Museums Are Re-opening!

THE DE YOUNG:

The de Young museum is scheduled to open to the public on Friday, September 25. The museum will open to members on September 22, 23, and 24.*
View  Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be DeceivingUncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI, and the permanent collections.
*Must have advanced, timed-ticket reservations.

Read more about the re-opening details here.

SF MOMA:

SFMOMA is thrilled to reopen to visitors beginning October 1 for members and October 4 for the general public. Come enjoy SFMOMA’s tranquil galleries, airy terraces, kid-friendly spaces, and the world-class artwork you love.

Read more about the re-opening  details here

ASIAN ART MUSEUM:

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the museum on Oct 1–2 for members and Oct 3 for the general public. Admission will be free to all from October 3 through October 12. Here’s what to expect when we reopen:

Read more about the re-opening details here

LEGION OF HONOR:

The Legion of Honor will be open to the public mid October. Prior to the museum’s general opening, members will be invited to visit for pre-opening Member days. The film and installation Alexandre Singh: A Gothic Tale, which draws inspiration from the nineteenth-century Gothic revival as well as San Francisco’s place in film noir history, has been extended and will be on view through the fall. In addition, visitors will be able to journey through the museum’s European painting and decorative arts collections, as well as explore its newly installed gallery of ancient art.

From the reopening through December 2021, the Museums will offer free general admission for essential workers, who will also receive a $15 discount on tickets to special exhibitions.*

Read more about the re-opening details here

SF Needs To Step Up Now

A month after Art News reported that the 149-year-old San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) would be closing its doors at the end of the spring semester, it looks like reports of the venerable art institution’s death were premature.

The San Francisco-based school was laid low by a one-two punch; a combination of already declining enrollment and economic uncertainty brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, an April 2nd letter signed by over 60 alumni, curators, supporters, and other art world professionals imploring the school to find alternate routes forward, and the media coverage, has reportedly helped spur private donations to keep SFAI alive. Now, the school has reversed course and stated that it will look into fundraising and other venues to keep SFAI’s doors open, though for the time being it’s still canceling all of its accredited programmings.

The push to save SFAI has come largely because of its vaunted legacy. The school has long been solely focused on the fine arts, without more lucrative programs in design and architecture, making it a rarity among premier art schools today. A consistent rise in the cost of living in the Bay Area, combined with a steady decline in the population of college-age students and a drop in tuition income, put the school in a pinch.

“People Have Come Out of the Woodwork”

In a phone interview, board chair Pam Rorke Levy said that the school’s board of trustees had “worked itself to the bone” and raised over $4 million since the pandemic began. By contrast, in a typical year, the board has been able to raise about $1.2 million, Levy said, adding, “People have come out of the woodwork.”

The Art Newspaper mentions the school will hold a series of benefit auctions and parcel out pieces of its collection, including rare works from Robert Mapplethorpe and Wayne Thiebaud.  As SFAI CEO Mark Kushner told Artforum, “As the year unfolds we’ll look at new platforms and new business models, and roll out programs as we reimagine them together. And consistent with SFAI’s history, artists will play an important role in driving the decisions we make as an institution.”

All of this is intended to put the school on a more stable financial footing until it can finalize a merger with a larger institution and secure a route forward for SFAI to exist beyond May 2021. What form that will take, and what the school’s new business models will look like, however, remains to be seen. In the meantime, SFAI will offer online and in-person art classes (when we can all go outside again), conservation projects, and exhibitions, funded through grants.