This Valentine’s Day romantics and holiday skeptics alike will find half-priced tickets irresistible at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). With the museum’s early spring special of half-priced general admission (just $9) from February 4 through March 5, couples, singles, and lovers of all kinds can celebrate the occasion with artistic flare without breaking the bank. Amorous art buffs can steal away at lunchtime for special docent-led Valentine’s Day Love Tours through the painting and sculpture collection, focusing on the museum’s most romantic holdings. A program of films presented by queer cinema collective Dirty Looks will examine gay figures who helped shape the public image of queerness, including Liberace’s Valentine’s Day Special from 1979. And for those who only have eyes for photography, SFMOMA Senior Curator of Photography Sandra S. Phillips will speak about the exhibition South Africa in Apartheid and After. All week long sweethearts will find ways to spoil each other with special Valentine’s Day gift offerings in the MuseumStore and new treats from the Blue Bottle Coffee Bar.
Docent-Led Love Tours
Thursday, February 14, 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.
Open the mind and the heart by exploring the SFMOMA collection through the lens of love. Docents will lead visitors through works on view like Henri Matisse’s Femme au chapeau (1905), Frida Kahlo’s Frieda and Diego Rivera (1931), Thomas Schutte’s Great Spirits [Figure No. 11] (1996), and Gu Wenda’s united nations–babel of the millennium (1999). Free with museum admission.
Film Screening: Dirty Looks presents Yesterday Once More
Introduced by Bradford Nordeen, curator, Dirty Looks, with filmmakers Chris E. Vargas and Mariah Garnett in person.
Thursday, February 14, 2013, 7 p.m.
Phyllis Wattis Theater
Liberace’s Valentine’s Day Special (1979) is one of four provocative portrait films included the program Yesterday Once More by New York–based queer cinema collective Dirty Looks. Each of the four films (by Matt Wolf, Zackary Drucker, Mariah Garnett, and Chris E. Vargas) looks back on a gay figure who helped shape or define a public image of queerness or homosexuality: Joe Brainard, Flawless Sabrina, Peter Berlin, and Liberace. The project highlights these figures and their (self-)representation through collaborative film projects (Brainard’s scriptwriting for Rudy Burckhardt’s Money), documentaries (Frank Simon’s The Queen, which depicts Sabrina’s first large-scale New York City drag ball), auteur pornography (Berlin’s self-made That Boy), and television (Liberace’s Valentine’s Day Special).
Tickets: $10 general; $7 SFMOMA members, students, and seniors.
Lovely Gifts from the MuseumStore
From distinct, handcrafted jewelry to high-design accessories, the MuseumStore’s award-winning inventory of art books, gifts, and housewares offer creative Valentine’s Day gift ideas. Curl up with one of the store’s love-themed books like The Kiss, featuring over 130 of the greatest depictions of the kiss in art, or Heart Stones, a collection of photographs of naturally heart-shaped stones. Express your global sense of love with hugging salt and pepper shakers ($30) and add some color to your kitchen with red and pink Pantone mugs ($15). Let Morris the Memo Holder hold all of your love notes ($15) and make sure you show up to your date on time with the red Witherspoon Wall Clock ($85).
The full Valentine’s Day selection is available online at https://museumstore.sfmoma.org/valentine.html.
After the enthusiastic outpouring of submissions to last year’s Write a Love Letter to Art challenge, we’re doing it again. SFMOMA’s social media followers can creatively profess their feelings for an adored work of art for the chance to win love-inspired prizes. Call for submissions will be announced on our Facebook page, and the winner will be chosen on Valentine’s Day.
Blue Bottle Treats
SFMOMA’s Blue Bottle Coffee Bar in the picturesque Rooftop Garden will offer delicious temptations on Valentine’s Day with several new menu items. For a cozy savory dish, try the red hot tomato soup inspired by Donald Judd’s Untitled (1962) painting, with Jovial tomatoes, fennel, and a saffron taralli ring ($7). Rothko lovers can try a pain de mie toast with apricot and concord grape jam ($4), inspired by the artist’s iconic work in the SFMOMA collection, No. 14 (1960).
Curator Talk: Sandra S. Phillips on South Africa in Apartheid and After
Thursday, February 14, 6:30 p.m.
Meet in the Haas Atrium before moving into the galleries.
Those with a love of the sociopolitical can catch a talk by SFMOMA Senior Curator of Photography Sandra S. Phillips, who will offer her take on the photography in South Africa in Apartheid and After, an exhibition that illuminates a vital, difficult, and contested period in the recent history of South Africa from the perspectives of three photographers: David Goldblatt, Ernest Cole, and Billy Monk. Free with museum admission.