The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts (AFGA) at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is the most comprehensive collection of works of art on paper in the western United States. It began as the vast print and drawing collection of Mr. and Mrs. Moore Achenbach given to the City of San Francisco in 1948. The AFGA collection now encompasses over 80,000 prints documenting key areas of the history of printmaking from the fifteenth century to the present, as well as over 3,000 drawings, 3,000 photographs, Indian miniature paintings, Japanese prints and drawings, a theater and dance collection, posters, and rare books. The collection also includes the Anderson Collection of Graphic Art, as well as the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books. In addition, the AFGA is home to the Crown Point Press Archive and the complete graphic archives of the California artists Ed Ruscha and William T. Wiley.
The collection's extraordinary size and scope are the result of the gifts of generous donors and careful purchases by curators from a limited endowment. The AFGA offers a continuing program of changing exhibitions from the permanent and loan collections at the de Young and Legion of Honor, the museums that comprise the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
From 1998-2007, over 6,600 works on paper were added to the collection, an achievement recognized by the exhibition Rembrandt to Thiebaud: A Decade of Collecting Works on Paper (2007).
Viewing the “Collection”
For the purposes of research, the AFGA collection database may be directly accessed. Please make an appointment, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. No appointment is necessary on Saturdays, 11:00 am – 2:30 pm. Alternatively, the collection can be searched via the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s online collection database: http://legionofhonor.famsf.org/search-collections
To arrange an appointment to access the collection database, please call 415.750.3676.