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SFMOMA Reopens to the Public on Sunday, March 7, 2021

Museum Maintains Its Focus on Visitor and Staff Health and Safety

Program Features Wide Range of Timely Exhibitions and New Commissions by Bay Area Artists

Released: March 02, 2021 · Download (0 KB PDF)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 2, 2021)—The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) today announced it will reopen to the public with a Free Community Day and free parking on Sunday, March 7. SFMOMA’s focus on visitor and staff health and safety remains front and center as it implements all recommended precautionary measures, including limiting the number of visitors each day to 25% of regular capacity with timed tickets; requiring masks for visitors and staff; providing hourly sanitation of public areas and requiring social distancing throughout the museum. These and other measures ensure SFMOMA is a welcome and safe space for its community and staff.

The museum will offer a special preview day for members on Saturday, March 6 followed by its free opening day for the public March 7. Advance timed reservations for all SFMOMA tickets are strongly encouraged, and timed tickets are required for all visitors including those 18 and under, who always enjoy free admission.

SFMOMA’s hours will be Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. The museum will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We are delighted to welcome our community back to SFMOMA after such a challenging year for so many,” said Director Neal Benezra. “Deep thanks to our dedicated staff, whose creativity helped keep our audiences engaged and inspired online during closure, and whose hard work enables us to safely reopen. We’re thrilled to provide safe and uplifting in-person art experiences in our spacious, airy galleries once again.”

The museum will reopen with a range of timely and thought-provoking exhibitions including Close to Home: Creativity in Crisis, highlighting seven local artists’ responses to the pandemic; Off the Wall, featuring photography-based installations by five international contemporary artists whose inventive approaches stretch the boundaries of the medium and engage visitors in unconventional ways; and New Work: Charles Gaines, a new installation of two major works that explore the history of racism in the U.S. by returning to the 1857 Dred Scott Decision.

Inspired by the long history of murals in the Bay Area and their recent resurgence, SFMOMA has commissioned large-scale wall projects by local artists as part of a series titled Bay Area Walls. Vibrant works by Muzae Sesay and Twin Walls Mural Company that opened last fall remain on view. The series continues with a sweeping mural by Liz Hernández and poignant photo-based projects by Erina Alejo and Adrian L. Burrell that respond to murals in San Francisco and Oakland created during the pandemic. Later this month the museum will present Contemporary Optics: Olafur Eliasson, Teresita Fernández, and Anish Kapoor, an exhibition that transports viewers to visually captivating, other-worldly landscapes including Eliasson’s One-way colour tunnel, a visitor favorite that returns to the museum’s Oculus Bridge.

Visitors at SFMOMA, 2020; photo: Jennifer Gonzalez courtesy SFMOMA


Following guidelines and best practices recommended by the State of California and the City of San Francisco’s Departments of Health, the Center for Disease Control and the American Alliance of Museums, SFMOMA has the following precautions in place for the health and safety of its visitors and staff:

  • SFMOMA’s Third Street entrance is the only public entrance until further notice.
  • Daily attendance is capped at 25% capacity. Admission tickets are timed to help pace entry into the museum and in the galleries. Elevator capacity is limited to no more than 4 people per ride.
  • Masks are required in SFMOMA and the Museum Store for all guests three years and older. SFMOMA will provide complimentary masks to those arriving without one. Durable, reusable SFMOMA-designed masks are available for purchase in the Museum Store.
  • Touch-free hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the museum.
  • Visitors and members are encouraged to reserve timed tickets at sfmoma.org/tickets.
  • Ticketing and Membership desks as well as transaction stations in the Museum Store have Plexiglass shields and offer touchless payment options. Public spaces are sanitized hourly with an emphasis on high-frequency spaces and surfaces.
  • Interactive experiences and in-gallery videos are looped to limit high-touch activities.
  • Audioguide device rental is suspended, but visitors can download SFMOMA’s free app to enjoy audio tours.
  • SFMOMA’s water fountains and staffed coat check are closed. An unstaffed coat check is available in Haas, Jr. Atrium off Third Street. Public restrooms remain open with hourly sanitization.
  • Health and safety, directional wayfinding and social distancing signage are installed throughout SFMOMA’s galleries and public spaces.
  • SFMOMA’s climate control and filtration systems provide the highest standard of museum quality air purification.
Liz Hernández, Conjuro para la sanación de nuestro futuro (A spell for the healing of our future), 2020: commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, courtesy the artist; photo: Katherine Du Tiel, courtesy SFMOMA


