Randall Museum History
The Randall Museum was the inspiration of a remarkable woman, Josephine D. Randall. Ms.
Randall received her Masters degree in zoology from Stanford University in 1910. By 1915,
she had organized one of the first Girl Scout troops in the United States as well as one of the
first Camp Fire Girl troops. She went on to become San Francisco's first Superintendent of
Recreation, a position she held for a quarter of a century. In 1948 she received an honorary
Doctorate from the University of California. Under her direction, the San Francisco Recreation
Department achieved national recognition as one of the most outstanding services of its kind.
One of Ms. Randall's long-term goals was the establishment of a museum for children. In 1937
her vision came to fruition. Simply called the "Junior Museum," it originally
opened in the city's old jail on Ocean Avenue. In 1947, Ms. Randall shepherded a
$12,000,000 bond issue for recreation capital projects, including a new museum. In 1951,
the museum opened in its current facilities on a 16-acre park over looking San Francisco Bay and
was renamed the Josephine D. Randall Junior Museum in honor of its founder.
Ms. Randall intended the museum to be "a place that would foster a love of science,
natural history, and the arts." As part of this mission the museum provides
exhibits, classes, workshops, presentations, special events, and many other hands-on learning
experiences for children and adults.