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Art Talks: Bringing the Museums to You

Art Talks are entertaining, educational, multi-media art presentations delivered by museum speakers on site at your location.  We offer talks on all major special exhibitions at the de Young and Legion of Honor.  Our clients span the Bay Area, and include non-profits, libraries, clubs, businesses, senior residences and educational institutions.

To learn more and to reserve your talk, email us at AT@famsf.org .

Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin: Art of the Tattoo

July 13 to October 6, 2019

Ed Hardy began his phenomenal career in the 1950s as a 10-year-old, tattooing the kids in his neighborhood with watercolor pencils and Maybelline eyeliner.  He would go on to become the single most influential American tattoo artist of the ‘70s and ‘80s, elevating the tattoo from its subculture “outsider” status to an important visual art form and mainstay of popular culture.  Combining design elements from vintage sailor tattoos, hot rods, cartoons, Japanese prints, Polynesian tattoo art and even European medieval art, Hardy achieves a strange beauty that mixes the grotesque, humorous, subtle and flamboyant.  This first museum retrospective of his work includes tattoo designs, photos, prints, drawings and paintings.  Deeper Than Skin

James Tissot: Fashion & Faith

October 12, 2019 – February 9, 2019

French artist James Tissot defied both personal and professional conventions, in a career that spanned the English Channel, earning commercial and critical success both in London and Paris. Though invited by Degas to exhibit with the Impressionists, Tissot declined. He turned to social events and balls, painting high society life with great attention to detail, humor, and pathos. Even his most ebullient society pictures reveal a rich and complex commentary on Belle Époque culture, religion, fashion, and politics. The exhibition includes many key modern-life works from his time in London and Paris, such as his work: The Ball on Shipboard (1874). Tissot paints women of all walks of Parisian life: high fashion, the circus and shop girls. Finally toward the end of his career, he adopts a strong religious faith, which encourages him to create a series of biblical paintings and etchings that have been widely published since the early 20th century.  James Tissot: Fashion & Faith

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

November 9, 2019 – March 15, 2020

Organized by the Tate Modern, London, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, 1963–1983, is a powerful and provocative presentation focusing on art made in the pivotal decades between 1963 and 1983, The works were forged in a crucible of institutionalized racism and codified prejudice that has pervaded America for centuries. Inspired by the Civil Rights struggle for equality and justice, these African American artists use art and culture as catalysts for self-definition, self-empowerment, and self-determination. The artists are from across the US and work in multiple media. A special group of Bay Area artists are included for the FAMSF show. Works include: paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, collages, assemblages, and custom clothing, which contributed to promoting the personal and cultural pride of the Black Power movement. Soul of a Nation

Judy Chicago

May 9- September 5, 2020

Forty years after her landmark installation The Dinner Party (1974–1979) made its debut in San Francisco, Judy Chicago will get a homecoming of sorts in the largest exhibition of her work to date.  Chicago is considered among the foremost artists to come out of the Feminist Art Movement of the 1970s, in which she played a key role through her work in developing consciousness-raising arts education programs. This exhibition will look at the full breadth of Chicago’s work, which has spanned five decades and taken the form of paintings, ceramic sculptures, drawings, prints, and performance work.  Judy Chicago

Presentations from the Fine Arts Museums’ Permanent Collections:

  • An Afternoon in the Salon Dore: 18th century Parisian salons were known for their conviviality and conversation, but there were strict guidelines about who could attend, what they could talk about, what they could expect and what was expected of them.  Join us for an afternoon in the Salon Dore as we explore the mores and manners that dominated the decade prior to the French Revolution.
  • Legendary Stories Behind the Legion of Honor: The tales in the history of San Francisco’s Legion of Honor Museum are tall but true. A benefactress who was a force of nature (Alma Spreckels), a prince in Paris, a self-proclaimed emperor, a pioneer of modern dance, a renowned French sculptor, and the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Enjoy hearing these stories and more—and about the museum’s great art.
  • The World of Jane Austen: Art, Fashion and Eligible Gentlemen: This entertaining look at British art in the Legion of Honor brings to life the characters and settings of Jane Austen’s beloved novels.
  • Seeing is Not Believing: Still Life Painting in America: Artists sometimes deliberately set out to deceive, using what is right in front of you: meticulously rendered textures, scrupulous detail, tangible space, immaculate shadows and life-sized objects–to convince you that the objects are real.  Can you believe what is right before your eyes?
  • The de Young Museum: Making a Museum, Creating a Collection: Explore the history of the deYoung and the individuals who have contributed to the collection we enjoy today; individuals who have had the luck to find magnificent pieces of art, the resources to obtain it and the taste to pursue it.  Only after living with these art objects, do they donate them to the museum.  Using historical photographs of the 1893 Midwinter Fair, as well as images showing the artwork when situated in the collectors’ homes, we will trace the making of a museum and the creation of a collection.
  • Just Desserts: From Cheese to Chocolate: What could be better than dessert without calories! When artists portray desserts, they tempt the eye, tease the palate and tickle our memories. Explore desserts, whether sweet or savory, and the role they play in our everyday lives, our cultural history, and our art.