Exploring San Francisco: one art exhibit at a time


Zoe Lusk

   With over 50 diverse museums within the city, San Francisco has so many different museums and exhibits that it can sometimes be overwhelming to choose which ones to go to. We’re lucky to live in a city that offers us so many opportunities to see and experience different and interesting artwork. Throughout my research for this article, I found that one of the best things about museums in San Francisco is the accessibility for students. At the SFMOMA, for example, all visitors 18 and under are admitted for free, while at the Legion of Honor there is a significantly reduced rate for students. I’ve collected some of the exhibits which I believe are worthy of a visit.

Legion of Honor

Klimt and Rodin: An Artistic Encounter

    This historic exhibit celebrates the legacies of two revolutionary artists, known for breaking the aesthetic boundaries of their time period with new artistic vocabularies and styles. This exhibition is a rare opportunity for an American audience to see works by Gustav Klimt, because many of the works have come to the U.S. for the first time for this exhibit. For that reason alone, I think that this exhibit is an amazing one. The paintings are beautiful, different and exciting. For that reason, I felt like most of the visitors were focusing on the Klimt works rather than the statues by Rodin. I’m not sure if it was the best decision to combine the two artists into one exhibition. It took away from both of the artists’ works a little bit and made it hard to focus on either. Despite that, I think that this exhibit is definitely still worth a visit. My favorite part was seeing “Beethoven Frieze”, one of Klimt’s most celebrated works. It was so much more beautiful in person! Also displayed are 25 works on paper and sculptures from the Legion of Honor’s collection by Rodin, an artist who is considered the creator of modern sculpture. The exhibit explores the connections between the two masters and their impact on the art world. I recommend this exhibit to any Urban students that are interested in more famous, traditional and serious artwork.


Robert Rauschenberg – Erasing the Rules

    This exhibit displays work from Robert Rauschenberg, whose work in painting, photography, performance, sculpture and printmaking helped create our current conception of contemporary art. The exhibit is a testament to Rauschenberg’s eccentric style and his openness to taking risks outside of the norms of the time period. It even includes mud bubbling in a container as big as a swimming pool! In 1962, Rauschenberg began to screen-print after Andy Warhol taught him the technique. Rauschenberg’s own graphics and photographs began to fill his canvasses and panels. This was my favorite part of the exhibition, because I loved how the colors filled and overflowed from the pieces, almost overwhelming the viewer. This exhibit was visually interesting and different than other, more traditional, exhibits in the MOMA. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to see an unusual show.

Lands’ End

Camera Obscura

    This tiny museum is a room-sized pinhole camera from 1946, which was part of the theme park Playland at the Beach. Now, the theme park is gone, but you can still visit the camera, which is located near the Sutro Baths on Ocean Beach. The camera could appeal to students who are interested in photography, the ocean, or just simply beautiful pictures of the sea. The best time to go is at sunset when the colors reflect on the water. It’s also nice to walk around Sutro Baths, so leave time to be there before or after seeing the camera. The hours aren’t regular or predictable, so make sure to call them before you go to see if they’re open. Remember to bring $3 for admission. The camera would be good for anyone who’s looking for an easy, cute and small museum, instead of a long and serious visit.