Event Press Release

Frank Stella To Speak At SFMOMA As 2004 Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecturer

Release date: March 29, 2004

Since its inception in 1995, the Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecture Series at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has brought scholarship and art commentary of the highest caliber to the Bay Area. SFMOMA's Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecture Series 2004 is a two-part program that will feature lectures by the artist Frank Stella and professor Robert K. Wallace, who will talk about Stella's series of work based on Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick. This year's series is presented in conjunction with the opening of "What You See Is What You See:" Frank Stella and the Anderson Collection at SFMOMA, an exhibition of eight key works that span Stella's career, on view from June 11 through September 12.

The 2004 Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecture Series
Stella's Shapes and Melville's Words: The Quadrant and Moby-Dick Robert K. Wallace, professor of literature and language, Northern Kentucky University
Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 7 p.m.
Phyllis Wattis Theater

Wallace leads off the Wattis Lecture Series with this talk about Stella's monumental works based on Herman Melville's American classic, Moby-Dick. Comprising more than 250 individual pieces, the series occupied Stella from 1988 to 1994 and constitutes a unique chapter in his career. Looking both at Stella's work and Melville's novel, Wallace explores the complex play of words and shapes that he examined in his 2001 monograph, Frank Stella's Moby-Dick: Words and Shapes.

Tickets: $12 general; $8 SFMOMA members, students with ID, and seniors. Available at SFMOMA or www.ticketweb.com.

Frank Stella
2004 Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecture: Frank Stella on Art
Saturday, June 12 - 2 p.m.
Phyllis Wattis Theater
Reception: 4 p.m., location to be announced at the lecture

Known as one of the most literate and passionately articulate artists of his era, Frank Stella has written and spoken extensively on contemporary art, architecture, the work of his peers, and the history of modernism. As the 2004 Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecturer, Stella continues his long and fruitful dialogue with art history. Guests are invited to attend a reception for the artist at 4 p.m. The location will be announced at the lecture.

Tickets: $15 general; $10 SFMOMA members, students with ID, and seniors. Includes 4 p.m. artist reception. Available at SFMOMA or www.ticketweb.com.

Media Contacts

  • Robyn Wise, 415.357.4172,
  • Sandra Farish Sloan, 415.357.4174,
  • Libby Garrison, 415.357.4177,


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, SFMOMA is currently undergoing a major expansion project that will significantly enhance gallery, education, and public spaces, enabling the museum to better showcase more of its expanded permanent collection. While the museum is temporarily closed for construction,  through 2016, SFMOMA is “on the go” with an extensive array of off-site programming across the Bay Area, including collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, major outdoor projects and commissioned installations, and new education initiatives.

Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.