SFMOMA made headlines this year with its popular Send Me SFMOMA initiative, which allows people to text a color, a feeling, or even an emoji to the museum and receive an image of an artwork from its collection via text message in response. To take the project global, SFMOMA is now working with institutions in the U.S., Europe, Asia and New Zealand to help them create similar services, utilizing their own collections to connect with their communities.
Looking Back on the Opening Year
Since its May 2016 opening, the expanded and transformed SFMOMA, designed by Snøhetta, has served as an engaging gathering place for diverse audiences, enabling the museum to foster deeper ties with its community.
The museum can now display a greater breadth of its 34,000 works of architecture and design, media arts, painting and sculpture and photography, as well as postwar and contemporary art from its groundbreaking partnership with the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection. Currently on view at the museum are Julie Mehretu’s site-specific painting HOWL, eon (I, II) (2017), created as part of a new art commissioning program; a major Walker Evans retrospective, for which SFMOMA is the only U.S. venue; Soundtracks, the museum’s first large-scale group exhibition centered on the role of sound in contemporary art; and New Work: Kerry Tribe, the premiere of the artist’s immersive video installation, commissioned by SFMOMA, which offers insight into the world of Standardized Patients — professional actors trained to portray real patients in a simulated clinical environment as part of medical students’ training.
In support of SFMOMA’s mission to engage with the art and artists of our time, the museum has made two major curatorial appointments since opening, including the appointment of Eungie Joo to the newly established role of curator of contemporary art. The role cements the museum’s commitment to new generations of artists across all mediums, as well as new thinking and scholarship on a local, national and international level. Clément Chéroux, entering his second year as senior curator of photography, has brought a global perspective and deep expertise in the realm of modern and contemporary photography.
The new SFMOMA has become a place of conversation, collaboration and learning across disciplines, as nearly 50,000 K–12 students have been brought into the museum to explore the arts since the building’s opening. Public dialogue has flourished in the SFMOMA community through more than 100 events and programs, including Public Tours and Artist Talks. Coinciding with the 2017 FOG Design+Art Fair, the symposium Yours, Mine, and Ours: Museum Models of Public-Private Partnership brought together international museum leaders and visionary collectors to discuss the current and future state of collaboration between museums and collectors. Also in the past year, the Performance in Progress program brought three groundbreaking commissioned live works to the museum, and the new Modern Cinema film series, established by SFMOMA and SFFILM, presented more than 50 film screenings. In September 2017, the museum launched Public Knowledge, a two-year initiative in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library that aims to promote public dialogue on the cultural impact of urban change through artist projects, research collaborations, public programs and publishing. Participating artists include Burak Arikan, Bik Van der Pol, Minerva Cuevas, Josh Kun and Stephanie Syjuco.
SFMOMA’s digital offerings also expanded greatly in the past year, with the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, offering pioneering digital experiences to visitors at the museum and online. The SFMOMA app, a 2017 Webby Award honoree with over 100,000 downloads, reinvented the museum audio guide with location-aware technology and unique gallery tours voiced by Errol Morris, Philippe Petit and the cast of HBO’s Silicon Valley. Other popular interactive elements include the digital photogram kiosk Self Composed, developed in partnership with Adobe Design, in the Pritzker Center’s Photography Interpretive Gallery and touch screens and digital tables in the galleries that allow visitors to explore artworks and the careers of artists more deeply.
SFMOMA’s restaurant In Situ also received rave reviews for its innovative concept and menu. It was awarded the San Francisco Chronicle’s Restaurant of the Year in 2016, named one of Eater’s Best New Restaurants in America in 2017 and became a finalist in the prestigious James Beard Awards’ Best New Restaurant category.
Generous support for René Magritte: The Fifth Season is provided by Jean and James E. Douglas, Jr.
Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules is organized by Tate Modern, London, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The San Francisco presentation is dedicated to the memory of Phyllis C. Wattis, whose vision and support provided the groundwork for the exhibition. The Global Tour Sponsor is Bank of America. Major support is provided by Carol and Lyman Casey, Doris Fisher, The Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, SFMOMA Collectors’ Forum, the Paul L. Wattis Foundation, the Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Traveling Exhibitions, and Carlie Wilmans. Generous support is provided by Aurelia and Cadmus Balkanski, Penny S. and James G. Coulter, Roberta and Steve Denning, the Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich Family, Christine and Pierre Lamond, Deborah and Kenneth Novack, the Bernard and Barbro Osher Exhibition Fund, the Prospect Creek Foundation, Helen and Charles Schwab, and Thomas W. Weisel and Janet Barnes. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Select programs in conjunction with Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules are made possible through a grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
Generous support for The Train: RFK’s Last Journey is provided by Nion T. McEvoy and Wes and Kate Mitchell. Additional support provided by Lynn Kirshbaum and Kathleen and Robert Matschullat.
Designed in California is supported by the Elaine McKeon Endowed Exhibition Fund and the Diane and Howard Zack Fund for Architecture and Design. Additional support is provided by the Sanger Family Architecture and Design Exhibition Fund.
Lead support for Julie Mehretu is provided by Carolyn and Preston Butcher. Major support is provided by Agnes Gund and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Generous support is provided by Ethan Beard and Wayee Chu, Gay-Lynn and Robert Blanding, Adam and Kate Clammer, Concepción S. and Irwin Federman, Robert S. Fisher, Jessica and Jason Moment, Diana Nelson and John Atwater, Denise Littlefield Sobel, Susan and Jim Swartz, Pat Wilson, and Sonya Yu and Zachary Lara. Additional support is provided by Alka and Ravin Agrawal and Dolly and George Chammas. HOWL, eon (I, II) is commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and is a gift of Helen and Charles Schwab. SFMOMA’s Art Commissioning Endowed Fund is supported by Roberta and Steve Denning, Patricia W. Fitzpatrick, Diana Nelson and John Atwater, and Denise Littlefield Sobel. Art Commissions at SFMOMA are also supported by illy coffee.
Walker Evans is organized by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Lead support is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher. Major support is provided by Andy and Mary Pilara, the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund, and Diana and Steve Strandberg. Generous support is provided by the William and Elizabeth Patterson Family Fund, and Joni Binder and Robert Shwarts. Additional support is provided by Michele and Christopher Meany, and Abby and Gene Schnair.
Support for Soundtracks is provided by the French American Cultural Society and the Office for Contemporary Art Norway.
Generous support for the New Work series is provided by Alka and Ravin Agrawal, SFMOMA’s Contemporaries, Adriane Iann and Christian Stolz and Robin Wright and Ian Reeves.
Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion T. McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund. The fall 2017 season of Modern Cinema is supported by James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen.
Public Knowledge is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library. The project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
SFMOMA’s digital initiatives are generously supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The Pritzker Center for Photography is made possible by the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund. The Photography Interpretive Gallery is generously supported by the McEvoy Family. Photography Interpretive Gallery exhibits are supported by Bank of the West. Additional support is provided by Nion T. McEvoy; a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor; and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.