Amy Turner

San Francisco, California, 2006
Photograph of Amy Turner

I used my University of Leicester Travel Scholarship for a 7-day visit to San Francisco in early August 2006 in order to research modern American art. During this trip I visited various art institutes, including De Young Museum, the Asian Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and San Francisco Art Institute. In the process, I saw exhibitions on Asian art and Hispanic art, alongside long-running exhibitions dealing with racial conflict and political propaganda.

My reason for choosing San Francisco for my area of research was in preparation for my American Studies dissertation. I plan to write my dissertation on a comparison of three major American art centres – San Francisco, Chicago and New York City – particularly how each city is represented by its ethnic artists. San Francisco was my first stop in gathering primary sources; the trip helped me to realise the place of Asian and Hispanic artists in the city. San Francisco has a strong Hispanic presence and I was fortunate enough to visit the ‘Chicano!’ exhibit in the De Young Museum, which was of great value to my research. My other real gain was being able to see the street art in the Mission, a Mexican district of the city.

Due to the wide variety of art museums and galleries in San Francisco I feel that my research is up-to-date and relevant to my topic, and it will provide interesting comparison with the art of Chicago and New York City. During my trip I was able to see some of the famous San Francisco sights, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39 and Union Square. The travel scholarship meant that not only was I able to perform very beneficial research for my dissertation, but I also experienced one of the greatest of American cities.

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