Just a quick shout out to my local art museum since it seems to get ignored by the big boys in San Francisco.* I’m consistently impressed with the exhibitions that the San José Museum of Art puts on. They do a great job of piggy-backing on exhibitions at SFMoMA, the DeYoung, or the Legion of Honor. And they also have a great eye for newer art.
*The last time I was at SFMoMA, I got to take a survey which included the question, “which other Bay Areas museums have you visited in the past year?” and then proceeded to give me a checklist of only San Francisco and Oakland Museums. I wrote in San José and the Cantor Center.
Some of my favorite museum experiences have been at San José. When I go to San Francisco, I do so with certain expectations about what I’m going to see and I’m usually seeing an exhibition of art which isn’t in fact new (modern, yes; new, no). In San José, I can experience the joy of seeing something completely unexpected and cool. I enjoy describing Listening Post to all kinds of people and discovering Il Lee is still one of the more amazing museum experiences I’ve been through.
And the best thing about the San Jose Museum or Art? It has the best reciprocal benefits in the Bay Area. The $150 membership level gets two people into SFMoMA, the DeYoung, the Legion of Honor, the Asian Arts Museum, the Yerba Buena Center, and the Oakland Museum. Plus many many others. Plus discounts at the gift shops.