By: Kevin L. Nichols
These economic times require us to be more creative in finding worthwhile entertainment than ever before for ourselves and our families. This is why it is important to explore our local gems that we often take for granted as Bay Area residents. Recently, I visited the DeYoung Museum nestled in the gorgeously revamped Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and I must say that it was a breathtaking experience.
First of all, the lines were not long. The entire museum has been upgraded such that it has a state of the art cafeteria and restroom facilities (which are always nice while visiting with children). Further, most visitors are respectful of the rules, meaning that they speak quietly amongst themselves, the docents are extremely helpful, and the fact sheets placed next to the exhibits are highly informative.
Below, please find some of the magnificent ancient African masks, artifacts, and rugs that I found intriguing:
One piece that I found particularly provocative was Aaron Douglas’s oil on canvas “Aspiration” (created for the Texas Centennial in 1936). Despite knowing many of the purchasers, such as Dr. and Mrs. Coyness Ennix, Jr., Nichole Ennix, and organizations such as the NAACP and the Black Chamber of Commerce, I was deeply moved by what it represented. Essentially the piece articulates Douglas’s conceptualization of the connection between African/Egyptian and African American cultures and their respective historical progressions from slavery to freedom. It is deeply seeded with images of the “lone star” representing Texas, shackles, the North Star that led slaves to freedom, and the ancient pyramids in the distance. It was truly inspiring.
In the near future, I hope to share my thoughts on the King Tutankhamun Exhibit also featured at the DeYoung and I encourage you all to visit the museum to share in this once in a lifetime experience.
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