/teachers. Students learn about art by seeing and making it. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to noon; call to confirm class. Free with museum admission. (415) 750-3658.
ORGAN CONCERTS -- ongoing. 4 p.m. A weekly concert of organ music on the Legion's restored 1924 Skinner organ. Saturday and Sunday in the Rodin Gallery. Free with museum admission. (415) 750-3624.
$6-$10; free for children ages 12 and under; free for all visitors on Tuesdays. Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue and Clement Street, San Francisco. (415) 750-3600, (415) 750-3636, www.legionofhonor.org.<
MARKET STREET RAILWAY MUSEUM ongoing. The museum will permanently display a variety of artifacts telling the story of San Francisco's transportation history, including dash signs, fare boxes, a famed Wiley "birdcage'' traffic signal and more.
Free. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 77 Steuart St., San Francisco. (415) 956-0472, www.streetcar.org.<
MEXICAN MUSEUM ongoing.
THE MEXICAN MUSEUM GALLERIES AT FORT MASON CENTER ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED --
The Mexican Museum holds a unique collection of 12,000 objects representing thousands of years of Mexican history and culture within the Americas. The permanent collection, the Museum's most important asset and resource, includes five collecting areas: Pre-Conquest, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican and Latino, and Chicano Art. The Museum also has a collection of rare books and a growing collection of Latin American art.
Fort Mason Center, Building D, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. (415) 202-9700, www.mexicanmuseum.org.<
MUSEO ITALOAMERICANO ongoing. The museum, dedicated to the exhibition of art works by Italian and Italian-American artists, has a small permanent collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs and works on paper by such renowned artists as Beniamino Buffano, Sandro Chia, Giorgio de Chirico and Arnaldo Pomodoro.
DOCENT TOURS -- Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Free.
$2-$3; free children under age 12; free to all first Wednesday of the month. Wednesday-Sunday, noon -4 p.m.; first Wednesday of the month, noon-7 p.m. Fort Mason Center, Building C, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. (415) 673-2200, www.museoitaloamericano.org.<
MUSEUM OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY Free. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Humanities Building, Room 510, SFSU, Font Boulevard and Tapia Drive, San Francisco. (415) 405-0599, www.sfsu.edu/~museumst/.<
MUSEUM OF PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN Free. Wednesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue at McAllister, 4th Floor, San Francisco. (415) 255-4800, www.mpdsf.org.<
MUSEUM OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA A new museum exploring and celebrating the influence of the African Diaspora on global art and culture through interactive, permanent and changing exhibits and special programs. The museum occupies the first three floors of the new St. Regis Hotel at Third and Mission streets.
PERMANENT EXHIBITS --
"Celebrations: Rituals and Ceremonies," "Music of the Diaspora,'' "Culinary Traditions,'' 'Adornment,'' "Slavery Passages,'' and "The Freedom Theater.''"Urban Kidz Film Series," ongoing. Noon-3 p.m. An offshoot of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, featuring a striking assemblage of short and feature films designed to spark the imaginations of the 5-to-12-year-old set. $10 adults; children free. (415) 771-9271.$5-$8; free children age 12 and under. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; CLOSED MARCH 13 THROUGH MARCH 21. 685 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 358-7200, www.moadsf.org.<
NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM LIBRARY (THE J. PORTER SHAW MARITIME LIBRARY) ongoing. Closed on federal holidays. The library, part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, focuses on sail and steam ships on the West Coast and the Pacific Basin from 1520 to the present. The museum library holdings include a premiere collection of maritime history: books, magazines, oral histories, ships' plans and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park's 250,000 photographs.
Free. By appointment only, Monday-Friday, 1-4 p.m., and the third Saturday of each month 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fort Mason Center, Building E, Third Floor, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. (415) 560-7080, (415) 560-7030, www.nps.gov/safr.<
PACIFIC HERITAGE MUSEUM ongoing. The museum presents rotating exhibits highlighting historical, artistic, cultural and economic achievements from both sides of the Pacific Rim. The museum features a permanent display documenting the history and significance of the Branch Mint and Subtreasury buildings.
