Best known for his extraordinary ephemeral sculptures of leaves, ice and balanced stone, English artist Andy Goldsworthy created a a subtle but spectacular permanent installation at the new de Young Museum in 2005, consisting of one continuous crack in stone running from the Music Concourse road to the entrance of the museum.
The Appleton Greenmoore stone was imported from Yorkshire, England, near where Goldsworthy grew up. The winding, continuous crack was created using a sledgehammer.
Other permanent installations by Goldsworthy can be seen at Stanford, New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.
The piece brings to mind the faultline on which San Francisco rests, and the earthquakes that have rocked the city and ultimately caused the rebuilding of the historic museum.
On occasion the stone serves just as well as a seat as it does art.
Visit San Francisco with Atlas Obscura Trips
Hip-Hop, Hippies, and Robots: Invention and Reinvention in San Francisco
We'll set out together, September 19-21, to explore unusual galleries, test our cocktail-making skills, and visit the city's best unofficial museum.