On our recent trip to San Francisco I had the opportunity to visit three very interesting and diversely themed museums. This is the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) which is located at 151 3rd Street, between Mission and Howard. Their web site states: "Founded in 1935, SFMOMA was the first museum on the West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. From the outset, the museum has championed the most innovative and challenging art of its time, and we continue to exhibit and collect work by both modern masters and younger, less-established artists."
Of course I'm a fan of New York's Museum of Modern Art and I was curious to see our western partner's collection. (all photos will enlarge if clicked on once, and then again)
The SFMOMA building is, in itself, a work of art! Designed by architect Louis I. Kahn, the interior is flooded with natural light and offers generous open spaces. The full-height central atrium court is illuminated by the enormous circular skylight turret and features a dramatic bridge crossing the space at the fifth-floor level. The Rooftop Garden was designed by architect Mark Jensen, and connects to the museum's fifth-floor galleries via a glass-enclosed bridge.
The five floors of galleries are filled with light and easy to navigate.
A collage of some of the many paintings and a Calder mobile which I found interesting.
From left to right on top:
Jackson Pollock - "Guardians of the Secret"
Henri Matisse - "La Fille aux Yeux Verts"
Andy Warhol - "Self-Portrait"
Bottom, left to right:
Chuck Close - "James"
Alexander Calder - "Eighteen Numbered Black"
Frida (Frieda) Kahlo - "Frieda and Diego Rivera"
Much more of SFMOMA's permanent collection can be viewed online using their interesting "Artscope" feature.
I was fortunate to be able to see the Calder to Warhol exhibit that was on the entire top two floors of the museum, including the Rooftop Garden, which feature more than 160 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and video works by Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, Anselm Kiefer, Roy Lichtenstein, Agnes Martin, Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and many more.
This past February the SFMOMA formed a partnership to house and display the collection of Gap founders Doris and Donald Fisher. Their collection consists of more than 1,100 works by iconic 20th-century artists, many of which have never been seen by the public! This exhibit runs until September 19, 2010.
One Fisher collection on display contained 23 paintings of German artist Gehard Richter. Their collection consisted of a full range of his styles and is considered one of the finest concentrations of his works in the world. This collage shows four of his works. Upper left is "Abstraktes Bild 1987," and "256 Farben - 1974." Lower left is "Abstraktes Bild 1992," and "Janus 1983'
I thought this work called "5,377,183 Suns from Flickr (partial) ( 2006-2009)" by Penelope Umbrico would be of interest to bloggers and photographers. The artist culled and cropped pictures of sunsets from the public photo sharing site Flickr. It is part of SFMOMA's "Living Histories" exhibition that is part of the 75th anniversary show which runs through Jan 2011. You can view some of these photographs up close of the artist's Flickr site, and read her fascinating description of how this art work came into existence in her statement.
The next museum I visited was the de Young Fine Arts Museum located in Golden Gate Park at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. The de Young showcases American art from the 17th through the 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa.
I was extremely fortunate to see this special exhibit! Unfortunately no photographs of the exhibit were allowed, and I just read on the museum website that this special exhibit, which runs through September 6, 2010, is completely sold out.
The de Young's web site about the exhibit states: "Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay presents nearly 100 magnificent works by the famous masters who called France their home during the mid- to late-19th century and from whose midst arose one of the most original and recognizable of all artistic styles, Impressionism. The exhibition begins with paintings by the great academic artist Bouguereau and the arch-Realist Courbet, and includes American expatriate Whistler’s Arrangement in Gray and Black, known to many as “Whistler’s Mother.” Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Sisley are showcased with works dating from the 1860s through 1880s, along with a selection of Degas’ paintings that depict images of the ballet, the racetrack, and life in the Belle Époque."
Part two of the Musee D'Orsay collection to be displayed in exhibit called "Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay," opens September 25, and if you live in the San Francisco area I urge you to purchase tickets immediately for the chance of a lifetime to see these works!
The museum's regular collections were allowed to be photographed and I thought I'd show a couple of my favorites. Above is Edward Hopper's "Portrait of Orleans."
Georgia O' Keeffe's "Petunias"
The last museum I was fortunate enough to have time to visit was the new Walt Disney Family Museum located in the Presidio at 104 Montgomery Street. No photography was allowed inside the museum, but you can view a synopsis of the galleries collections online, and see photographs from the Disney collection and read the history of Walt Disney's life.
The museum's web site states: "The Walt Disney Family Museum was conceived to present the real story of Walt Disney, the man, told by him and others who knew him well. The Museum is located in the Presidio of San Francisco, a former U.S. Army base and now a National Park. The three buildings that house the Museum are on the National Register of Historic Places."
For any fan of Walt Disney -- his cartoons, movies, theme parks and brand -- it was a fascinating journey to walk through the galleries of this new museum devoted to his life and to read, listen and watch film clips abut him from his birth to death. I would say it is not exactly a place to bring very young children, because as of now the exhibits required mush listening and reading activity, but a child 10 and over would probably find it enjoyable. It certainly made me reminisce about the many ways the Walt Disney brand touched my life as a child.
There was also this wonderful view of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge from a large glass window near the Disney museum's upper floor restrooms, that I could not resist taking a photograph of! The top of the bridge is covered in the iconic fog that often lingers in the bay. I'll be showing many more photos of this beautiful bridge when we go over it on our way to visit Muir Woods, but next blog post I'll take you along on our day trip to the beautiful town of Sausalito.
I hope everyone is having a safe and happy Labor Day Weerend!