SFMOMA Nearing $610 Million Fundraising Goal

Rendering of the planned San Francisco Museum of Modern Art expansion, seen in an aerial view from the southeast. Photo: courtesy Snøhetta and MIR.

Nearly two years ahead of its scheduled reopening, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has almost reached its fundraising target of $610 million, reports Bloomberg. The campaign is the biggest museum fundraising effort in San Francisco city history.

To date, SFMOMA has already raised about $570 million, or 94 percent of the total goal. In addition to covering construction costs, which are expected to reach $305 million, the campaign will increase the museum’s endowment by $245 million.

SFMOMA’s expansion project, which has been ongoing since the museum closed its doors last June, will include the construction of a new 235,000-square-foot wing that will give the institution more than twice as much exhibition space. Designed by the Snøhetta architecture firm, the new wing is being built behind the museum’s current building, in the SOMA neighborhood (short for South of Market), home to many technology companies and cultural institutions.

“In 1995, we were the pioneers when SOMA was pretty run-down, and the tech boom followed us,” SFMOMA director Neal Benezra told Bloomberg. “Our expansion will solidify the neighborhood as a cultural hub.”

When the renovation and expansion is completed, the museum will have a new entrance on Howard Street (formerly, visitors would enter on Third Street). The narrow 10-story addition will feature more windows and several outdoor terraces, and the expanded exhibition space will rival the more spacious quarters of the institution’s East Coast counterpart, New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

SFMOMA won’t have any problems finding enough art to fill the new wing, thanks to the 1,100-piece collection of Doris and Donald Fisher, founders of the clothing chain Gap Inc., based in San Francisco. The Fishers have amassed a collection of works by an impressive array of artists that includes Richard Serra, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning, Anselm Kiefer, and Chuck Close, and will nicely augment the museum’s existing holdings.


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