Art Talks: Bringing the Museums to You

Art Talks available live online!

Schedule a virtual presentation for your audience here.

Art Talks are entertaining, educational, multi-media art presentations delivered by museum speakers on site at your location.  During the current pandemic we are offering live virtual presentations to your organization at no charge.  Below you will find a description of the virtual Art Talks currently available.  We ask that you host the Art Talk on your Zoom platform and provide technical support during the program.

To learn more and to reserve your talk, email us at

February is Black History Month!  Celebrate with these extraordinary Art Talks:

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power      Sold out in February 

Carolyn Lawrence (American, born 1940). Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 481/2 x 501/2 x 51/4 in. (123 x 128 x 13.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist. © Carolyn Mims Lawrence. (Photo: Michael Tropea)Does art have the power to impact lives or change attitudes? Can a work of art stir our consciences? Mobilize us to action?  And do artists have an obligation to use their work as a mechanism through which a political movement can be furthered? Those are just some of the questions that will be addressed in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power. The year 1963 might have marked the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, ending slavery in the South, but poverty, prejudice, racism, segregation and frustration were still rampant in this country.  Explore how Black artists responded to these social and cultural conditions. Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power was organized by the Tate Modern in London and exhibited to great critical acclaim at the de Young Museum in 2019-2020.

Revelations: Art from the African American South  Sold out in February

Do you have the ability to see and create art out of something completely ordinary?  To find meaning in things that other people might overlook, even throw away?  For centuries African American artists working in the Southern part of the United States had to “make do”, utilizing whatever materials they could find; but what emerged will make you reconsider what art can and should be.

With the addition of 65 objects, purchased from the Souls Run Deep Foundation, the Fine Arts Museums expands their collection of African American art created by until now largely unknown artists.  Join us as we take a look at the ingenuity and creativity that can be borne of oppression and sacrifice.


Dressed to Thrill: Fashion in Art at the Legion of Honor 


It’s often said that you can’t judge a book by its cover. But can a person’s clothing tell us something about who they are, or the world they lived in? This informative and entertaining talk explores the fashions on display in the vast art collections of the Legion of Honor. Hear how revolution, religion, and politics have shaped the way people dress. From ancient Egypt to the court of Versailles, this presentation gives you a front row seat at a fashion show 2000 years in the making.




A Toast to Wayne Thiebaud

California artist Wayne Thiebaud recently marked his 100th birthday.  Join us as we celebrate an illustrious career during which he has teased, tempted and tantalized us, examining our daily lives and evoking memories so deep we didn’t even know we had them.  Whether it’s his luscious desserts, deli cases, landscapes, or portraits, Thiebaud remains fascinated by the most commonplace of scenes, objects and circumstances. He simply makes the ordinary extraordinary.



Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave

The opening date of this special exhibition at the Legion of Honor will be announced soon. The virtual Art Talk can be scheduled now.

In AD 79, the fiery eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii and nearby villages and farms almost completely under pumice and hot ash. The eruption killed thousands of people in the midst of their daily activities, but the art and artifacts preserved by archaeologists offer us a picture of what life was like in a thriving Roman city during the 1st century. This exhibition immerses us in this ancient world by focusing on everyday life–especially on food and drink. Along with the pots, pans, and other paraphernalia used in the preparation and serving of food, you will see glorious works of art which reveal the splendor and luxury so enjoyed by the wealthy Romans who called Pompeii their home.


Behind the Scenes at Bouquets to Art

Have you ever wondered how Bouquets to Art started and became the most popular annual event at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco?  Have you marveled at the floral designs and the floral artists who created them, and admired the materials used?  This talk reveals what goes on behind-the-scenes at the de Young museum to make this highly successful event happen each year.  Features many stunning examples of  how floral artists have interpreted the museum’s works of art through their designs.



The World of Jane Austen: Art, Fashion, and Eligible Gentlemen

This entertaining presentation explores the world of beloved English author Jane Austen by looking at the art and culture of her time.  We’ll discuss the roles of ladies and gentlemen, and how the industrial revolution was bringing “new money” into society. We’ll look at trends in fashion, country estates, garden design and proper tea service.  Features artwork from the British collection at the Legion of Honor.