Photo by Gavin Hellier/age fotostock
Modern Art in San Francisco, Inside and Out
From the soaring copper tower of the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum to the pillars of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco celebrates the artistic and architectural. Public sculptures line the waterfront and spike out of parks. Contemporary art museums like Yerba Buena Center for the Arts host avant-garde installations, while the alleys in the Mission District tell social tales across building facades. (SFMOMA, closed for renovation through early 2016, sent its collection "on the go," appearing throughout the city.) The Contemporary Jewish Museum, housed in a Daniel Libeskind building, hosts Judaic art installations and workshops while the Museum of African Diaspora shares how African art has influenced world art.
By Kristin Zibell, AFAR Local Expert
Installed along the Embarcadero in 1992 and built by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. It personifies the song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"
Leave Your Heart in San Francisco
On a cloudless Saturday in the late fall (San Francisco's summer), while strolling the Embarcadero from the Ferry Building down to the ballpark, how could you not leave your heart behind? As if you weren't already on cloud nine, with a full belly from the famed Farmers' Market and visions of the Bay Bridge and the city in all her Indian Summer glory, you stumble upon the work commissioned in 2002 called Cupid's Span and you know it's all over. Could there be a more creative, more dynamic, or more colorful city on Earth? There's solid evidence that the answer to that question would be "no." Always a favorite of mine, I snapped this shot on a recent Monday off while I was looking for visual inspiration and realized that I didn't know much about the artist, Coosje van Bruggen. She was inspired by San Francisco's reputation as the home port of Eros, and decided to tackle the subject of Cupid's stereotypical bow and arrow. Her initial sketches had the arrow pointed to the sky but she "found this position too stiff and literal," and decided to turn it around. The small hill in Rincon park provided the perfect target for the direct hit and the rest is skyline history. Don't you just love it?
By Bronwen Gregory, AFAR Local Expert
The Embarcadero & Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA