SFMOMA Offers An Adventure in Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, commonly referred to as SFMOMA, is a fascinating collection of modern works of art in multiple mediums. From photography to paintings to prints, there’s no shortage of intriguing pieces to explore, including a 30-foot "living wall" that provides a lush backdrop for the sculptures hosted on the third-floor terrace. Along its 4,000 feet, the wall hosts 38 plant species, and visitors will occasionally get a glimpse of the butterflies and birds that reside within.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Exhibits
Founded in 1935, the 170,000-square-foot San Francisco Museum of Modern Art boasts a collection of over 30,000 works, which are divided among permanent and rotating exhibits. For current rotating exhibits, check the official SFMOMA website. Read on for a description of the ongoing exhibits:
- Julie Mehretu’s HOWL, eon (I, II): Mehretu’s diptychs feature paint and ink layered over distorted digital images of contemporary race riots next to 19th-century depictions of the American West in an effort to convey the exploitation, hope, and chaos present during the ongoing exploration of America’s west coast.
- Carol Bove and John Chamberlain’s Converse: Meticulously twisted steel and crushed car parts are critical elements of Bove and Chamberlain’s series of sculptures—Bove’s featuring the former and Chamberlain the latter, respectively. This exhibit enables visitors to compare and contrast both artists’ methods to examine where they converge and diverge.
- Approaching American Abstraction: This exhibit features a selection of artwork from multiple artists to illustrate the variety of interpretive methods and mediums used to create "modern" art.
- Open Ended: A series of chapters showcasing both masterworks and experimental pieces from over a century of modern art form this exhibit. It poses contradictions and complexities and encourages viewers to interpret the art in new ways.
- Pop, Minimal, and Figurative Art: Featuring iconic pieces by Andy Warhol, Richard Artschwager, Roy Lichtenstein, Philip Guston, Donald Judd, and other enduring artists, this thought-provoking gallery includes multiple pieces that explore the human form as a subject.
- German Art after 1960: A postwar landscape whose recent disaster contrasted with a hope to begin anew served as a fertile inspirational ground for artists like Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, and Imi Knoebel to create their inimitable works of art.
Along with its provocative exhibits, SFMOMA also has a screening room on the seventh floor playing several short films and a few terraces from which visitors can admire the view of the city. If you’re hungry, you can choose from three dining options, ranging from a café offering tasty snacks and drinks to a sit-down restaurant helmed by a Michelin-three-starred chef (lunch only).
Visiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
SFMOMA is located at 151 Third Street in San Francisco, California. Guests can get there by car or via public transportation. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is about a seven-minute walk (or two-minute bike ride) from the Montgomery Street BART station.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Hours
Operating hours vary by day, and SFMOMA is closed on Wednesdays. Guests should check the official website to get operating hours for the day of their intended visit before buying tickets.
Like most attractions in San Francisco, SFMOMA does have its own parking garage. You will need to pay to use the on-site garage, but can get a 10% discount with validation. There are also other paid lots in the area, but pricing varies a lot.
Prospective visitors looking to purchase tickets for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have a few options. First, admission for members is always free, so if you’re a frequent visitor, you may want to consider becoming a member to save on a per-visit cost. If a single visit is enough for you, you can buy tickets on the official SFMOMA website. Just note that when you buy a ticket you’ll need to choose which day you’d like to attend. You can exchange your ticket for a different day, but there’s a small fee and you cannot use expired tickets.
If you want to save some money on your visit and don’t want to become a member of SFMOMA, consider buying San Francisco CityPASS. You’ll get a highly sought after discount on the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and several other exciting attractions in the Bay Area, including Aquarium of the Bay and the famed Exploratorium!
Whether you’re curious to see how modern artists interpret the world around them or are looking for inspiration in your own interpretation of existence, SFMOMA is a splendid place in which to lose yourself for a few hours.
To get the most out of your stay in San Francisco, we recommend finding lodging near San Francisco's top attractions like SFMOMA. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:
Explore the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for Less With CityPASS
You don’t have to pay full price to check out SFMOMA and other Bay Area attractions. With San Francisco C3, enjoy up to off San Francisco hot spots like the Aquarium of the Bay, Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure, The California Academy of Science and more! Grab your San Francisco C3, plan your itinerary, and get set for a family-friendly Bay Area adventure.
Header image: German Art after 1960 The Fisher Collection exhibition at SFMOMA; photo © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA.