The youthful city of San Francisco is known for its wacky politics, creative spirit, and out-there artistry—the Burning Man festival started on a beach right here in the City. Here are a few museums that capture and display modern art that reflects San Francisco:
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Friends and locals call this downtown art museum – with an uptown reputation and collection – the SFMOMA (you’ll see the acronym on signs all over downtown SF). Its galleries full of funky furniture, colorful photos, splashy paintings, and bizarre yet beautiful multimedia installations have been known to delight and occasionally disgust visitors. Whether you love modern art or hate it, the SFMOMA’s collections and exhibitions are always entertaining. SFMOMA lies right in the midst of the Yerba Buena Garden art district, easily accessible from the W San Francisco hotel. 151 Third Street (btwn Mission & Howard)
Traveling with Pain? Modern art museums often make great spots, if of course you can tolerate the art.
The SFMOMA has wide aisles and good wheelchair accessibility features. In all honesty, I can’t remember whether it’s got good seating in the galleries or not. It’s been a few years since I last made it to an exhibition there.
The de Young has great art and good space to move around in. But the seating is cruddy–there are few viewing benches or seats in the galleries with the art. Last time I needed to sit down at the de Young, I had to go hunting for a spot to plant myself and ended up on a hard bench in an empty hallway near the bathroom. No fun. The food at the cafeteria is awesome (grass-fed hamburgers, local vegetarian salads, daily-changing entrees), but the line gets equally awesome around lunchtime.
Because it screens films and puts up live shows, the seating prospects at the Yerba Buena Center look better than the average museum. One of these days I’ll have to check it out.