Founded in 1935, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was the first museum on the West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. From the outset, SFMOMA championed the most innovative and challenging art of its time, presenting the first solo exhibitions of Arshile Gorky, Clyfford Still, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Motherwell, among others. The museum continues to assemble unparalleled collections, create exhilarating exhibitions, and develop engaging public programs about both modern masters and younger, less-established artists.
SFMOMA’s internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art includes more than 36,000 works in photography, painting and sculpture, architecture and design, and media arts. These ever-expanding holdings are the basis for original exhibitions featuring key examples of Modernism as well as more recent work that reflects artistic developments occurring regionally, nationally, and around the world. The museum also presents an array of special traveling exhibitions that contribute to SFMOMA's longstanding reputation as a cultural catalyst, a dynamic art center where visitors can learn, reflect, and be inspired.
SFMOMA's initial contribution of 26 works to the Google Art Project in 2012 represented a small sampling of the rich history and diversity of art making here in the Bay Area. Though our collection has grown to become truly international in both scope and importance, exploring the most compelling work of our region has remained a significant focus of our institutional mission ever since the museum's founding in 1935.