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It’s time to slake your thirst…for knowledge about World Water Monitoring Day! It’s an international program that encourages citizens to be conscious of their local water bodies.
Think of it as a worldwide ecological flash mob: everyone treks over to his or her local stream, lake, estuary or coastal water and tests the quality of the water to assess if it’s safe for swimming, fishing, drinking and so forth.
Speaking of water — as most of you know, Californians are very concerned with water conservation given the current severe drought. In an effort to take care of our precious Hetch Hetchy H2O (sweet, sweet nectar), we have launched a mini campaign inside the museum! Look for signage like this near sinks and water fountains.
We know…you’re still recovering from the closing of Gorgeous. But here’s something to shake you out of your post-Gorgeous blues: we have a wicked cool contemporary Japanese ceramic exhibition up right now.
Highlighting 22 works by 20 artists, Tradition on Fire: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Paul and Kathy Bissinger Collection demonstrates how Japanese potters appreciate and continue revered old school methods, but at the same time depart from convention in search of the new.
"Despite the excesses of Minter’s work, I cannot stop staring at one small speck of grime on the larger-than-life heel. It is just under the fleshy, swollen folds of skin right about where the ankle meets the heel. It looks wet, three-dimensional, and for reasons I cannot quite express, outright disgusting. I feel this filthy speck and it sends shivers down my spine, undoing a facade of glamour. It is just too close to real life. Of course, this is exactly the point. Minter’s subject reminds us that, in the end, even the most glamorous figure will be covered in dirt.” - Allison Harding, curator
How does “Strut” by Marilyn Minter make YOU feel? It’s impossible to ignore.
Gorgeous ends tomorrow. If you haven’t seen this Minter piece in real life, you only have a few hours left so put on your grimiest shoes and get here while you can.
Seems like everyone is obsessed with fantasy these days. Remakes and adaptations of ancient tales and comic books are as popular as ever. Turns out, even the ancient Southeast Asian were fascinated by fantastic composite creatures too.
This mythical bird-man from Central Thai (approx. 1775–1850) celebrates the fantasy and suggests the “dreamed-for ideal of universal sympathy” (Forrest McGill, curator).
Our beloved bird-man is currently on view in our Gorgeous exhibition which ends this Sunday 9/14. Why exactly is it on view? Well, dear reader, that’s for you to find out in the galleries.
"Go on, touch the art! How often do you get to touch the art in museums?" -docent in Gorgeous gallery
Gorgeous closes this Sunday 9/14. Come and touch “Untitled” (Golden) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres before it’s too late.
What is so powerful about the erotic image? How does the erotic inspire, transform and politicize the viewer? From an ancient phallic sculpture and sexualized deities in Gorgeous to vintage physique photography and modern fetish websites, we discuss the unique ability of the erotic to challenge cultural assumptions.
Michael Stabile is a journalist and documentary filmmaker best known for his work about gay history, sex and pornography. His written work has appeared in Playboy, The Daily Beast, Buzzfeed and Salon.com. Stabile is the director of Seed Money, a documentary about Falcon Studios’ founder and GLBT philanthropist Chuck Holmes, and Smut Capital of America, about the rise of the porn industry in the late ’60s. Stabile is at work on a documentary about transgender Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn.
He’ll be talking from 7–8pm this Thursday the 11th. This, by the way, is the very last Thursday Night event of the year! For $5 after 5pm, you can hear Michael Stabile’s talk, see Gorgeous before it closes on Sunday 9/14 and see how good the museum looks in its evening attire.
Image: “Laughing Nude, 1998, by John Currin (American, b. 1962). Oil on linen. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to SFMOMA, 99.114.”
Happy Chrysanthemum Day, Japan! Celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth month, this holiday celebrates the flower that is considered the symbol of the Emperor and Imperial family in Japan.
What better way to celebrate than with our hypnotically beautiful Noh robe from 1926-1976 Japan. Currently on view in Gorgeous, this robe consisting of chrysanthemum, iris, cherry and wisteria blossoms will set you in a trance.
Can you even handle that Gorgeous closes this Sunday the 14th?!?! My my how time flies when you’re having fun. Pop in the museum this Thursday the 11th after 5pm and admission is only $5.
Today is Chuseok in Korea, the most important holiday of the year. During this autumn harvest moon festival, Koreans pay homage to ancestors and express gratitude to guardian spirits for another year of bountiful crops. In honor of Chuseok and tonight’s harvest full moon, the last “supermoon"of the year, we share our treasured moon jar dating to the 17th century.
PS. Like Thanksgiving in the US, Chuseok is also the time when planes, trains, and automobiles are packed with folks on their way to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. If your travels during Chuseok take you through SFO, be sure to check out Dual Natures on view in Terminal 3 for a contemporary take on Korean ceramics, including Koo Bohnchang’s “Moon Rising” series.
To search our collection for other Chuseok-related objects, click here.
The countdown begins! At 6pm tonight, Saya Woolfalk will present her new work titled ChimaTEK featuring the Empathics, a fictional group of women who blend racial and ethnic identities as they gradually morph from animal to plant.
For a mere $5 after 5pm, experience ChimaTEK, get your nails did by TopCoat, view our permanent galleries and see Gorgeous before it closes on 9/14. This is the final First Thursday event for the year, so don’t miss it!