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Friday, July 15, 2016

SATURDAY: The Tenderloin Museum Turns One and Commemorates LGBT Rights

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 9:08 AM

  • Tenderloin Museum
It's a big month in the T.L. This Saturday, July 16, the plucky Tenderloin Museum will celebrate its first birthday with 11 hours of party time and programming dedicated to the most fascinating, most frequently misunderstood neighborhood in the city. Meanwhile, another major milestone hovers just on the next calendar page: the 50th anniversary of the Compton's Cafeteria Riot, the equivalent of the Boston Tea Party for the LGBT rights movement that occurred three years before the better-known Stonewall riot in Manhattan.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

'Superlative Examples of the Genre' in "Emperors' Treasures"

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Emperors' Treasures Meat-shaped stone
  • Emperors' Treasures Meat-shaped stone
One of the most visited objects in the National Palace Museum of Taipei is a little carving made of jasper, with a gold stand depicting waves and lotus blossoms. The delicate carving, the Qing dynasty’s Meat-shaped stone depicts a piece of pork belly, which has inspired 12 Bay Area chefs, including Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s, Dennis Lee of Namu Gaji, and Michelle Mah of The Slanted Door to create their own take on it.

Asian Art Museum Director Jay Xu says it’s fitting that this object is featured for the museum’s new exhibition, Emperors’ Treasures, organized in partnership with the Taiwanese museum, and showcasing more than150 masterworks of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qian dynasties.

“Food, like art, is a way to share culture,” Xu said.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Seven Choice Bits From Sup. Aaron Peskin's Talk at the Tenderloin Museum

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2016 at 8:00 PM

  • Peter Lawrence Kane
Newly elected Supervisor Aaron Peskin presented at the Tenderloin Museum's monthly guest speaker series last week. While not as heavily attended as Sup. Jane Kim's talk in April, the atmosphere was a bit less heated, as no one rose to confront Peskin on any of his policies or actions in office. Additionally, it was a wonkier discussion, with Tenderloin Museum director Randy Shaw providing the lion's share of the skepticism (although in a collegial fashion).

Peskin also conspicuously thanked the City Hall employees whom he recognized as taking their lunch hours to hear the talk. Here are the seven choicest tidbits from his 50-minute presentation.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

SFMOMA Will Reopen With an Enormous Gallery Devoted to Ellsworth Kelly (And More)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 6:00 PM

  • Eloise Porter

Almost three years since it closed for expansion, SFMOMA is oh-so close to reopening – reincarnated as a 10-story super-museum whose collection of paintings, photographs, sculpture, films, and other artwork rivals that of any modern art museum in the world. Ahead of its reopening on Saturday, May 14, SFMOMA gave a sneak preview to the media on Thursday, April 28, and entering the building was like entering the Taj Mahal for the first time: There’s so much to see and so much to take in, you feel overwhelmed at first – but gradually, space by space, you acclimate to its grandeur.

With almost 170,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor gallery space, which is nearly triple its former size, the new SFMOMA is opening with 19 special exhibitions and 1900 works on display.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ten Tidbits from Jane Kim's Talk at the Tenderloin Museum

Posted By on Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 1:00 PM

  • Peter Lawrence Kane

At lunchtime on the first Monday of every month, The Tenderloin Museum hosts a guest speaker. Former Mayor Willie Brown led off the series in March, while yesterday, it was Sup. Jane Kim's turn. In the hour-long discussion (moderated by Randy Shaw, with a Q&A), Kim got into the nitty-gritty of policy specifics while articulating her vision for the Tenderloin — which she represents — in an era of rampant gentrification and change. Here are 10 of the choicest tidbits Kim uttered.

Note: The next scheduled speaker is Sup. Aaron Peskin on Monday, May 2.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Contemporary Jewish Museum Recalls Bill Graham and The Summer of Love

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Bill Graham and his son David, 1969 - CJM
  • CJM
  • Bill Graham and his son David, 1969

Bill Graham (1931-1991) was an impresario like no other. 

Graham was the genius behind the legendary Fillmore, the venue that still operates at the corner of Fillmore Street and Geary Boulevard. Graham's work as a concert promoter at The Fillmore was pivotal in establishing the legacies of the many musical icons who came of age during the late 1960s. Legends including Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Jefferson Airplane, and numerous other performers from San Francisco and beyond made musical history at The Fillmore. 

