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Exhibition

Art of Noise

May 4–August 18, 2024
Floor 7
Tickets
Entry to this exhibition is included with general admission.

Picture the last time music moved you. Imagine how the sound was amplified. Think about what initially drew you to that album cover or concert poster. How did design shape your experience?

Explore this question with us in Art of Noise. This exhibition is a multi-sensory ode to how design has changed the way we’ve experienced music over the past 100 years. Don’t miss:

Floor-to-Ceiling Gallery of Music Graphics

Pore over 400+ San Francisco psychedelic rock posters, featuring legendary bands like the Grateful Dead. See icons of graphic design by Milton Glaser and others. Mid-century modern album covers, as well as hip-hop, punk, and rave flyers complete this expansive display of incredible color and creativity.

Music Technology and Innovative Product Design

Chart over a century of sound in over 100 objects, from early phonographs to the Music: Not Impossible Haptic Suit, which translates sound onto the skin through vibration. Discover experimental music devices with design choices that will surprise you.

teenage engineering’s Design Touch

Settle into a seating landscape that invites you to connect with others through music. The Swedish music-tech company has applied their unconventional design mindset to the exhibition experience, from this plush, sound installation to the look and feel of the gallery spaces.


Exhibition Preview

Installation view of Art of Noise, 2024, at SFMOMA; photo: Matthew Millman Photography
Mathieu Lehanneur, Power of Love music player, 2009, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee fund purchase; © Mathieu Lehanneur; photo: Don Ross
Bonnie MacLean, The Yardbirds and The Doors at the Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, July 25–30, 1967, 1967, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of Jim Chanin; © Wolfgang's Vault; photo: Don Ross
Achille and Piergiacomo Castiglioni, RR126 Stereo System, manufactured by Brionvega, 1965, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee purchase, by exchange, through a gift of Michael D. Abrams; photo: Don Ross
Installation view of Art of Noise, 2024, at SFMOMA; photo: Matthew Millman Photography
Ron Arad, Concrete Stereo, 1983, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee fund purchase; © Ron Arad Associates
Hugh Spencer and Clairtone Sound Corporation, Project G, 1963, photo: Joe Roldan / 20cdesign
teenage engineering, choir, 2022; collection SFMOMA, gift of teenage engineering; © teenage engineering
Milton Glaser, Dylan, 1967, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of the designer; © Milton Glaser, permission of the estate of Milton Glaser; photo: Tenari Tuatagaloa
Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot, Braun SK-4, 1956, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; © Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot; photo: Katherine Du Tiel
Yuri Suzuki, Arborhythm, 2024 (installation view); collection SFMOMA, purchase, by exchange, through a gift of Peggy Guggenheim; © Yuri Suzuki; photo: Myleen Hollero
Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures, poster, designed by Factory Records after Peter Saville, 1979; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase through a gift of Jenny Emerson and Accessions Committee Fund; © Peter Saville; photo: Tenari Tuatagaloa
teenage engineering, Virgil Abloh DJ deck, 2019; © teenage engineering; photo: Pelle Bergström, Skarp Agent

Go Behind the Scenes

Read articles about the design firm responsible for its iconic look and some of the rock concert poster artists from San Francisco’s 1960s psychedelic music scene.

Art of Noise: Design Amplified

Art of Noise: Design Amplified

Stay Curious, Stay Naïve

Read teenage engineering Interview

An Interview with Poster Artist David Singer

Read David Singer Interview

An Interview with Poster Artist Lee Conklin

Read Lee Conklin Interview

Major support for Art of Noise is provided by Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich, The Bernard Osher Foundation, and the Bernard and Barbro Osher Exhibition Fund.

Significant support is provided by Deborah and Kenneth Novack.

Meaningful support is provided by Sonya Yu.

Additional support is provided by Aston and Aushlee Motes, Joby and Jackie Pritzker, and the Diane and Howard Zack Fund for Architecture and Design.

Header image: Installation view of Art of Noise, 2024, at SFMOMA; photo: Matthew Millman Photography