A & E

SFMOMA reopens in expanded space

Snøhetta expansion of the new SFMOMA, opening May 14, 2016. photo: © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will open its doors to the public on May 14 after a massive seven-year expansion project. The acclaimed Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta designed the 10-story, 235,000–square-foot addition; among their notable structures is the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site in New York.

With more than three times its previous space, SFMOMA has partnered with public and private collections to present museumgoers with a multitude of modern art pieces, many of which have never before been seen in public. Contemporary art on the ground floor will greet visitors at every entrance, including Richard Serra’s sculpture Sequence (2006) in the free public space area. The Helen and Charles Schwab Hall on the second floor features Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 895: Loopy Doopy (white and blue) (1999). Other touchstone works by Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko are on view as well as a gallery of works on paper and another devoted to California artists.

The Pritzker Center for Photography on the third floor is the largest gallery, research, and interpretive space devoted to this medium in any U.S. art museum. The Doris and Donald Fisher collection begins on this floor and extends thematically to the sixth floor. During its opening, SFMOMA will display nearly 260 works from the Fisher collection, including a terrace devoted to the sculpture of Alexander Calder and other works by nearly 70 postwar and contemporary artists. Special dedicated spaces to sculpture are featured on the fifth and sixth floors along with a collection of gifts of contemporary art on floor seven, where works by Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman are enclosed in a loft-like gallery with city views.

“This expansion enables us to tap more fully into the energy all around us, in a region known for its special creativity and beauty, while greatly increasing the presentations of a collection that includes remarkable concentrations of artworks that can be found nowhere else,” said Neal Benezra, the Helen and Charles Schwab Director of SFMOMA. “I am thrilled to announce that in just a few months, we will be welcoming the public to the stunning new expansion Snøhetta designed to fulfill these aspirations.”

Other components of the expansion include 45,000 square feet of free public access and free admission in perpetuity for all visitors 18 and younger. Annual membership begins at $100, and general admission will be $25, $22 for seniors 65 and older.

SFMOMA: 151 Third Street, 415-357-4000,, daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. through Labor Day.

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Sharon Anderson is an artist and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at