The de Young is a huge museum. Their website says it has 293,000 square feet. It’s not large like the Louvre, but large nonetheless. We arrived about 11:00 in the morning and left at about 4:00. We saw every gallery, and my feet let me know that.
The museum was the brain child of M. H. de Young, publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle. In 1893, a year of financial depression in San Francisco, he decided that the West was in need of its own world’s fair. The fair was adopted and held and posted a profit. Out of that success came the desire to build a museum, so on 24 March 1895 the first de Young Museum was dedicated.
The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the old de Young, and it was decided that it had to come down. But there was no public money to rebuild it. Private funds were collected, and the new de Young was built and dedicated. Opening ceremonies were October 14, 2005.