Event Press Release

The SFMOMA Art Auction Returns Modern Art Council Presents Museum's Largest Fundraiser

Release date: March 6, 2002

The Modern Art Council of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will hold the 2002 Art Auction on Wednesday, May 15, 2002. As the Museum's most important fundraising event, the Auction will feature an extraordinary array of work for bidding, including pieces by Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Ellsworth Kelly, Vija Celmins, Sigmar Polke, Kathryn Spence and Richard Tuttle, among others, all donated by local and national galleries as well as artists themselves. The Art Auction will also include a wide range of works on paper and photographs, as well as specialty items such as art furniture, exciting travel packages and several rare and unusual selections of wine—something for every taste and every budget. Patrick Meade, senior vice president of Butterfields, will conduct the Live Auction while bidders peruse and bid for the vast array of items in the Silent Auction. Proceeds from the Art Auction benefit SFMOMA's Education Department.

Headlining the Auction specialty items is the brand new 2002 Range Rover Freelander sport utility vehicle. Other specialty items include "his-and-hers" black and pearl Vespa scooters; a trip to New York with a five-night stay in the Trump International Hotel and a tour of the new Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) galleries in Queens with Gary Garrels, MoMA chief curator of drawings; and two first-class tickets on American Airlines to London with a four-nights stay at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and an insider tour of the Tate Modern and several contemporary art galleries in London with art critic Roger Bevan.

"There is nothing more exciting than an auction. From Andy Warhol's silkscreen of Ronald Reagan and the latest Range Rover SUV to a whole host of artwork by local artists and a fabulous selection of wines and jewelry, we have a terrific range of items in this year's Auction that will be of interest to all Bay Area participants," event chair Michele Larsen commented. "We are thrilled to be partnering with Butterfields and look forward to an evening full of fun and surprises."

Wine connoisseurs will have the opportunity to bid on several delectable vintages: magnums from Far Niente, Silver Oak Cellars and Bryant Family Vineyards; bottles with artist labels such as Jeff Koons for Azalea Springs Vineyard and John Baldessari, Charles Arnoldi and Gladys Nilsson for Grgich Hills and Imagery Estate Winery, among others. Private tours and tastings in the wine country include those at Niebaum-Coppola, Stags' Leap Winery, Calloway Coastal and Chateau Montelena.

Art furniture will include a carved mahogany Wendall Castle samba cabinet, a Chapel Hill mahogany coffee table and a Therien Studio Workshops silhouette cocktail table.

There will be fashion and accessories selections including a Daniels & Wolfson diamond collar-style necklace, a Frank Ancona amethyst and pearl necklace, a Quadrille Inc. ladies classic French print jacket and a Wilkes Bashford shopping spree.

Items from the Silent Auction may be previewed at Butterfields May 3–5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at SFMOMA May 13–14 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Art Auction previews are free and open to the public. Please note: Silent Auction bids will be accepted during previews although bidders are encouraged to attend the event to ensure success.

The Art Auction gala will take place at SFMOMA on May 15. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and a Silent Auction and continues at 7 p.m. with a Live Auction and hors d'oeuvres by McCall Associates. The event is organized by the Modern Art Council, an auxiliary of SFMOMA. Auction sponsors include Butterfields, First Republic Bank, American Airlines and Beringer Blass. Media sponsor: San Francisco Magazine.

Tickets for the gala event are: Benefactor tickets $300 per person; Patron tickets $175 per person. For tickets or more information, please call the Modern Art Council Office at 415/357-4127.

Media Contacts

  • Libby Garrison, 415/357-4177,
  • Jessica O’Dwyer, 415/357-4176,
  • Sandra Farish Sloan, 415/357-4174,


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.