Starting this week, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) offers audio tours of its permanent collection in Spanish as well as English. Both versions are available on new lightweight, random-access MP3 players that allow visitors to customize their visits, selecting the language and artworks of their choice and setting their own pace and direction through the galleries.
“SFMOMA is committed to serving as wide a range of visitors as possible. Spanish speakers are an important part of our community; we are very happy to offer this new pathway to increased enjoyment and understanding of modern and contemporary art,” explains John S. Weber, the Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs.
Since 1995 the Museum has offered a digital audio tour of its permanent collection of painting, sculpture and photography. The tour, entitled A Few Notes on Modern Art, features lively commentary, with curators, artists, critics and historians describing more than 100 works in the Museum’s collection. The audio tour includes such masterpieces as Henri Matisse’s Femme au Chapeau (Woman with the Hat), 1905; Diego Rivera’s The Flower Carrier, 1935; and Frida Kahlo’s Frieda and Diego Rivera, 1931.
In addition, more than 20 segments of the tour offer special explorations of the connections between 20th-century art and music. These segments feature classical music by such composers as Claude Debussy and Carlos Chavez, jazz numbers by Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck and rock music by pop icon Nico and the Velvet Underground, all reproduced in high-quality stereo sound.
The SFMOMA audio tour is available for rental in the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Atrium for $3 on a first-come, first-served basis. For groups of 10 or more, it may be reserved in advance by calling 415/357-4197. (Private guided tours in Spanish are also available for groups by advance reservation.)
The audio tour was created by the SFMOMA Education Department, produced by Antenna Audio of Sausalito, California, and made possible by generous grants from the Acacia Foundation and the Flora Family Foundation.