Free. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 608 Commercial St., San Francisco. (415) 399-1124.<
RANDALL MUSEUM "Earthquake Exhibit," ongoing. Learn about plate tectonics. Make a small quake by jumping on the floor to make a "floor quake'' that registers on the seismometer in the lobby. See the basement seismometer that registers quakes around the world. Walk through a full-size earthquake refugee shack that was used to house San Franciscans after the 1906 earthquake that destroyed so many homes.
"Creativity and Discovery Hand in Hand," ongoing. A photography exhibit that gives visitors a look into the wide variety of programs the Museum offers in the way of classes, workshops, school field trips, and special interest clubs.
"Toddler Treehouse," ongoing. Toddlers may comfortably climb the carpeted "treehouse'' and make a myriad of discoveries, from the roots to the limbs.
"Live Animal Exhibit," ongoing. Visit with more than 100 creatures including small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, raptors and small birds, insects, spiders and tide pool creatures. "Saturdays Are Special at the Museum," ongoing. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A series of drop-in ceramics and art and science workshops. All ages are welcome, though an adult must accompany children under age 8. $3 per child, $5 per parent-child combination.
"Bufano Sculpture Tours," first and third Saturdays of the month, 10:15 a.m. A tour of the giant animal sculptures of Beniamino Bufano. The sculptures were carved out of stone in the 1930s and include a giant cat and a mother bear nursing her cubs.
"Animal Room," ongoing. Visit some of the animals that live at the museum, including reptiles, raptors, tide pool creatures and small mammals.
"Meet the Animals" Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. to noon. See the Randall's animals close-up and in person.
"Animal Feeding," Saturdays, noon. Watch the animals take their meals.
"Golden Gate Model Railroad Exhibit," Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
DROP-IN ART AND SCIENCE WORKSHOPS -- ongoing. 1-4 p.m. $3-$5. "Drop-in Family Ceramics Workshop," ongoing. Saturday, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
"Third Friday Birders," ongoing. 8 a.m. The hike through Corona Heights Park allows participants to enjoy the early morning views and learn more about the feathered inhabitants of the area. Children aged 10 and older if accompanied by adult.
"Meet the Animals," ongoing. Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. Learn about the animals that live at the Randall Museum.
"Film Series for Teenagers," ongoing. Fridays, 7 p.m.
"Drop-in Family Ceramics Workshop," ongoing. Saturday, 10:15-11:15 a.m. $5.
"Golden Gate Model Railroad Exhibit," ongoing. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
"Meet the Animals," ongoing. 11:15 a.m.-noon.
"Animal Feeding," ongoing. Saturday, noon.
Free. All ages welcome; an adult must accompany children under age 8. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; CLOSED ON CHRISTMAS. 199 Museum Way, San Francisco. (415) 554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.<
SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR MUSEUM ongoing. The museum is located in the historic Cable Car Barn and Powerhouse. Visitors can see the actual cable winding machinery, grips, track, cable and brakes, as well as three historic cable cars, photo displays and mechanical artifacts. The best way to get to this museum is by cable car; street parking is practically non-existent.
Free. October 1-March 31: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily; Closed on New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 1201 Mason St., San Francisco. (415) 474-1887, www.cablecarmuseum.com.<
SAN FRANCISCO MARITIME NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK One of only a few "floating'' national parks, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park includes four national landmark ships, a maritime museum, a maritime library and a World-War-II submarine named the USS Pampanito.
HYDE STREET PIER -- Demonstrations, ship tours, programs, music and special events offered throughout the day. Check ticket booth for schedule. At the foot of Hyde Street, Hyde and Jefferson streets.
Entering the Pier is free but there is a fee to board the ships.
