SFMOMA to Open the Country’s Largest Photography Exhibition Space

SFMOMA. Photo by Henrik Kam, courtesy of SFMOMA.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Photo by Henrik Kam, courtesy of SFMOMA.

When the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) reopens after its current renovations, it will be home to the largest photography exhibition space in the country. The museum, which has been closed since June of last year, is expected to celebrate its grand reopening in 2016.

Named for the leading donors to the project, the John and Lisa Pritzker Center for Photography will take up most the third floor at SFMOMA.

“The new center, together with the gifts to our collection, represent a transformative development for our photography program and for the entire museum,” said SFMOMA director Neal Benezra in a statement. “We are extremely grateful to our trustee Lisa Pritzker and her husband, John, and to our other supporters, whose vision and generosity will make SFMOMA a global destination for anyone with an interest in photography.”

The institution’s photography holdings span the full history of the medium, from its 1839 invention to today’s digital technology.

Larry Sultan, <em>Isleton</eM>, from the series Homeland (2009). Photo collection SFMOMA, gift of Kate and Wes Mitchell; ©Estate of Larry Sultan.

Larry Sultan, Isleton, from the series Homeland (2009). Photo collection SFMOMA, gift of Kate and Wes Mitchell; ©Estate of Larry Sultan.

Designed to accommodate the museum’s 17,000 object photography collection, the largest of its kind, the center will feature 5,000 square feet for special exhibitions and 5,880 square feet for the permanent collection.

That’s a total of 11,000 square feet dedicated to to the display of photography—the most of any art museum in the US. There will also be an interactive visitor center and a print study center to better serve the needs of visiting scholars and students, and a pair of state-of-the-art vaults to store the collection on site.


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