SFMOMA 'On the Go' During 2.5-Year Construction

Art Scene

SFMOMA 'On the Go' During 2.5-Year Construction

As thousands of art lovers gathered to bid farewell to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra assured them plenty of exciting exhibitions during the museum’s lengthy closure for expansion.

“We’re not going to let you forget about us,” Benezra said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “The lights may go off here at 6 o’clock this evening, but we’ll be turning on the lights all over the city for the next 2 ½ years until we see you all back here in 2016.”

SFMOMA is now officially closed as its $610-million expansion project breaks ground. Construction is expected to last through early 2016, when the museum is scheduled to reopen with an added 225,000 square feet of gallery and public space.

In the meantime, SFMOMA has pledged to take the show on the road through the entire project.

“Closed for construction, yet more open than ever,” a banner on the museum’s site reads.

“We’ve temporarily moved…everywhere,” another boasts.

SFMOMA “On the Go” will feature a continuous stream of exhibitions, public installations, initiatives, commissions, festivals and museum partnerships throughout the Bay Area.

“I feel like the time is going to go really, really quickly; but it seemed too long to send the collection into storage,” says Janet Bishop, Curator of Painting & Sculpture, in a promotional video.

Bishop, who is overseeing SFMOMA’s program during the interim period, promises the museum’s presence will be “every bit as robust as ever” while leading into what is sure to be a spectacular reopening.

SFMOMA’s expansion is in part to accommodate the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection. The Fishers, co-founders of Gap and contemporary art enthusiasts, began collecting art in the 1970s, eventually amassing a museum-quality collection of 1,100 works by 185 artists. SFMOMA reached a partnership with the Fishers to share the collection back in 2009 and began showing it in 2010.

The new SFMOMA will also feature an outdoor terrace, sculpture terrace, state-of-the-art conservation studios and greener day-to-day operations, AFA News said.