San Francisco, CA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is a must-see destination for any visitor to San Francisco, California. The museum opened its doors in 1935 and has since grown into one of the most important art institutions in the Western United States, with an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art from both Europe and North America. With so many visitors each year, it’s easy to see why SFMOMA is considered one of the top 10 museums in the world!


This Museum was the dream of philanthropist Herbert Fleishhacker. He began collecting works in the 1930s and made his first acquisition, a painting by Pierre Bonnard, at auction for $47.50! SFMOMA opened its doors on June 18th, 1935 to great fanfare with over 1000 people attending.

The Building

Many people think SFMOMA is a new museum, but it was designed by renowned architect Mario Ciampi in 1995. The design of the building allows for natural light to enter through its glass walls and skylights during the day while drawing visitors inside with soft interior lighting at night. It’s truly one of the most beautiful buildings in San Francisco!


SFMOMA has two separate collections: an “Artists Gallery” that displays art from 1910-1945 and “The Collection” which holds pieces dating after 1945 that are more experimental or challenging. Fifteen percent of all works displayed are on view at any given time due to space limitations! A lot of these works go out on loan each year so if you don’t see something when you visit, just pop in again another time.

The Collection has over 2700 pieces of art including works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, and many more! SFMOMA also holds the largest collection of photography work anywhere – so be sure to check out their exceptional exhibits on display throughout the year.

SFMOMA is one of those museums that every San Franciscan knows about but doesn’t often visit for themselves because it’s always crowded with tourists. The best time to visit this museum if you want some space around the artwork is Tuesday through Thursday from 11 am -sundown as well as Friday nights from opening until closing (it stays open late). It’s definitely worth a stop at any rate though!

Tips for Visiting

Come when it’s less crowded: Don’t be discouraged by the lines at SFMOMA! It’s a surprisingly popular museum, but it can be very crowded with people from all over the world. Try visiting during the weekdays before noon or after sundown to avoid most of the crowds.

Wear comfy shoes: There are some great pieces on display at this museum and you can get up close and personal with some of them, so wear shoes that are comfortable to stand in for long periods of time.

The best way to avoid lines is by buying your tickets online. It’s easy peasy!

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