San Francisco MoMA launches year-long 75th anniversary celebrations

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The Independent Culture

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the groundbreaking San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), several events are planned, including the launch of The Anniversary Show, a museum-wide exhibition, December 19, 2009-January 16, 2011, with more than 400 works from the collections.

On display are seminal paintings, drawings, sculptures, videos, photographs, design objects, and archival materials by a diverse range of artists including Paul Klee, Frida Kahlo, Jeff Koons, and the videos of Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol.

The installations show the time-frame of the museum's exhibitions such as Jackson Pollock's first solo museum exhibition in 1945, the story of 1941's Alexander Calder show, and 1952's acquisitions from the estate of Alfred Stieglitz, including his photographs juxtaposed with Georgia O'Keeffe paintings.

The show opens with several renditions of San Francisco from painting to poster, features the California School of Fine Arts' faculty and students, such as Mark Rothko, the Mission School, and local Beat artists like Bruce Conner. Highlights from the museum's American Pop Art collection include key works by Robert Rauschenberg, the Rouen Cathedral Set V (1969) by Roy Lichtenstein and Land's End (1963) by Jasper Johns.

A comprehensive view of early modern European artists shows works by Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Constantin Brancusi, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and more recent acquisitions by Yves Tanguy, Jean Arp, Alberto Giacometti, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Piet Mondrian, and Man Ray.

A special three-day weekend celebration, January 16-18, offers free admission and features the debut of a new multimedia tour, performances, family activities, and film screenings. In the Backstory and Overlook Lounges are demonstration on how exhibitions are installed. Each day, 75 gallery talks relate personal 7.5-minute stories about favorite artworks in the museum.

On May 14, a gala party is planned with artists, patrons, and enthusiasts, from a rooftop garden dinner followed by a birthday party of live performances, cocktails, dessert, and surprises.