Treasure Island Museum


The Treasure Island Museum engages visitors and island residents with Treasure Island’s rich cultural legacy, the natural wealth of Yerba Buena Island, and the island’s forthcoming sustainable development, to explore innovative solutions to the challenges of living in harmony with our environment.

Featured Fun

The Museum will present two virtual lectures, a self-guided and in-person tour, and an outdoor welcome table in front of Building One on  the Island where you can pick up the tour pamphlet on Saturday.

Saturday, September 26, 2020 from 11:00AM – 3:00PM – (In-Person) Self-Guided Tour of Treasure Island

Staff from the Treasure Island Museum they will be tabling in front of Building One on the island where you can collect a self-guided history tour pamphlet. You can also access this map online.

This event is free and no pre-registration is required.

Saturday, September 16, 2020 at 10:30AM – (Virtual) Emperor Norton Live! The Ruler Who Decreed Treasure Island

Almost 70 years before Treasure Island was built, its construction was mandated by an imperial proclamation.

The royal in question was, of course, San Francisco’s favorite eccentric, Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. His August 1869 decree also required the building of the Bay Bridge.

In this lecture, Emperor Norton himself, as famously portrayed by Joseph Amster, will employ a magic lantern (ok, PowerPoint) to present his life and times, with special emphasis on his connection to Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands.

You will learn about Emperor Norton—the man and the myth, his rise and fortune, how he lost everything and became the Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, how San Francisco embraced his Imperial reign, the truth about Bummer and Lazarus, The Widow Norton, Norton’s relationship to the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, his death and burial, and much more.

Speaker: Joseph Amster is a tour guide, journalist, historian, California native, and resident of San Francisco on and off since the ‘70s. He has he worked as editor of the Orange County Blade and IN Los Angeles magazines, and as a cook at San Francisco’s legendary Salmagundi restaurant. He is a board member of the San Francisco History Association and E Clampus Vitus Yerba Buena Chapter 1, and a co-founder of the Emperor Norton Legacy League. He and husband Rick Shelton founded Time Machine Tours, which offers Emperor Norton and other tours, and does lectures, weddings, and special events.

This talk in Treasure Island Museum’s “Little Island – Big Ideas” Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the Art Deco Society of California.

This event is free but pre-registration is required. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 3:00PM – (Virtual) Timothy Pflueger: Architect of Pacific Unity

Among the architects in charge of creating the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939-1940, Timothy Pflueger was one of the most influential, and his Federal Building was seen as one of the few modernist designs at a fair that was mostly the last gasp of the Art Deco style. He also designed the California Building, the San Francisco Building, and the Court of Pacifica.

In all of these works, he hired many of his artist friends, such as Ralph Stackpole, who created the iconic sculpture of Pacifica. In 1940, when the fair was reborn for a second year, Pflueger hired the famed Mexian muralist, Diego Rivera, to create a massive mural that would eventually find a home in San Francisco. Rivera was a key attraction at the dynamic Art in Action exhibition, where fair goers could watch art work in progress.

Speaker: Therese Poletti, author of Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger, and Preservation Director of the Art Deco Society.

This talk in Treasure Island Museum’s “Little Island – Big Ideas” Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the Art Deco Society of California.

This event is free but pre-registration is required.