For Teachers

Education Department
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
415.415.947.1292, option 2
  • "Working with SFMOMA as a teacher advisor has given me the opportunity to share what I know firsthand about the urban teaching experience and the importance of the role of art in activist education."Kimberly Campisano
    Mission High School, San Francisco
  • "Before ArtThink I never knew how to incorporate modern art into my history classes and now I do."Kerreen Brandt
    San Rafael High School, San Rafael

Welcome Teachers!

ArtThink offers your students in-depth investigation of 20th- and 21st-century art and artists by using SFMOMA's award-winning interactive programs, Making Sense of Modern Art and Voices and Images of California Art as the basis for study. Each section of the site provides online exploration and research of thematic topics plus hands-on, step-by-step activities in language arts, history, and visual arts.

Making Sense of Modern Art provides a compelling overview of the issues that have dominated American and European art of the 20th and 21st centuries. While the content of the program focuses on artworks in SFMOMA’s permanent collection, its interdisciplinary approach also engages a wide variety of supporting materials, including artist interviews, archival documentation, art objects from other collections, and vintage film footage.

Making Sense of Modern Art Themes:

1. Art and Social Change
Students investigate how artists use symbols, words, and actions to convey political or social beliefs.
Artists: Judy Chicago, Jenny Holzer, Tina Modotti, Diego Rivera, and David Siqueiros
2. Artists as Rule Breakers
Students explore how artists have changed the definition of art.
Artists: Marcel Duchamp, Eva Hesse, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, and Richard Serra
3. Self and Society: Tracing Identity
Students understand the roles of gender, ethnicity, and culture in the construction of identity.
Artists: Romare Bearden, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Gober, Philip Guston, Frida Kahlo, Glen Ligon, Rene Magritte, Ana Mendieta, Doris Salcedo, Richard Serra, and Kara Walker
4. Shifting Perspectives
Students learn how artists explore human perception, time, and different views on reality.
Artists: Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Wall