News Press Release


SFMOMA Unveils Groundbreaking Educational Facility New Center Unique Among American Art Museums

Release date: October 9, 2002


On October 12, 2002, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) opens the Koret Visitor Education Center to the public. Situated at the heart of the Museum adjacent to the galleries, it is the only educational facility at an American art museum to offer drop-in public access as well as a full calendar of scheduled programs and activities.

The Koret Center was conceived by the SFMOMA Education Department, led by John S. Weber, the Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs. Commenting on the goals of the facility, Weber explains, "Our core mission is to enable a one-on-one connection between our visitors and works of art. As a museum of modern and contemporary art, we must work that much harder to help our visitors enjoy their experience here. The Koret Visitor Education Center takes this effort to a new level, very deliberately extending an open invitation to all SFMOMA visitors by providing access to the seminal ideas, historical contexts and makers of those works."

At 7,000 square feet, the new Koret Visitor Education Center boasts almost three times the space of SFMOMA's previous education facilities, which were located on the main and lower levels of the Museum. The Koret Center more than doubles the Museum's capacity to present educational and outreach programs while introducing many new features. Distinguishing the Koret Visitor Education Center from its predecessor—and from educational facilities at other modern art museums in the United States—is the Learning Lounge, a drop-in resource area for visitors of all ages. The Learning Lounge offers comfortable seating and a place to peruse exhibition catalogues, themed art activity bins for children, interactive multimedia kiosks, video and DVD viewing stations, online information about SFMOMA's special exhibitions and permanent collection, and access to trained education resource staff who will assist visitors with questions and requests. Learn more about the Koret Visitor Education Center.

Additional new and expanded Koret Center features include the following:

•   The Lecture Room with flexible seating and state-of-the-art multimedia display technology
•   The Teacher Resource Space with tools for planning Museum visits and classroom curricula
•   The Francis Goldsmith Studio for school tours and teen and family programs
•   Public Programs for adults, including a new screening program of videos related to art in the galleries
•   The Community Gallery for works created by participants in school, teen and family programs
•   Interactive kiosks with such multimedia programs as Artists Working/Artists Talking, a new anthology of interview clips and studio footage of 30 artists represented in the Museum's collection
•   Resource Desk with trained education professionals, Pick Up and Go guides to the permanent collection for adults and children, and themed art activity bins for children

The Koret Visitor Education Center was designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects; its innovative plan echoes the aesthetic of the Museum established by Swiss architect Mario Botta in 1995 while addressing the specific demands of an educational facility. The Koret Center boasts two entrances, one on either end of the second-floor elevator landing, which feature backlit photomontages representing the diverse activities that take place within the center. A streaming LED display lists the events of the day. The photomontage was created by Bay Area designer Michael Mabry, who also made related icons that appear on signage throughout the Koret Center.

Koret Visitor Education Center Public Hours
Thursdays: 6–8:30 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays: 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

The Koret Visitor Education Center is supported by capital gifts from the Koret Foundation and the Estate of Francis Goldsmith. Additional generous support has been provided by the Modern Art Council, an auxiliary of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Flora Family Foundation; and the SFMOMA Docents. Multimedia education programs accessible in the Learning Lounge are supported in part by an endowment gift from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Koret Foundation supports organizations and initiatives in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Israel that advance economic and educational opportunities, promote personal initiative and encourage creative thought. The Foundation's grant-making helps to develop and enhance vibrant communities, with a special focus on the Jewish community.

RESOURCES AT THE KORET VISITOR EDUCATION CENTER
New and Expanded



At 7,000 square feet, the new Koret Visitor Education Center boasts almost three times the space of previous education facilities at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It more than doubles the Museum's capacity to present educational and outreach programs while introducing many new features.

The Learning Lounge, a drop-in resource area for visitors of all ages, distinguishes the Koret Center from all other art museum education facilities around the United States. The Learning Lounge offers comfortable seating and a place to peruse exhibition catalogues, themed art activity bins for children, interactive multimedia kiosks, video and DVD viewing stations, online information about SFMOMA's special exhibitions and permanent collection, and access to trained education resource staff who will assist visitors with questions and requests. Movable partitions, which double as front or rear projection screens, allow the space to be configured for individual, small group or assembly use.

•  The resource desk located at the front desk in the Learning Lounge has staff and materials designed to help visitors make the most of their Museum visit. Trained in art history and knowledgeable about the Museum's collections, education resource specialists can answer questions about exhibitions or artworks on view, Museum programs and other visitor services. New Pick Up and Go guides for adults and families provide self-guided direction to the permanent collection galleries just outside the Koret Center's doors, and themed art activity bins for children provide families with an educational, fun alternative to the galleries.

