April 10th, 2014

SFMOMA Announces Plan To Open Biggest Photo Center In US

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has announced that it will open a 15,500-square-foot space dedicated to photography as part of the renovation that has closed the museum until 2016.

Dubbed the Pritzker Center after lead donors John and Lisa Pritzker, the new photography facility will include an 11,000-square-foot exhibition space that will be the largest in the country permanently devoted to the display of photography, according to a statement released by SFMOMA. The facility will also include a new photographic study center and “an innovative interpretive space that will be the first of its kind in the country.” The upgrade to the museum’s photography department will also include a new curatorial position.

SFMOMA has also announced that more than 1,000 photographs have been added or pledged to their permanent collection by a group of San Francisco-based collectors led by David Mahoney and Winn Ellis.

“The new center, together with the gifts to our collection, represent a transformative development for our photography program and for the entire museum,” SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra said.

Read more about SFMOMA’s plans here.

November 28th, 2012

470 Photos Donated to SFMOMA: Arbus, Moriyama, Araki and More

© Shomei Tomatsu

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) today announced it will receive gifts of 470 photos from three separate collections. They include a pledge of 26 photos by Diane Arbus, given by collector Jeffrey Fraenkel, owner of the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco.

The other gifts—from an anonymous donor and from the Kurenboh Collection in Tokyo—include prints by Japanese photographers, exhibition catalogues and monographs related to Japanese photography, as well as prints by photographers including Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Irving Penn and Garry Winogrand.

The 26 Arbus works are from a series the photographer took in homes for the mentally disabled between 1969 and 1971.

Sandra S. Phillips, SFMOMA Senior Curator of Photography and the curator of the 2003 retrospective exhibition, “Diane Arbus Revelations,” says in a press release issued by the museum, “The Arbus gift adds to our growing list of artists who are comprehensively represented in SFMOMA’s collection, while the Japanese works make our collection the best of its type in the country.”

The anonymous donor’s gift includes 184 photos by Nobuyoshi Araki, Rinko Kawauchi, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Daido Moriyama. The gift from the Kurenboh Collection includes 262 photos by Moriyama, Shōmei Tōmatsu, and Ken Morisawa, and works by photographers who have not yet been shown in the United States, including Masumi Kura, Toshiya Murakoshi, and Keiko Sasaoka. The Kurenboh Collection has also pledged to donate 800 publications, including monographs and exhibition catalogues. Before the promised gifts announced today,  SFMOMA had one of the largest collections of Japanese photography in the US. It organized the 2009 show, “The Provoke Era: Postwar Japanese Photography.”

* Photo (above):
© Shomei Tomatsu. “Card Game, Zushi, Kanagawa, 1964.” Kurenboh Collection, promised gift to SFMOMA.

June 21st, 2012

Harry Ransom Center Names New Chief Photo Curator

 

© Caren Alpert/Courtesy of Harry Ransom Center

The Harry Ransom Center, the humanities library at the University of Texas, has appointed Jessica S. McDonald to be its new chief curator of photography. McDonald is currently a curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

At the Ransom Center, McDonald will oversee the library’s photography collection, which includes about 5 million prints and negatives, as well as photo books, manuscripts and photographers’ notes and journals spanning the history of photography.

At SFMOMA, McDonald curated the recent exhibition “Photography in Mexico: Selected Works from the Collections of SFMOMA and Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser.” She has previously worked with George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and the Visual Studies Workshop, both in Rochester, New York. In 2011, McDonald received an Ansel Adams Research Fellowship from the Center for Creative Photography.

In announcing her appointment, Thomas F. Staley, director of the Ransom Center, said, “McDonald’s broad experience–from teaching to curatorial–confirmed that she can lead our photography department, build the collection, support research and plan exhibitions.” She will begin her new job in September.