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.

Events in this Series

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.