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Founded in 1947 by Russell Hartley (1926 - 1983), a dancer and designer with San Francisco Ballet, the Museum of Performance + Design was incorporated and established as a charitable organization in 1976. Seventy years of collecting has made MP+D a prominent living record of the history of the performing arts in the Bay Area and beyond. It aims to share artistic and humanistic values through a dynamic stewardship of its 3.5M-item collection and an innovative approach to public humanities.

Accessing the collection


Research hours by appointment

Kirsten Tanaka, Head Librarian



exhibitions & tours


Performance Alive

an audio tour by warren-crow+warren-crow


Wed. - Fri., 12:30pm - 5:30pm

(no Oct 25 -31st, 2017)

$5 / per headset

Opera and costume Designs

Through June 2018

War Memorial Opera House, Lower Lounge Cafe

Accessible with performance ticket

Group tours of the archive


Starting at $7.50/per person, 5 persons min.

News & Updates