A Unique Metropolis: See San Francisco's Secret Art Galleries

A Unique Metropolis: See San Francisco's Secret Art Galleries

Photo of Le Meridien San Francisco
An Arts & Culture map by

Starting from the famous icon of the Golden Gate Bridge, the city takes pride in its unrivaled attractions, renowned museums and its distinct neighbourhoods, which reflect the city’s great ethnic and cultural diversity.

11 Places
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    Owner Andrea Schwartz graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1977. She believes that her background as an artist has assisted in her understanding both sides of the art world. The gallery focuses on contemporary painting of mid-career artists, representing a select group from the Bay Area and throughout the country whose works challenge viewers and are at the forefront of contemporary practice.
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    Shooting Gallery is situated in the historic Tenderloin District of San Francisco, known for its diverse culture and history. Owner and curator Justin Giarla founded the space in 2003. Starting his art collection at the young age of 23, Giarla has since amassed over 500 pieces in his own collection. Shooting Gallery aims to provide a platform for young emerging artists who need that extra support.
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    Haines Gallery, established in 1987, is dedicated to contemporary art. It was the first in the West Coast to exhibit Ai Weiwei (2010) and the first in the US to exhibit Andy Goldsworthy (1992), Liza Lou (1996), Kota Ezawa (2003) and Zhan Wang (2008).
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    The Intersection is an arts space that explores the limitless possibilities in art to test and transcend boundaries. Working with the community, its projects aim to bring people together to instigate breakthrough change. Intersection works with hundreds of artists through residencies, commissions, fellowships, fiscal sponsorship and incubation, performances, exhibitions, workshops and public art projects. Established in 1965, it is the oldest alternative non-profit art space in San Francisco.
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    The Modern Eden Gallery showcases artists working with photography, exploring traditional darkroom practices, using alternative or mixed media and also digital technology. In addition to the gallery space in San Francisco, Modernbook Editions, has published photographic monographs for artists such as Tom Chambers, Fan Ho, Brigitte Carnochan, Fred Lyon, Geir Jordahl. The gallery also participates in numerous art fairs throughout theUnited States and Canada.
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    Established in 1991, Catharine Clark Gallery was the first San Francisco gallery to create a dedicated media room, presenting new genres and experimental video art. Housed in a former 1920s farming equipment warehouse, it was later redesigned by Los Angeles based architectural designer Tim Campbell.
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    Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, a short distance from Union Square, The McLoughlin Gallery aims to educate and work alongside mid-career and emerging contemporary artists. Exhibiting bold, fresh works, the gallery focuses on colour within a large, unique gallery space. Its artists include Pia Maria Martin, Laura Kimpton and MoE Thomas. Working with charities, a portion of the gallery’s proceeds will benefit Glide and Stanford Breast Cancer Research.
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    Founded in 1935, SFMOMA was the very first museum on the West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. Its sole aim is to embrace the challenging and unexpected, and to encourage fresh ways of seeing. The museum has showcased the most innovative and challenging art of its time, and continues to exhibit and collect works by both modern icons and younger, less established artists.
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    Since its opening back in 1979, Fraenkel Gallery has presented almost 300 exhibitions exploring photography. Dedicated to presenting diverse artists that standout in photography’s complicated and short history, the gallery exhibits both the early masters and contemporary practitioners. Its earliest exhibitions showcased the work of Carleton Watkins and Lee Friedlander, as well as NASA’s lunar photographs.
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    This gallery is an international centre for arts and culture, and features a dedicated educational workshop and programming space. A ‘non-collecting institution’, the Museum of Craft and Design is one of North America’s few institutions dedicated to contemporary practices in craft and design. Exploring the active roles craft and design play in everyday life, the museum holds a range of exhibitions, including travelling and pop-up shows, and also collaborates with museums from around the world.
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