The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (referred to as SFMOMA by locals) was the first museum on the West Coast to be devoted entirely to 20th-century art. Opened in 1935, it wasn’t until 40 years later that the museum added “Modern” to its title, which described the collection more accurately and established it internationally as an important collection of contemporary art.
The collection includes works by Ansel Adams, Duchamp, Klee, Mondrian, Pollack, Rauschenberg, and others. The museum moved to its current location in 1995, and is in the heart of San Francisco’s SOMA (South of Market) neighborhood, which has a long tradition as a haven for artists and industrial live-work loft spaces. Adjacent to the museum are the lovely Yerba Buena Gardens and atop the museum is the Rooftop Garden, opened in spring 2009, which acts as a gallery without a ceiling.
The museum houses an education center on the second floor; the Koret Visitor Education Center is open to all visitors for drop-in activities and interactive learning, and offers a wide range of scheduled public programs. Open during museum hours, the center is a great place to drop in to view daily screenings of videos focused on artists in the permanent collection, a full library of SFMOMA’s catalogues (as well as art books for all ages), multimedia kiosks with interactive educational programs, and it’s a comfortable and welcoming place to drop in if you need a break from the 50,000 square feet of gallery space.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) Information
- Public Transportation: Excellent (a short walk from buses 14, 30, and 45 at 3rd Street/Mission Street; a 5-minute walk from buses 5, 6, 9, 21, 31, 38, 38L, and 71, light rail lines F, J, K, L, M, N, and T, and BART trains at the Montgomery Street station. Also accessible by Golden Gate Transit, SamTrans, and Caltrain)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Monday and Tuesday 11 a.m.–5:45 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m.– 8:45 p.m., Friday–Sunday 11 a.m.–5:45 p.m., closed Wednesday. Museum opens at 10 a.m. June–August
- Admission: $15, students and seniors (62+) $9, group discounts available. Thursday evenings 6–9 p.m. admission is half-price
- Free Day: First Tuesday of each month
- Tours: Tours are led daily by SFMOMA docents
- Audio Tours: $3
- Membership: Individual membership is $80 annually and includes one personalized membership card, unlimited free admission for you and a friend, express entry, invitations to exhibition previews and receptions, as well as discounts on tickets to screenings, lectures, and special events. SFMOMA offers special discounted memberships for seniors, working artists, teachers, students, and out-of-town residents. Working artist, teacher, and student memberships require current proof of status and can be purchased at the museum or by mail. A $250 supporting membership gets you reciprocal membership to other area and national museums.