When SFMOMA first opened its doors in 1935, it was the first West Coast museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art. Now, after a major expansion project, SFMOMA will reopen to the public on May 14. The architecture firm Snøhetta integrated a new, 10-story structure to the original Mario Botta-designed building, effectively tripling the existing gallery space for SFMOMA’s collection.
Composed of rippling FRP (fiberglass reinforced polymer) panels, the eastern façade of the expansion is said to be inspired by the waters and fog of the San Francisco Bay. The new museum offers free access to the ground-floor galleries and free admission for visitors age 18 and younger.
For the inauguration, SFMOMA will host 19 special exhibitions, including a selection of 260 postwar and contemporary works from the famed Doris and Donald Fisher Collection. (These include important oeuvres by Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Alexander Calder, and others.) A number of opening celebrations are planned; see the official website for details and bookings. SFMOMA is located at 151 Third Street in the South of Market (SOMA) district of San Francisco.