Exhibition Press Release

SFMOMA Presents Series Of Public Programs To Accompany diane Arbus Revelations Exhibition

Exhibition dates: October 25, 2003 - February 08, 2004

Release date: October 10, 2003

In conjunction with the Diane Arbus Revelations exhibition, on view from October 25, 2003, to February 8, 2004, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present the following public programs.

Opening Day Lecture and Conversation
Diane Arbus: Behind the Image
Saturday, October 25 • 1–3 p.m. • Phyllis Wattis Theater
Sandra S. Phillips, SFMOMA senior curator of photography, and Elisabeth Sussman, exhibition cocurator
Tickets: $12 general; $8 SFMOMA members, students with ID and seniors; available at SFMOMA or through www.ticketweb.com

Join the exhibition curators for an afternoon of conversation on the work of Diane Arbus. Phillips reflects on the relationship of artist and subject in Arbus's oeuvre, while Sussman discusses the photographer's personal influences and the evolution of her distinctive vision. A dialogue with the audience follows.

Docent-Led Gallery Tours
Highlights from Diane Arbus Revelations
Beginning November 1 • Daily (except Wednesdays) 1:30 p.m.
Free with Museum admission.
Private tours for groups of ten or more are available. Call 415.357.4197 for information and scheduling.

Video Screenings
Going Where I've Never Been: Photography of Diane Arbus
Beginning November 6 • Thursdays 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. • Koret Visitor Education Center
Free with Museum admission

Teacher Program
Looking Beyond: Diane Arbus
Saturday, November 8 • 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. • Koret Visitor Education Center
Registration: $25 general; $20 SFMOMA members. Call 415.357.4097 for information.

Teachers will examine how the photographs of Diane Arbus can offer a window into life's thorny, compelling, touching moments, illuminating the diverse ways people see each other and the world. Registration includes an educational kit containing slides and written materials.

Art Sandwiched In
Diane Arbus Revelations: A Discussion of the Work of Photographer Diane Arbus
Thursday, November 13 • Noon • The Schwab Room
Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, collectors; Sandra Phillips, SFMOMA senior curator of photography; Larry Sultan, photographer and professor
Tickets: $60 general; $55 SFMOMA members, includes lunch. Call 415.357.4127 for tickets.

Diane Arbus found most of her subjects in New York City and its environs during the 1950s and 1960s. Her portraits of couples, children, carnival performers, people on the street, eccentrics and celebrities explore the relationship between appearance and identity, illusion and belief, theater and reality. This panel takes an in-depth look at Arbus's photography from the perspective of a fellow photographer and two collectors, addressing what makes Arbus's work so compelling to contemporary viewers.

Panel Discussion
Intentionality, Ambiguity, and Truth: A Conversation about Reagan Louie, Diane Arbus, and the Elusive Nature of Photographic Meaning
Saturday, November 22 • 2–4 p.m. • Phyllis Wattis Theater
Panel: Susan Meiselas, photographer; Tracy Quan, writer and sex worker; Sandra S. Phillips, SFMOMA senior curator of photography; Sally Stein, associate professor of art history, University of California, Irvine

This diverse panel discusses the elusive nature of photographic meaning and addresses the relationship of photographers to their subjects and audiences. When photographers confront controversial issues, what, beyond making images, should they be doing and why? How and to what extent can photographs convey their makers' intentions or attitudes? Is photographic ambiguity a problem or an opportunity? A book signing with Meiselas immediately follows in the Haas Atrium.

Media Contacts

  • Libby Garrison, 415.357.4177,
  • Robyn Wise, 415.357.4172,
  • 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.