The Contemporary Jewish Museum now pays homage to Graham's breathtaking career with Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolutioncurrently on display through July 5. The exhibition is a treasure trove of Graham memorabilia, a journey back to an era which changed the country. 

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Monday, March 28, 2016

You Can Get Free Opening Day SFMOMA Tickets on March 30

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 12:02 PM

  • Henrik Kam

Opening day is free, after which point tickets will be free for members and humans under 18, and $25 for general admission.

But as of noon on Wednesday, March 30 at noon, you'll be able to procure those free opening day tickets in 15-minute intervals for the unveiling of the redesigned SFMOMA (Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m.).

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Roman Vishniac Rediscovered: Breathtaking Exhibit at Contemporary Jewish Museum

Posted By on Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Roman Vishniac - CJM
  • CJM
  • Roman Vishniac

Currently on display through May 29, Contemporary Jewish Museum's photo exhibition Roman Vishniac Rediscovered is a breathtaking journey back to Europe, immediately before and immediately after the Holocaust.

Roman Vishniac (1897-1990) was a Russian Jew who took hundreds of photographs of Jewish communities in Europe during the years leading up to World War II. Emigrating to New York City in 1940, he became an accomplished portrait photographer. Portraits on display at CJM include scientist Albert Einstein and Yiddish stage star Molly Picon.

In 1947 Vishniac returned to Europe and documented the struggles of survivors. 

One might wonder how many of the photo subjects made it through the war years alive. Looking at haunting images of an older couple carrying their groceries home in pre-war Poland, or at a photo of children playing in the street, with Nazi flags clearly visible in the background, one can only surmise that they weren't long for this world. 

A Polish couple, 1938. - ROMAN VISHNIAC/CJM
  • Roman Vishniac/CJM
  • A Polish couple, 1938.

Photos taken post-war include images of a woman walking her dog amidst the rubble of destroyed buildings in Berlin and shots of survivors in displacement camps These images illustrate the magnitude of the devastation which Europeans — Jews and non-Jews alike — endured as a result of the rise of the Nazis. 

Some of the images are chilling: Vishniac photographed his own daughter standing in front of a Hitler campaign poster when Hitler was running for German Chancellor in 1933 — that photo now hangs on the wall at CJM. Next to it hangs the actual poster.

Attendees will hear the words of one of Vishniac's subjects. David Eckstein, born in Europe in 1930 and photographed by Vishniac in 1938, was one of the lucky ones. Eckstein now lives in the U.S. Next to his photo is a small video monitor with which visitors can hear him share his story via earphones.

The exhibition includes some of Vishniac's photos from Berlin, circa 1929, when the city was a glittering metropolis, a haven for artists, filmmakers, writers, and the era's LGBT community. 

As one museum patron noted to her friend, it can happen here. The rise of Donald Trump, and the passage of a sweeping anti-LGBT bill in North Carolina serves as a harsh reminder that what we enjoy in the Bay Area is not infallible.

Roman Vishniac: Rediscovered illustrates what we have to lose. It can happen anywhere.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

As If!: The Jewish Museum's Clueless-Themed Purim Party

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM

  • Grace Malley

Isn't the Contemporary Jewish Museum classic? The giant blue cube dates all the way back to 2005!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Look at Havruta, or Shared Learning, Now at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Some of the many objects which Jenny Odell has archived. - CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM/JENNY ODELL
  • Contemporary Jewish Museum/Jenny Odell
  • Some of the many objects which Jenny Odell has archived.

According to My Jewish Learning
, Havruta is the time-honored Jewish tradition of learning in pairs. Both participants in the act of Havruta are transformed from receiving new knowledge and meaningful experiences — the root word of Havruta is the Hebrew word chaver, or friend. 

In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Artis a collaboration between San Francisco based artist Jenny Odell and Union Square window designer Philip Buscemi. The exhibition will remain on display at the Contemporary Jewish Museum through July 5. The small but fascinating exhibit gets its name from the simple display case — the kind often used in private homes — which is used to display the artists' works. The artists use the case "as an investigation into the different values associated with manufactured objects and their commercial display", according to the CJM program book.

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