On October 12, 2002, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will unveil the Koret Visitor Education Center. Situated in the heart of the Museum adjacent to the galleries, it will be the only educational facility at an American art museum to offer drop-in public access as well as a full calendar of scheduled programs and activities.
The Koret Center was conceived by the SFMOMA Education Department, led by John S. Weber, the Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs. Commenting on the vision behind the facility, Weber explains, “Our core mission is to enable a one-to-one connection between our visitors and works of art by providing access to the seminal ideas, historical contexts and makers of those works. The Koret Visitor Education Center takes this effort to the next level, very deliberately extending an open invitation to all SFMOMA visitors, including the many educational groups we already serve.”
At 7,000 square feet, the new Koret Visitor Education Center boasts almost three times the space of the previous Koret Education Center, which was located off the ground-floor Atrium. It will more than double the Museum’s capacity to present educational and outreach programs while introducing many new features. Distinguishing the Koret Visitor Education Center from its predecessor—and from educational facilities at other modern art museums in the United States—is the Learning Lounge, a drop-in resource area for visitors of all ages. The Learning Lounge will offer comfortable seating and a place to peruse exhibition catalogues, themed activity bins for children, interactive multimedia kiosks, video and DVD viewing stations, online information about SFMOMA’s special exhibitions and permanent collection and access to trained education resource staff who will assist visitors with questions and requests.
Additional new and expanded Koret Center features include the following:
New at the Koret Visitor Education Center
• A 50-seat Lecture Room with state-of-the-art multimedia display technology
• Artists Working/Artists Talking, a new multimedia anthology featuring interview clips and studio footage of 30 artists represented in the Museum’s collection
• Pick Up and Go guides to the permanent collection for adults and children
• An ongoing screening program of videos related to art in the galleries
• A community art gallery for works created by participants in school, teen and family programs
Expanded at the Koret Visitor Education Center
• Enlarged and enhanced facilities for programs serving students and adults
• Expanded teacher resources, including a teacher study area and curriculum guides
• Two studios for hands-on art-making activities
• 50 percent more Look, Learn, Create gallery tours for children grades 3–8
• Triple capacity for popular monthly family programs
The Koret Visitor Education Center was designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy (LMS) Architects; its innovative plan echoes the aesthetic of the Museum established by Swiss architect Mario Botta in 1995 while addressing the specific demands of an educational facility. The Koret Center boasts two entrances, one on either end of the second-floor elevator landing, which will feature backlit photomontages representing the diverse activities that take place within the center. A streaming LED display will list the events of the day. The photomontage was created by Bay Area designer Michael Mabry, who also made related icons that appear on signage throughout the Koret Center.
Koret Visitor Education Center Public Hours
(beginning Saturday, October 12)
Thursdays: 6–8:30 p.m.
Fridays: 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
The Koret Visitor Education Center is supported by capital gifts from the Koret Foundation and the Estate of Francis Goldsmith. Additional generous support has been provided by the Modern Art Council, an auxiliary of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Flora Family Foundation; and the SFMOMA Docents.