The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts (AFGA) at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) is among the nation’s largest graphic arts collections, as well as the most comprehensive of its kind in the Western United States. The holdings comprise more than 90,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and artists books that document European, American, and Asian graphic arts from the 15th century to the present.
AFGA was established through the generosity of Moore and Hazel Achenbach, San Francisco residents who assembled a vast collection of prints and drawings with the intent of creating a public resource. The Achenbachs presented the artworks to the City of San Francisco in 1948, later adding a modest endowment. AFGA came to be housed at the Legion of Honor as a department of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
AFGA has enjoyed remarkable growth under a series of distinguished curators. Gifts and bequests from generous individuals and thoughtful purchases have added depth and breadth to the collections, as well as numerous individual masterpieces. Notable special collections include: Anderson Collection of Graphic Art, Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books, Crown Point Press Archive, and Ed Ruscha Archive. AFGA is also home to important collections of theater and dance design, Japanese prints, and Indian miniatures, as well as a large allocation of prints produced under the WPA-era Federal Art Program.
AGAC has supported numerous acquisitions over the years. These include the 2014 purchase of a masterpiece of 20th-century California printmaking: a rare impression of Paul Landacre’s “The Press” (1934).