Exhibitions currently on view at the museum include:

  • Bay Area Walls artist commission Muzae Sesay: Cut Trees
  • Future Histories: Theaster Gates and Cauleen Smith
  • Bay Area Walls artist commission Twin Walls Mural Company: Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams
  • New Work: Charles Gaines
  • Bay Area Walls artist commission Liz Hernández: Conjuro para la sanación de nuestro futuro (A spell for the healing of our future)
  • Bay Area Walls photography commission Erina Alejo: My Ancestors Followed Me Here
  • Bay Area Walls photography commission Adrian L. Burrell: It’s After the End of the World, Don’t You Know That Yet?
  • Close to Home: Creativity in Crisis
  • Off the Wall

In May, SFMOMA will be the exclusive U.S. venue for Nam June Paik, the major retrospective of Paik’s radical and experimental art organized with Tate Modern, London. Bringing together over 200 works that span a five-decade career, this immersive exhibition will offer an in-depth understanding of the artist’s trailblazing practice and his vision of a multidisciplinary, interconnected future.

In a groundbreaking partnership with City College of San Francisco (CCSF), SFMOMA will also host Diego Rivera’s monumental mural The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on the Continent—more commonly known as Pan American Unity—in the museum’s free Roberts Family Gallery beginning in Summer 2021. An accompanying exhibition, Diego Rivera’s America, which offers the most in-depth examination of the artist’s work in more than 20 years, will now open at SFMOMA in 2022.

In accordance with City and State guidelines, on-site tours including public, school and scheduled self-guided tours are currently suspended, as is SFMOMA’s Art Express program for K–6 grade classes. Artwork guides, art project instructions and more are available for all ages at sfmoma.org/visit/sfmoma-for-kids.

SFMOMA will continue to offer a wide array of online public programming, including biweekly Instagram Live events and monthly roundtable art talks and family programs.


While Cafe 5 will reopen at a later date, outdoor seating in the museum’s fifth-floor Jean and James Douglas Family Sculpture Garden will be available. SFMOMA’s parking garage is open and will offer free parking to all visitors on its Free Community Day, March 7. After that, parking tickets can be self-validated at the Ticketing Desk.


SFMOMA’s main Museum Store off Third Street will reopen March 6. Store hours will be Friday through Monday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Shoppers can also enjoy the online Museum Store at museumstore/sfmoma.org. The reopening of the Museum Store at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will be announced at a later date.

The Artists Gallery at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture is now open by appointment only, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Book an in-person appointment or browse the Gallery’s catalogue of works from local artists available for purchase or lease at artistsgallerycatalogue.sfmoma.org.


Until further notice, SFMOMA’s public hours are:

  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 1–8 p.m.
  • Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

In addition to offering Free Community Days throughout the year, SFMOMA participates in free access programs including Discover & Go, Blue Star Military Access program and the City of San Francisco’s Museums for All. More information can be found at sfmoma.org/deals-discounts.

Support for SFMOMA Free Community Days is provided by Martha and Bruce Atwater, Concepción S. and Irwin Federman and The Hearst Foundations.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the United States and a thriving cultural center for the Bay Area. Our remarkable collection of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design and media arts is housed in an LEED Gold-certified building designed by the global architects Snøhetta and Mario Botta. In addition to our seven gallery floors, SFMOMA offers 45,000 square feet of free, art-filled public space open to all.

Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.

** Follow us on Twitter for updates and announcements: @SFMOMA_Press

Jill Lynch 415.357.4172
Clara Hatcher Baruth 415.357.4177 chatcher@sfmoma.org