The fine arts museums of San Francisco, or the “de Young” takes its name after one of the first San Franciscan journalists M.H. de young and together with the Legion of Honor comprises the Fine Arts Museums within Golden Gate Park's 1,017 acres was inaugurated in 1895, reconstructed and open in 2005 the new building is 293,000-square-foot (27,000-square-meter). Located in the park are gardens, playgrounds, lakes, picnic groves, trails, and monuments, plus an array of cultural venues. The de Young has its own magnificent presence, with its twisting copper tower, and building streaching the length of a football field, gave me the imagination of the grand architecture, vastness and complexity of the culture that I am fascinated with the Maya.
Parking under the Academy of sciences and accompanied by my mother Joyce, we exited the garage into the courtyard looking upon de Young. I tried to picture how for millennia the Mayan would gaze across vast expanses like this, looking at grand pyramids and stone structures that were simply part of their world as they recognized it, like I see the de Young, unique but not beyond.
I chose the de Young for its “Art of the Americas” collection, cultures and civilizations that thrived in the Western Hemisphere for over 2000 years. With a strong focus in Mesoamerican and Andean art, almost all of these ancient arts were used in religious or burial contexts. Themes include human and divine ritual and life in the afterworld. My interest is the “Stela with Queen Ix Mutal Ahaw”, A.D. 761 Limestone, found on the border of Mexico and Guatemala. As a jeweler and carver of stone my interest in this particular object laid in its beauty and its fixed Oracle significance and the fact that “I could carve this.”
Before reaching my desired exhibit, my mother and I are excited by the expansive modern environment inside the D Young, it is the awe that one feels when in the presents of unique greatness like half Dome in Yosemite...
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