HISTORIC SHIPS AT THE HYDE STREET PIER -- The historic ships at the Pier are the 1886 square-rigger "Balclutha,'' the 1890 steam ferryboat "Eureka,'' the 1895 schooner "C.A. Thayer'' (not available at this time due to restoration), the 1891 scow schooner "Alma,'' the 1907 steam tug "Hercules,'' and the 1914 "Eppleton Hall,'' a paddlewheel tug.
"Balclutha." This historic ship, a three-mast square-rigger, has undergone extensive repairs and preservation work. She now contains more original materials and fittings than any other historic merchant square-rigger in the United States. The Balclutha is a designated National Historic Landmark. At Hyde Street Pier.
"Eureka." Explore this 1890 ferryboat with a 40-foot walking-beam engine. The boat once carried passengers and autos across the San Francisco Bay. At Hyde Street Pier. Daily, call for times of boat tour.
"C.A. Thayer." A three-mast schooner used in the lumber and cod fishing trades. At Hyde Street Pier.
"Alma." Between 1850 and the early 1900s, the best highways around the San Francisco Bay area were the waterways and the delivery trucks and tractortrailer rigs of the time were the flat-bottomed scow schooners. Able to navigate the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta region's shallow creeks, sloughs and channels, the scows' sturdy hulls could rest safely and securely on the bottom providing a flat, stable platform for loading and unloading. Made of inexpensive Douglas fir, scow's designs were so simple they could be built by eye or without plans.
"Hercules." Tugs in the early part of the 20th century towed barges, sailing ships and log rafts between Pacific ports. Because prevailing north/west winds generally made travel up the coast by sail both difficult and circuitous, tugs often towed large sailing vessels to points north of San Francisco. In 1916 Hercules towed the C.A. Thayer to Port Townsend, Wash., taking six days to make the trip. At the end of the sail era, the Hercules was acquired by the Western Pacific Railroad Company and shuttled railroad car barges back and forth across San Francisco Bay until 1962.
"Eppleton Hall." Built in England, the steam side-wheeler plied the Wear and Tyne rivers of Northeast England. Designed to tow ocean-going colliers (coal-carrying sail vessels) the tugs saved transit time getting the sail vessels upriver to load. The side-wheelers were also used to tow newly built ships out to sea. From 1969 to 1979, the Eppleton Hall served as a private yacht. She was modified for an epic steam via the Panama Canal to San Francisco, passing through the Golden Gate in March of 1970.
HISTORIC SHIP AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF --
"USS Pampanito." This World-War-II-era submarine is berthed at Fisherman's Wharf. The submarine celebrated her 50th anniversary in November of 1993 and is perhaps best known for her participation in a "wolf pack'' attack on a convoy of enemy ships during World War II. The entrance fee includes a taped audio tour that describes what life on this submarine was like. At Pier 45, near foot of Taylor Street. Monday through Thursday, Sunday and holidays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. $9 general; $5 seniors, $4 active duty military, $4 youth ages 6 to 12; free children under age 6. (415) 775-1943. "Historic Ship Volunteer Work Party," Saturday, 9 a.m. Become part of an effort to preserve four of the park's nautical treasures. Work on a different ship each Saturday. Bring work clothes, work shoes and lunch. Call for meeting place. (415) 332-8409.
Unless noted otherwise, events take place on the Hyde Street Pier, located at the foot of Hyde Street on Jefferson Street.Current Exhibits at the Visitor Center:
"What's Your Pleasure? Recreational Boats of California's Past," openended. This exhibit includes 1940s Sacramento Hydroplanes, a Russian River launch from the 19th century, classic wooden motor launches and motor boats, and other smaller crafts.
"Hydroplanes and Racing Boats," open-ended. A small exhibit showcasing 1930s racing engines and hydroplane boats.
"Frisco Bound," an exhibition about immigration to San Francisco, clipper ships, and the Gold Rush era.
"Hyde Street Ship Models," an exhibit of models of the historic ships at the Hyde Street Pier.
"Discovery Room," a preview of the Maritime Library where visitors can look up documents and photographs.
