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Tuesday Slide Show: People At SFMOMA Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

31 May 2016

Three-day weekends are great for getaways, sure, but they're even better for staying in town. The city becomes just a bit more liveable. You can even hear yourself think.

That can be dangerous, though. And it was for us this weekend when we suddenly had the bright idea of taking Muni Metro down to SFMOMA to see what the place looked like with people in it.

We'd been on the press tour and it was impressive. But a museum is just a warehouse without visitors. What was it like now that the doors were open?

Let's just say the place was mobbed on the day we dropped by.


A couple of lingering questions were answered right away.

First, while the bottom two floors are indeed open to the public, that does not include the second floor gallery, which requires a non-timed ticket for admission.

We weren't surprised to find the photography galleries packed with people.

Second, there really is a new policy about photography. Go for it. Whether you're using the SFMOMA app's camera or any other camera, no one will stop you throughout the galleries.

Just don't use flash. But you knew that, right?


We weren't surprised to find the photography galleries packed with people. They're on the third floor, which would be where most people start their visit, we suspect. And where traffic is heaviest.

We were amused to see one of the two photo composition displays concocted by Adobe was already out of order. We suspect the thermal printer was to blame. Finicky things.

It wasn't just the galleries that were packed, though.


The living wall with its sculpture garden was a hit even if it was right off the Calder gallery and the photography galleries that vie for your attention right off the bat.

And the old lobby with its round light well still attracts a lot of attention.

Quite a few people figured out that if they walked along the top outside balcony they could get a view of the Bay Bridge, too.

And to navigate all this up and down travel, the elevators (with a description of what's on each floor painted on their doors) came complete with charming operators who also handed out maps of the place.


In fact everyone we encountered who worked there was uncommonly friendly and polite.

With so much traffic, we weren't surprised that the blonde woodwork was taking a beating. The stairs especially were scuffed with black marks from rubber soles. Even the white walls took a bit of a beating.

But a glass barrier that had a chip the day we saw it on the press tour (and thus avoided getting its photo taken) had already been replaced. Of course back then the place hadn't opened seven days a week. It must be up to the night crew now to clean the place up.

Anyway, congratulations to the new SFMOMA and its staff on surviving its first few days open to the public. It seems like the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

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