The Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecture Series

Thursday, May 24, 2001 – Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017

SFMOMA has set out to be a space not only for art, but also for ideas and dialogue. Since 1995, the Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecture Series has been the cornerstone of this commitment. Founded by SFMOMA Trustee Phyllis Wattis through a major endowment contribution, the series comprises talks, panels, conversations, and symposia and has featured some of the world’s leading artists, writers, and thinkers on visual art and culture and the value of art in public life.

See all past events
A Conversation with Peter Schjeldahl
Friday, April 8, 2005, 3 p.m.
World Enough and Time
Thursday, May 18, 2006, 7 p.m.
Global Ambivalence: On Culture and Barbarism
Thursday, April 12, 2007, 6:30 p.m.
Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio
Thursday, December 13, 2007, 5:30 p.m.
A building engulfed in white mist against a blue background
RoseLee Goldberg on Visual Performance Art
Thursday, November 20, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
Wayne Koestenbaum
Thursday, June 2, 2011, 7 p.m.
Lois Hetland: What Should We Ask of Art Education?
Thursday, February 2, 2012, 7 p.m.
Photography in Mexico
Thursday, March 8, 2012, 7 p.m.
Creating the Periphery: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art
Saturday, December 1, 2012, Noon
Visual Activism
Friday, March 14, 2014, 9 a.m.
Yours, Mine, and Ours: Museum Models of Public-Private Partnership
Friday, January 13, 2017, 11:30 a.m.
Installatin view, Approaching American Abstraction Ellsworth Kelly
Artist Talk, Free, Talks
Erik Kessels: Storytelling with Vernacular Photography
Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 7 p.m.
Artist Talk
Susan Meiselas and Carolyn Drake
Thursday, September 6, 2018, 7 p.m.
susan meiselas and carolyn drake headshots side by side
Artist Talk
Artist Talk: JR
Thursday, September 27, 2018, 7 p.m.
JR, The Chronicles of San Francisco, 2017
Artist Talk
Wayne Thiebaud
Thursday, October 11, 2018, 7 p.m.
02 Theibaud
Artist Talk
Fast History
Contemporary Art in China
Thursday, November 8, 2018, 7 p.m.
wooden box containing glass plane and crumpled newspaper
Public Knowledge
Books and Public Discourse: Rebecca Solnit and Paul Yamazaki
Thursday, December 6, 2018, 7 p.m.
Solnit and Yamakazi
Free, Talks
Artist Talk: Vija Celmins
Thursday, January 31, 2019, 7 p.m.
portrait of vija celmins resting arm on table in studio
Free, Talks
Artist Talk: Rodney McMillian
Thursday, February 28, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
Free, Talks
Artist Talk: Donlyn Lyndon and Mary Griffin
Thursday, March 7, 2019, 7 p.m.
Artist Talk, Free
Tacita Dean
Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7 p.m.
Free, Talks
Suzanne Lacy in Conversation with Lucy Lippard
Saturday, April 20, 2019, 4 p.m.