Event Press Release



Release date: May 6, 2014


San Francisco–based design legend Jonathan Ive receives SFMOMA’s annual Bay Area Treasure Award; photo: courtesy Apple, Inc.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has named Apple Senior Vice President of Design Jonathan Ive the recipient of its 2014 Bay Area Treasure Award. The annual lifetime achievement award, organized by the Modern Art Council (MAC), SFMOMA’s premier fund-raising auxiliary, recognizes artists and creative leaders in the region whose contributions have redefined contemporary visual culture.

"Ive is our generation’s most innovative and influential figure in the field of industrial design—no other design mind has done more to transform the way we visualize and share information,” said SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. “SFMOMA was the first museum on the West Coast to establish a department of architecture and design, and we’re thrilled to celebrate Ive’s revolutionary achievements."

The award will be given at a presentation and dinner on Thursday, October 30, 2014 (venue TBD), chaired by MAC member Maria Tenaglia Watson and featuring Ive in conversation with SFMOMA Curator of Architecture and Design Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher.

"I've always enjoyed visiting SFMOMA, and I think it represents exceptional contemporary art and design,” said Ive. “I'm very grateful to the museum and proud to be recognized among such an amazing list of past recipients."

SFMOMA’s Department of Architecture and Design has been tracking the evolution of computational design since 1988. The museum has a significant collection of 20th- and 21st-century consumer electronics, with a third of its holdings in this area originating from Northern California’s innovative tech sector. As design shifts focus away from the object and toward the experience—e.g., live maps and other software integrated products—a number of new concerns have emerged for museums collecting high-tech design, including the hardware/software divide, rapid evolution of media, and limitations of traditional exhibition formats.

As part of a major conservation-based research project, The Artist Initiative, SFMOMA’s Department of Architecture and Design is currently engaged in a long-term investigation of how best to collect, maintain, and interpret the museum’s collection of consumer electronics in dialogue with leading Bay Area–based designers, including Jonathan Ive.

‚ÄčAbout Jonathan Ive
London-born designer Jonathan Ive is Apple's senior vice president of design, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Since 1996, he has been responsible for leading a design team widely regarded as one of the world’s best. As the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple's innovative products, Ive also provides leadership and direction for Human Interface software teams across the company.

Recognized with numerous design awards, Apple products are featured in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, including SFMOMA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Ive holds a BA and an honorary doctorate from Newcastle Polytechnic (now Northumbria University). In 2003, he was named Designer of the Year by the Design Museum London and awarded the title Royal Designer for Industry by The Royal Society of Arts.

About the Bay Area Treasure Award
Jonathan Ive is the 15th Bay Area Treasure Award honoree. Previous recipients include filmmaker George Lucas; media artist Jim Campbell; painters Robert Bechtle, Nathan Oliveira, Wayne Thiebaud, and William T. Wiley; sculptors Manuel Neri, Richard Serra, and Mark di Suvero; sound artist Bill Fontana; industrial designer Sara Little Turnbull; landscape architect Lawrence Halprin; and photographers Ruth Bernhard and Larry Sultan.

Nominees from museum leadership across the organization are considered for the award each year; the final decision is made by SFMOMA’s director. Proceeds from the event support SFMOMA’s exhibitions and enable the museum to serve more than 60,000 students, teachers, and families annually through diverse education programs.

What          SFMOMA’s 15th Annual Bay Area Treasure Award

When         Thursday, October 30, 2014 • 7–10 p.m.; venue to be announced

Tickets       Tickets will range from $400 to $1,250

Who           Event Chair: Maria Tenaglia Watson 

Modern Art Council President: Candace Cavanaugh

Bay Area Treasure Event Committee: Afsaneh Akhtari, Jennifer Benham, Florence Buatois, Penelope Blair, Courtney Dallaire, Robin Eber, Yvette Esserman, Shelley Gordon, Marilyn Hayes, Sheila Larsen, Betsy Linder, Charlot Malin, Nathalie Delrue-McGuire, Denise Nathanson, Jacqueline Sacks, Claire Slaymaker, Christine Suppes, Joni Binder Shwarts, Toni Wolfson, Victoria Yeager, and Micaela Van Zwoll.

More          To reserve tickets or for more information, contact the Modern Art Council at 415.357.4125 or mac@sfmoma.org.


Media Contacts

  • Robyn Wise, 415.357.4172,
  • Christine Choi, 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 to open in 2016 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, from June 3, 2013 to early 2016, SFMOMA will be “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 our Web site at www.sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.