Projects + Perspectives

These are the people and stories that make up SFMOMA. We love what we do and we want to share it with you.

Meet Munch

Meet Edvard Munch, an icon of emotion whose powerful paintings are the subject of the exhibition Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed, on view through October 9.

DIGITAL PUBLICATION

Soundtracks

Dive deeper into Soundtracks with the free online exhibition catalogue, edited by co-curators Rudolf Frieling and Tanya Zimbardo, featuring an artist project by Brandon LaBelle, Dena Beard and Frank Smigiel discussing sound and performance, and writings on exhibition artists and artworks.

Mike Mandel ♥ Baseball

The year was 1958: the Dodgers left Brooklyn for Los Angeles, the Giants left New York for San Francisco, and Mike Mandel — then eight years old and living in Los Angeles — fell in love with baseball. Mandel has turned to baseball as a subject several times in his career, as in his iconic Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards (1975) and his book SF Giants: An Oral History (1979).

Art Accomplices: Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel

Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel first met as MFA students at the San Francisco Art Institute. Over the next thirty years, their artistic partnership produced an impressive body of work as well as a lifelong friendship. Explore their respective careers and collaborative conceptual projects, which are alternately ironic, subversive, wry, surrealistic, and poignant.


Fake Letters, Real Friends

Learn how artist Mike Mandel and curator Sandra Phillips devised a creative alternative to the standard curatorial introduction for Mandel’s Good 70s boxed collection (2015).

Newsroom and Fake Newsroom

In 1983, Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel held the exhibition Newsroom at the Berkeley Art Museum. The installation consisted of electronic news and wire service machines from Associated Press and United Press International, which together established a mock newsroom. They collected, sorted, and reconfigured incoming news imagery to subvert mass media channels and explore shifts in photographic meaning. In Fake Newsroom, a recreation currently taking place at Minnesota Street Project, artists Jason Fulford, Jim Goldberg, and Dru Donovan serve as guest editors using images from the Associated Press feed to generate a daily edition online and within the exhibition space.

Side by Side with Travis Collinson

Go inside Travis Collinson’s studio as he discusses his new painting, Lepidoptery Lesson, which was commissioned for the exhibition Side by Side: Dual Portraits of Artists.

Explore Nam June Paik’s Notebooks

In conjunction with the exhibition Nam June Paik: In Character, SFMOMA has made available here three notebooks from the SFMOMA collection that Paik used in 1980, 1987, and 1996. Offering intimate access to the process of this renowned and prolific artist, the newly digitized notebooks foreground Paik's wide-ranging experimentation with drawing, a medium in which he developed a distinctive and playful pictorial vocabulary. His works on paper incorporate Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters as well as symbols of his own devising, including hieroglyphs of frequent subjects such as televisions, birds, and Buddhas.

Meet Grace McCann Morley

Grace McCann Morley, SFMOMA’s founding director and the subject of the current exhibition To Those Who Have Eyes To See, was a tireless advocate for the Bay Area’s burgeoning art ecosystem, supporting artists of all backgrounds and fostering broad public engagement with their work.

Museum Conservation in the Era of LEED

Environmental compliance isn’t only political. Go behind the art with SFMOMA conservators, architects, engineers, and others as they share stories about the history of conservation, the innovative, sustainable design of the new building, and spearheading changes in the broader museum culture and what it takes to keep art safe while treading lightly on the Earth.

Advocate for Federal Arts Funding

SFMOMA’s pioneering digital experiences and exhibitions such as Matisse/Diebenkorn and Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed would not be possible without vital federal funds provided by the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Raise your voice now to protect the arts.

Picturing the Environment

Whether expressing their love for nature or dismay over its degradation at the hands of humans, these artists use their art practices to preserve what may soon be destroyed, or to call attention to something that may yet be saved. Journey with them through the Pacific Northwest, postindustrial Germany, suburban Mexico, and beyond as we examine how artists picture the environment.

Art and the African American Experience

Artists of color have not traditionally been recognized in Western art history. Today, museums still struggle to make Blackness visible — these artists and their stories explore and challenge ideas of agency, representation, and what it means to be a contemporary artist and a person of color.

Artists Respond to History

Working from both personal experience and deep research, artists around the globe seek answers—or at least solace—in their responses to turbulent historical conditions such as war, apartheid, censorship, and totalitarianism.

Pioneers of Photography

What was photography before film and photographic paper? Before shutters and adjustable apertures? The pioneers of the medium had to experiment and invent. They had to build their own precision equipment and mix reactive chemicals. This series explores the intrepid personalities who toiled in the dark to bring the nascent art of photography to light.

On Digital Experience

At SFMOMA, we don't view our “digital strategy” as distinct from an analog or a human-to-human strategy. Rather, we believe that the ultimate goal of every museum activity is to help foster a rewarding in-person encounter with art. In these stories, we share how experiments with new technologies can open up new ways of thinking and seeing within the museum context.

Raw Material Season 2

How do artists reflect and respond to the world around them? In Manifest, season two of SFMOMA’s podcast Raw Material, independent audio producer and host Geraldine Ah-Sue explores the intersections of art, community, and social justice.

PlaySFMOMA

PlaySFMOMA is a museum initiative that encourages the development of avant-garde and artist-made games. By providing an arena for artists working in this medium, PlaySFMOMA introduces museum audiences to the expressive potential of games.

Activism + Aesthetics

As #blacklivesmatter protests continue to sweep the streets and gentrification radically remakes our cities, art can feel like a wan bystander. But can art make room for debate, resistance, subversion—and maybe even hope? Explore these poetic and powerful meditations on how art can help us along the way as our communities strive for social justice and equality.

The Female Gaze

The practitioners featured here work in and around issues that define and affect what it means to be a woman, from Ishiuchi Miyako’s photographic forays into areas of Yokosuka deemed unsafe for women; to Helène Aylon’s “midwifing” and “birthing” of painted pieces; to Tomoko Sawada’s photo investigations of Japanese womanhood and girls’ schools; to Judy Chicago’s dangerous female content that revolutionized the art world in the 1960s and 1970s.

Notes on Border Crossing

Immigration has defined this country since its inception. The debate about this issue is not new, but the tone of the latest political rhetoric has been particularly vitriolic. It’s good to remember how many different perspectives exist. Here are a few thoughtful and considered takes on the immigrant experience and the concept of home.

For What It’s Worth

Labor and class issues are dominating the headlines, but what about people whose trade is creativity? The starving artist myth is an utterly unromantic reality. From writers to painters to poets to performers, hear how these artists grapple with doing what they love and getting paid to do it.