By MATTEA PIESCH
Since our office is located in San Francisco, we thought we would do you guys a favor and check out the best museums in the city. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, museums are not just educational — they’re also a great way to do something relaxing on the weekend.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
The SFMOMA is temporarily closed for construction and will reopen in 2016. However, the MOMA exhibitions are still ongoing, they just have been relocated to other museums. The SFMOMA is going to be expanded and made more sustainable, but in the meantime, why not visit some other museums around the Bay and turn your visit into an art trip! The following SFMOMA exhibitions are now open: The Doug Hall Exhibition is open for visitors at the Walter and McBean Galleries at the San Francisco Art Institute. Photography in Mexico has been moved to the Haggin Museum in Stockton. The Japanese Photography Gallery can be visited at the California Museum of Photography at UC Riverside and Portraits and Other Likenesses has been moved to the Museum of the African Diaspora.
Walt Disney Family Museum
Located in the Presidio, the Walt Disney Family Museum is not just a great stop when making your way to the Golden Gate Bridge. The museum displays the whole life of Walt Disney, from his beginnings to his legacy. A lot of his original artwork, as well as some personal belongings, can be seen in the galleries. Furthermore, the museum also features galleries of relatives and acquaintances of Disney. At the moment, there’s a gallery that shows the photography of George Hurrell, who was married to Disney’s niece and made a worldwide impact on photography by introducing glamour portraits. Starting July 10, the museum will feature an exhibition of Disney and Dalí, who was a close friend of Disney’s and a big influence on his work. Make sure to visit this exhibition, as it is one of the rare opportunities to see original sketches by both Disney and Dalí in the Bay Area.
de Young Museum
The de Young Museum is a fine arts museum not too far away from the Walt Disney Family Museum. Located in Golden Gate Park, this is not just a great museum with amazing art exhibitions, but also a perfect place to take good photos and enjoy spectacular views! Taking the elevator up to the observation deck, you’ll be able to get amazing shots of the Golden Gate Bridge. But back to what the museum actually is about: art. The current collection includes Botticelli to Braque, which features works by famous artists from the Renaissance to the early 20th Century. Keep your eyes open for masterpieces from Picasso, Gaugin, and, of course, Botticelli and Braque. We already posted a review about Janet Delaney’s South of Market exhibition, which shows the transformation of this particular neighborhood in San Francisco. In addition to that, there’s Embodiments: Masterworks of African Figurative Sculpture and Richard Diebenkorn Prints: Celebrating an Acquisition. Make sure to stop by the museum on a Friday night, as the museum holds special events and offers free entrance to all their guests.
This is a must-see attraction in San Francisco! Alcatraz Island is accessible by ferry and allows visitors to take tours of the famous Alcatraz prison. There are museum exhibitions on the island as well as video presentations that show the history of the island. If you like haunted houses, take the night tour and explore the prison in the dark. Multiple reports claim that Alcatraz is haunted and that the spirits of the prisoners still remain on the island — spooky! Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you have to walk up some steep hills in order to get to the prison. Visiting Alcatraz is also a great photo opportunity, as you get a full view of the whole city from the island and the boat.
The Exploratorium is one of the most fascinating museums in the Bay Area. With six main galleries each focused on different areas of exploration, the museum invites its guests to experiment, discover, and learn. Whether it is an exhibition about vegetation or one about human behavior, they’re all extremely educational and fascinating. In addition to the interactive exhibitions, the Exploratorium also features more than 40 new art projects and special events every Thursday. If you can’t get enough, pay a little extra and check out the Tactile-Dome, which is a blackened dome that features different sensory applications. Enjoy the park and the great views of the Exploratorium’s new location on Pier 15.
The Asian Art Museum
San Francisco doesn’t just have amazing Asian food, it also has the Asian Art Museum, which features changing galleries and is very popular amongst culture lovers! Current exhibitions feature Indian, Persian, and Turkish Velvets from the Indictor Collection, 28 Chinese, Exquisite Nature, and Yoong Bae: Continuity and Pursuit. The big variety of galleries requires visitors to make some time when planning their visit to the Asian Art Museum. Keep your eyes open for special events and offers! Entrance is only $5 on Thursdays after 5 p.m. and FREE on every first Sunday of the month.