(415) 447-5000."Crafts for Kids," ongoing. Every third Saturday of the month; 3-4 p.m. Learn a little about sea life and make a maritime craft. $5 vessel admission; free for children under 15.
"Adventures at Sea: Life Aboard a 19th century Sailing Ship," ongoing. Daily, 2:15 p.m.-3 p.m. Take a guided tour of the sailing ship Balclutha and learn about the hardships and awards of the sailors show fought for survival during the treacherous Cape Horn passage. Vessel admission.
"Historic Waterfront Walking Tour," ongoing. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Park Rangerled, hour long tour of San Francisco's northern waterfront. Tour takes place on various days throughout December; see website for full details. Free.
"Chantey Sing," ongoing. 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Monthly sing-a-long aboard a historic ship. Bring a mug for hot apple cider served from the ship's galley. Free; reservations required. Reservation line: (415) 561-7171.
"Music of the Sea for Kids," Feb. 19, 3-3:45 p.m. Sing songs that are geared for younger ears and chosen especially for fun. Ages 6 and up. $5; children under 15 are free.
Entering the Pier is free but there is a fee to board the ships. The fee allows access to all ships and is good for seven days. $5; free children under age 16. May 28-Sept. 30: daily, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Oct. 1-May 27: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Foot of Hyde Street, San Francisco. (415) 561-7100, www.nps.gov.<
SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF CRAFT AND DESIGN A museum celebrating and promoting the art of contemporary craft and design. The museum showcases diverse exhibitions from regional, national and international artists, working in mediums such as wood, clay, fiber, metal and glass.TEMPORARILY CLOSED.
$2-$4; free youths under age 18. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 550 Sutter St., San Francisco. (415) 773-0303, www.sfmcd.org.<
SAN FRANCISCO PERFORMING ARTS LIBRARY AND MUSEUM ongoing. "Dance in California: 150 Years of Innovation," ongoing. This permanent exhibit traces the history and artistic range of modern dance in California, with photographs and documents highlighting the achievements of Lola Montez, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, Martha Graham, the Christensen brothers, the Peters Wright School, the company of Lester Horton, Anna Halprin and Lucas Hoving.
"Maestro! Photographic Portraits by Tom Zimberoff," ongoing. This permanent exhibit is a comprehensive study of a generation of national and international conductors. In Gallery 5.
"San Francisco 1900: On Stage," ongoing. In Gallery 4.
"San Francisco in Song," ongoing. In Gallery 3.
Free. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 1-5 p.m. San Francisco War Memorial Veteran's Building, 401 Van Ness Ave., Fourth Floor, San Francisco. (415) 255-4800, www.sfpalm.org.<
SEYMOUR PIONEER MUSEUM ongoing. The museum, owned by The Society of California Pioneers, houses a permanent research library, art gallery and history museum. Exhibits include a photography collection documenting California history.
$1-$3. Wednesday-Friday and the first Saturday of the month, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Society of California Pioneers, 300 Fourth St., San Francisco. (415) 957-1859, www.californiapioneers.org.<
TREGANZA ANTHROPOLOGY MUSEUM AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY ongoing. The museum, founded in 1968, houses collections of archaeological and ethnographic specimens from Africa, Oceania, Asia, and North America as well as small collections from Central and South America. There are also collections of photographs, tapes and phonograph records from Africa and Europe. In addition, there is an archive of field notes and other materials associated with the collections. The museum also houses the Hohenthal Gallery that is used for traveling exhibits as well as exhibits mounted by students and faculty.
Free. Museum office: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; Hohenthal Gallery, SCI 388: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Science Building, SFSU, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco. (415) 338-2467, www.sfsu.edu/~treganza/.<
ZEUM Zeum is a technology and arts museum for children and families featuring exhibits and workshops that cover a variety of fascinating subjects.$8-$10. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. 221 Fourth St., San Francisco. (415) 820-3220, www.zeum.org.<