Dispatches from the Archives

November 07, 2009 - February 27, 2011

How does a museum best known for showing the work of others choose to publicly present itself? This Koret Visitor Education Center exhibition showcases museum-produced ephemera, design pieces, and publications, while revealing the museum's long history of innovative programming and exhibitions. The materials are culled from SFMOMA's Library and Archives, which have recently processed and catalogued thousands of items spanning the museum's 75-year history. From exhibition posters and magazines to belt buckles and chocolate bars, the exhibition illustrates the story of an institution that cherishes the spirit of innovation.

The exhibition is complemented by two related projects featuring visitors' perspectives. The Oral History Project presents historical interview clips alongside recently collected commentary from SFMOMA visitors and community members. The Phone Booth captures visitors' voices through an interactive phone installation; visitors are invited to pick up the phone and record responses to questions about the museum's collection.

Dispatches from the Archives is presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as part of 75 Years of Looking Forward, a series of exhibitions and events organized in celebration of the museum's anniversary.

  • Arnold Fujita, 20th Century Design: U.S.A., 1959; poster
  • Barbara Stauffacher, The Colorists: 1950-1965, 1965; poster
  • Rufino Tamayo, Recent Paintings by Tamayo, 1954; mailer
  • Tapio Wirkkala, Design in Scandinavia, 1957; poster
  • Unknown, Dome: Air, Water, Light, Sound, 1972; poster
  • Jason Munn / The Small Stakes, SFMOMA College Night with Noise Pop, 2006; poster
  • Unknown, Two Buildings: San Francisco 1959, 1959; mailer
  • Martin Venezky's Appetite Engineers, Non-Western Westerns, 2008; poster

Accompanied by time-lapse footage of his artistic process in action, Robert Bechtle reflects on how individual marks on canvas come together to "become the thing that you're painting."

No items to show.