Picturing San Francisco: 1850 – 2000

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This exhibition of views of San Francisco, drawn from the permanent collections of the Fine Arts Museum, celebrates the 150th anniversary of the founding of the city. Depicted and reflected here are many of the landmarks and events most associated with San Francisco over the last century and a half, among them the physical geography of the bay and the peninsula, the 1906 earthquake and fire and its aftermath, the Great Depression, the building of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, and the constant making and remaking of the city and its neighborhoods.

Both an exhibition of art and of history, Picturing San Francisco shows San Francisco in its role as one of the world’s great iconic places, combining an extraordinary natural landscape with inspired urban development and a socially progressive history.

The 60 works on view cover a wide range of artistic styles and impulses — from the documentary to the conceptual, the socially engaged to the aesthetically independent, and the workaday to the sublime — reflecting the unique development and diversity of San Francisco’s artistic community. The exhibition includes works by more than 50 artists, some internationally recognized, others locally beloved, and a few entirely obscure, including: Thomas Ayers, Richard Diebenkorn, Eduardo Scott, Betty Willey, Benjamin Chambers Brown, William Larkins, Emmy Lou Packard, John Langley Howard, Marion Cunningham, Dong Kingman, Wayne Thiebaud, Beth Van Hoesen, Robert Bechtle and others.


This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Picturing San Francisco is made possible by the generous support of AT&T.

Currently on view