EmancipART Episode 1: SFMOMA Re-Opens

Alexander Calder Motion Lab The Fisher Collection exhibition at SFMOMA; photo © Iwan Baan, courtesy SFMOMA

It’s Thursday April 28th and we’re in San Francisco for the press preview of the new SFMOMA. The redone San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opened to the public on May 14th. SFMOMA was closed for nearly three years for its expansion.

The expansion cost $305 million. Today SFMOMA has 170,000 square feet of gallery space. The architecture firm Snohetta and one of its founders, lead architect Craig Dykers designed the new SFMOMA building.

Befitting the cool tastefulness of San Francisco, the building is blond and white with beautiful staircases of maple. Staircases, incidentally, are a prominent new feature of art museums from the Aspen Art Museum to SFMOMA.

From the outside SFMOMA is clad in polymer panels with a ripply appearance meant to approximate, what else?, fog. They remind me of a house in Lamy, New Mexico that belonged to jeweler Norah Pierson. But SFMOMA in fairness ranks a lot lower on the Flintstones aesthetic than Norah Pierson’s house did.

In 2009 Doris and Donald Fisher pledged a gift of their collection to the museum. At SFMOMA’s reopening to the public, 260 objecdts from the Fisher collection are on view.

For this first new episode of A2Radio, host Ellen Berkovitch caught up with Art Newspaper correspondent, David D’Arcy, as well as with Sandra Phillips, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA.


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