Hidden Treasures of San Francisco

Staff writers Darrow Hornik and Olivia O’Farrell take a trip to San Francisco to explore two unknown museums: the Museum of Craft and Design and the Museum of African Diaspora. Here’s what they saw and experienced on this adventure to the city!

Museum of Craft and Design

If you’re looking for a quick, peaceful escape from the everyday stressors of the outside world, take a stop at the Museum of Craft and Design (MCD). Located on 3rd Street, the Museum of Craft and Design is the perfect museum for all craft-lovers and those who appreciate beautiful things. MCD showcases a variety of contemporary pieces ranging from a carefully designed display of rolling pins on a wall, to a brightly colored wall full of patterns and sketches. Not only does it offer a variety of installations and works, but it also displays a stunning gift shop that offers colored pencils, coloring books, eccentric jewelry, kitchenware and many more marvelous gifts. Entry is $6, but the small price you pay to see beautiful art goes to supporting the museum, allowing it to continue sharing and spreading beauty through its exhibitions. The next time you venture up to San Francisco, whether you’re with your friends or family, make sure to stop by the Museum of Craft and Design. You may end up coming home with a beautiful coloring book or a pair of colorful earrings. And, if you don’t plan on spending money in the magnificent gift shop, don’t worry! Every museum attendee gets a Museum of Craft and Design sticker to keep, take home and cherish.

Museum of African Diaspora

Looking for a quick, delightful and educational experience? Across  from the Yerba Buena Center and around the corner from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art sits the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD). Whether you’re looking for a quick way to immerse yourself in culture or just a pit stop on your tour of San Francisco, the MOAD is a great place to learn about the migration of Africans throughout the world, also known as the African diaspora.

Located on Mission Street, the MOAD is only a short walk from the Caltrain station. This small museum showcases the history and art that resulted from the African diaspora. It is a two-story, modern building with unique works of art, interactive installations and some fascinating history. One of the only possibly dissuading aspects of this museum is that you have to pay to enter. However, it is only $5 for students, a small price that goes to supporting the museum and its efforts to share the stories and art of African heritage. Five dollars well spent.

As you begin to walk up the initial flight of stairs to reach the first exhibit in the museum, you are greeted by a couple of black crows resting along the large glass windows that peer out on the city streets. The walk up to the first exhibit is pleasant, with a view of the city on your left, and a beautiful collage of antique images trailing the entire wall on the right. Once you make your way up the first flight of stairs, you enter a room made up of beautiful charcoal and pastel drawings by Toyin Ojih Odutola, an exhibit that is open until April 2017. The next  exhibit showcases a variety of pieces created by Nyame Brown, including charcoal drawings, desks, old records and paintings. This exhibit allows the public to experience the Diaspora. Brown uses his art as an instrument to fight racial oppression. The second exhibit is engaging and informational at the same time, and closes on Jan.16, 2017. The last exhibit in the small, but grand, MOAD is the “Where is Here” exhibition, which also closes in April 2017. Past another flight of stairs and two white doors sits a wonderful exhibit that displays a plethora of pieces by multiple different artists. The idea behind this exhibit is to demonstrate how humans travel through space. Every piece of art in the room presents the artist’s ideas of how to describe space. Our personal favorite in this exhibition was the installation of hundreds of small pieces of paper placed on the ground artistically, being held up by black paper clips. This installation is just one of many that are spread throughout the museum. The only downside to these exhibits is that they aren’t at the MOAD forever. So, you better hurry up to the city to experience this wonderful museum!