San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
SFMOMA built 1995 was the first modern art museum on the West Coast. After 3 years of renovation it reopened May 2016 with more than twice the previous space (7 floors, 170,000 sf) and over 32,000 contemporary art works including examples from most modern painters. It is now the largest museum of its kind in the U.S.
Here are some things we noted during our visit just after it reopened:
- Architecture – big, high, spacious, open and light. E.g., many open “bridges.”
- Thousands of art works by hundreds of artists – Many are quite interesting though some are underwhelming after a few hours of looking. There’s certainly more than you can see in a day; one guide said it takes over 7.5 miles of walking to see everything.
- Yerba Buena Gardens, – Serious are art lovers can also find a wide variety of smaller art museums to visit just across Third Street..
- Many outdoor terraces – the 7th floor terrace has especially nice views.
- Rooftop garden cafe, 5th floor – with outdoor seating and a sculpture garden.
- Largest “living” wall of plants in the U.S., 3d floor – 150 foot long, 30 feet high.
- If you want to walk the stairs between floors start on a higher floor and work your way lower. It’s easier than climbing.
- Helpful staff – You can usually find one by the elevators who will direct you to particular areas you wish to see.
- It’s usually more crowded in the afternoons than in the mornings. Our experience was that crowds were not bad.
hours: Galleries 10 am-5 pm and Thursdays until 9 pm.
admission: $25 for adults into the main museum and always free for visitors under 19 years (though tickets are still required). Free entry into 45,000 of public space and into the Museum Store. The museum does recommend ordering tickets in advance though ticket lines did not appear to be long during our visit.
links: website, yelp