The single largest venue for photography in the country is located in San Francisco. It’s not an art museum or a proper gallery; you’ll find the collection in a former port warehouse built out onto the bay. Pier 24 had sat empty and deteriorating for 30 years before Andy and Mary Pilara took over the space to house their extensive photography collection—and share it with anyone who wanted to see it. After two years of construction (the cost of which Andy Pilara, a former investment banker, claims not to know, this being his passion project and not an investment), Pier 24 Photography opened with a show of more than 350 prints—including works by Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, and Diane Arbus. The exhibits at Pier 24 Photography revolve regularly and can be seen by appointment only (with no admission fee). Private tours can be arranged and are led by a member of the small, knowledgeable staff.

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