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.