Modern art fans rejoice! After three years of shutting its doors with a promise to return even bigger and better, the internationally recognized San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), which serves as the city’s epicenter of all things art, photography and film, will officially unveil its newly expanded collection and location on Saturday, May 14. Now doubled in size, the SFMOMA is set to open its doors and join the ranks of the world’s top contemporary art destinations.
Whether you were lucky enough to score a ticket for the grand opening celebration or you’re waiting a bit until the crowds die down, there’s a lot to get excited about. Here’s a look at some of the most anticipated museum highlights in store.
The New Building
According to insider’s, SFMOMA’s striking new home and its carefully laid out design might be just as wonderful as the art itself! The new 235,000-square-foot extension was designed by international firm Snøhetta to specifically exhibit the museum’s expanded collection. Reaching 10 stories high, the new wing rises above SoMa and takes the form of a futuristic building—thanks to its 800 unique panels that ripple and shift with the light and reflect all that the city has to offer.
The Largest Living Wall
While San Francisco is known as the city that has it all, there’s no denying that urban living can still feel a little claustrophobic at times, especially in a city where concrete rules and luscious greenery is a hot commodity. That’s what makes the museum’s dramatic 150-foot living wall, complete with over 19,000 plants, all the more unique. As the largest wall of its kind and with stretches of green that resemble a mini Golden Gate Park, it’s promised to be one of the most underrated museum highlights.
SFMOMA’s artwork collection has grown to 33,000 pieces of art thanks to over 1,000 pieces made available from the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, as well as the museum’s Campaign for Art, which garnered 3,000 works from over 230 individuals. The inaugural presentation of art will feature creations by many modern art luminaries, including Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, Joan Mitchell, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol.
Capturing Photography and Film
Those interested in photography can check out the third floor and visit the Pritzker Center for Photography, the largest gallery and research space devoted to photography among art museums in the nation. Also new to the museum is a film program titled Modern Cinema, which will be featured in the newly renovated Phyllis Wattis Theater.
An Age of Technology
Aiming to embody a 21st century art museum, SFMOMA will also be premiering a new app that guides guests through galleries with commentary from a wide range of personalities including Martin Starr and Kumail Nanjiani of HBO’s Silicon Valley as well as players from the San Francisco Giants. And being in the Bay Area, the tech capital of the universe, this is no ordinary app. According to Wired, “SFMOMA’s app was designed to keep your phone in your pocket and your eyes on the art…it uses your phone’s location-sensing tech to precisely triangulate your position in the museum based on a hi-res virtual map created for the museum by Apple. That way it knows exactly where you are and where you’re going—and adjusts its audio accordingly.” Aside from the smart audio tour, other app features include a “find the nearest bathroom” button and a “Neighborhood for Art” tour, which takes you on a journey outside of the SFMOMA so you can enjoy the museum in a larger context.
Even the SFMOMA’s bathrooms are getting a ton of buzz. Bright and bold, each public restroom boasts a different unique, monochromatic color by floor. With arresting colors and enticing mood lighting, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a hip hotel or club’s loo.
A Taste of Culinary Arts
Starting in June, the museum will team up with Corey Lee, chef-owner of the Michelin three-star restaurant Benu, and Monsieur Benjamin for the museum’s destination eatery. The restaurant will feature a rotating menu of dishes contributed by an all-star list of 80 international chefs including Rene Redzepi, David Chang, and Alice Waters. If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, you can head over to Cafe 5, a contemporary cafe adjacent to the sunny fifth floor sculpture garden, or the museum’s Sightglass outpost, a hip coffee bar located on the third floor.
SFMOMA will be open to the public seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day, with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission ticket prices are as follows: General admission $25; Seniors (65 & older) $22; Ages 19-24 $19; Ages 18 & Under Free. Membership starts at $100. For more information, visit sfmoma.org.
Featured image via Flickr.