·  Pick Up and Go Guide for Adults uses the idea of modern art as the breaking and making of rules to assist visitor understanding of artworks on view. Featured works include those by Matisse, Rivera, Theo van Doesburg, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Mitchell and Robert Rauschenberg.

·  Pick Up and Go Guide for Families looks at works by Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keeffe, René Magritte and Frank Stella. It contains conversation-starting questions and activities suitable for the gallery, as well as other activities that can be done in the Koret Center or at home.

·  Themed Art Activity Bins for children provide hands-on creative exercises for children to do in the Koret Center.



•  Interactive kiosks/viewing stations throughout the Learning Lounge give visitors immediate access to the full range of SFMOMA's award-winning multimedia productions, as well as select outside online resources. These programs supplement the gallery experience by providing a variety of contexts and approaches for understanding the works of art on display. Videos and DVDs on many art-related topics are also available for viewing in the Koret Center.

·  Making Sense of Modern Art is an in-depth and engaging guide to modern and contemporary artworks in the Museum's collection. Viewers can zoom in on high-quality images of artworks, read commentaries and original documents or watch video clips of artists, curators, critics and art historians. Viewers can also compare artworks across time using an interactive timeline.

·  Artists Working/Artists Talking is a new anthology of 65 videos of artists making art, discussing their work and reflecting on the creative process.

·  Voices and Images of California Art presents a chance to meet eight California artists via studio notes, correspondence and archival footage. This award-winning program has a corresponding curriculum available to teachers for perusal or purchase.

·  Special exhibition features explore themes and artists from current and recent exhibitions at SFMOMA, including Gerhard Richter, Eva Hesse, Bill Viola and Ansel Adams at 100.



•  Teacher Resource Space, a new area specifically designed to assist teachers in researching topics in modern and contemporary art, planning visits to the Museum, creating pre-and post-visit classroom activities and gathering ideas on how to integrate art into existing curriculum. In addition to interactive kiosks and SFMOMA-developed curriculum materials, teachers have on-site access to books and catalogues on topics from Latin-American and Asian Art to various artistic mediums and movements to individual artists; slide kits developed by SFMOMA and the National Gallery of Art; and artist videos on such artists as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Alexander Calder.

The Lecture Room, located adjacent to the Learning Lounge, boasts state-of-the-art multimedia display technology and seating for up to 50 in traditional lecture configuration. A retractable "skyfold" wall opens onto the Learning Lounge, where lecture seating can be expanded to accommodate up to 100. The moving wall can also be replaced by translucent shades, so that the rooms can be partially divided to accommodate multiple small-scale informal activities. Slide and video projections can be cast onto multiple walls to accommodate these variable configurations.

•  Public Programs for adults in the Lecture Room are both formally scheduled and informal or ongoing.

·  Lectures and discussions. The intimate space of the Lecture Room provides an ideal environment for both formal lectures and informal discussions with visiting artists and scholars. Discussions with the Museum's professional staff provide insight into how the Museum works with artists to make and install art in the galleries, how exhibitions are organized, and how the Museum conserves the valuable works in its collection.

·  Exhibition and art videos. In conjunction with special exhibitions and the permanent collection, both short and feature-length videos on art and artists will have regular screenings to provide visitors with further context for the artworks they have just seen or are about to see.



The Community Gallery lines the corridors of the Koret Center and serves as prime showcase for artwork produced in the many SFMOMA education programs. The first exhibition features children's interpretations of the Museum's Mario Botta-designed facade. The drawings were made in 1995 at the time of the building's opening. Community Gallery exhibitions will change twice yearly.

The Francis Goldsmith Studio is home base for new and expanded programs for children, teens, schools and families. Nearly twice as many school groups can be accommodated overall, and 50 percent more students may participate in the docent-led "Look, Learn, Create" tours for elementary and middle school students (grades 3-8) on weekdays during the fall and spring semesters. The Studio, which can be subdivided into two separate spaces for smaller groups, is also home to SFMOMA's Teen Visionaries after-school art-making program, the monthly Sunday Family Studio program and the SFMOMA Matches mentoring program.

The Koret Visitor Education Center is supported by capital gifts from the Koret Foundation and the Estate of Francis Goldsmith. Additional generous support has been provided by the Modern Art Council, an auxiliary of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Flora Family Foundation; and the SFMOMA Docents. Multimedia education programs accessible in the Learning Lounge are supported in part by an endowment gift from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Media Contacts

  • Polly Winograd Ikonen, 415/357-4173,
  • 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 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.

###