One of the most enjoyable things about living in the city of San Francisco is how visually dynamic it is. There is simply art everywhere, but not in a way that inundates you. The most interesting pieces are hidden away in nooks and crannies, and many people often overlook the “candy”  placed in prominent locations.  ART on STREETS highlights this city’s art through the lens of a “Polaroid”  camera (except it’s an app on the phone).  

*This is the second part of a two-part series. The first part was published on 11/18/11.

On a sunny afternoon-a rarity in the Inner Sunset-walking through the Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden is pretty dreamy. If you are facing the  entrance to the de Young Museum, the  garden is to the left. I particularly enjoy the whimsical, yet serious, nature of this garden and its surroundings. With the contrasting backdrop of the the open-air de Young Cafe and the stark linear shapes of the museum itself, a visitor’s experience of the garden can be multi-dimensional, both tactile and visual…and tasty. Before touring the sculptures, which visitors are free to touch, stop by the cafe for a cup of coffee (or lunch). Then proceed to the garden, where you can choose to follow the paved path…or not. Come with us now on our Untapped Cities tour of the Barbo Osher Sculpture Garden. You might decide a trip to Golden Gate Park is in order this weekend!

Last time we ended here. Follow this path from the classical sculptures to the more modern ones.

Once you are inside the Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden, you are immediately greeted with a giant safety pin.

Who doesn’t love a giant safety pin?

From here you can see part of the Music Concourse on the other side of the fence.

On the lawn there are a few sculpture installations.

Some of the installations have multiple pieces, like these ceramic apples.


Back there under the overhang is the open-air cafe.

Ginkgo Biloba trees line the walkway. In the fall they are this wonderful yellow.

Along the pathway behind the lawn are individual sculptures made of different mediums.

I really enjoyed the feet on this sculpture.

The juxtaposition of the museum’s shape, the open-air cafe and this sculpture installation is food for thought.

It’s like they are in mid conversation.

Filled with whimsy and curiosity

This sculpture is quite linear, similar to the design of the museum itself.

Looking back across the lawn

The mood for the next piece is set by the foliage and walkway leading up to it.

This piece is interactive; you go inside it for the full experience. Here we go…

The circle on the floor of the room looks like the sky.

Look up! You’ll see a circular hole where the sky is in full view-except for that little branch.

Light in the room

On the way out

The pathway out

Copper sculpture

The head on the path

Ginkgo tree with a nest

The softness of this stone sculpture contrasts with the hardness of the de Young’s lines.

The linear quality of the museum is enchanting.

Walking along the museum to check out one last sculpture off to the side.

Looking back

The big shiny sculpture

I love how it integrates with the nature around it.


Great contrast with the copper overhang from the museum

Saying farewell to the giant safety pin

Across the street, the Music Concourse



Follow Untapped Cities on  Twitter  and  Facebook. Get in touch with the author @faernworks.

Leave a Comment