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De Young, Legion of Honor Adopt Free Saturday Admission for San Franciscans

The de Young.

COURTESY FAMSF

Over at the San Francisco Chronicle, Charles Desmarais has the welcome news that the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will begin offering free general admission to all city residents on Saturdays.

Even as a New Yorker, I have to admit to experiencing sticker shock when visiting the FAMSF’s two locations, the de Young and the Legion of Honor. While a general admission ticket is $15, some special exhibitions go for quite a bit more: the current Gauguin show rings up at $28, and an upcoming Monet affair will be $35. (In contrast, in New York, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art top out at $25, special exhibitions included. Blessedly, as a card-carrying member of the International Association of Art Critics I generally do not have to pay.)

As Desmarais notes, the other big museum in town, the San Francisco Museum of Art, which reopened in 2016 after a $305-million expansion project, has no regular free day for those living in the city. Its general admission price is $25.

The new initiative was announced by FAMSF’s new director, Thomas P. Campbell, who took up that top job on November 1 after leading the Met from 2009 to 2017.

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