Art Talks: Bringing the Museums to You

Art Talks are now available onsite and live online!

Schedule a presentation for your audience here.

Art Talks are entertaining, educational, multi-media art presentations delivered by museum speakers. These talks can be presented to your group either onsite at your venue or using online (Zoom) technology. Select Art Talks are offered in Mandarin or Spanish.  Onsite talks are $200 and live online talks are $150.

Please note: If you request a talk to be presented online (Zoom), we ask that you host this on your platform and provide technical support during the program.  

Below you will find descriptions of the Art Talks currently available.

To learn more and to reserve talks we have available now, email us at

Hung Lui: Golden Gate  EXTENDED

July 17, 2021-August 7, 2022, de Young Museum






Hung Liu was one of the most important Chinese-born artists working in the United States. Her paintings are the focus of Golden Gate, a compelling new installation at the de Young Museum. This talk will explore Liu’s roots in Maoist China, where she was trained in the Social Realist style of painting. You’ll learn how Liu interwove her personal history with the stories of other immigrants who have left their indelible mark on California history, society, and culture. Join us for a fascinating look at an artist whose work addressed issues that affect us all today. This talk can be booked in either English or Mandarin. Hung Liu

Alice Neel: People Come First  

March 12 – July 10, 2022

“For me, people come first,” American artist Alice Neel declared in 1950. “I have tried to assert the dignity and eternal importance of the human being.” Neel spent most of her life living and working in New York City, and her work testifies to the diversity, resilience, and passion of the people she encountered there. Alice Neel: People Come First is the first comprehensive West Coast museum exhibition of Neel’s work, and includes portraits of her neighbors in Spanish Harlem, as well as bohemians, activists, mothers, LGBTQ performers, and those who were historically left on art history’s margins. This ambitious retrospective features paintings, drawings, watercolors, and film that position Neel as one of the 20th century’s most radical artists and a champion of social justice. Together these works illuminate Neel’s longstanding commitment to humanist principles that still resonate with the social and cultural politics of our time. Please note: this presentation may contain subject matter or images that are adult in nature. Alice Neel

Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy NEW 

April 16 – September 5, 2022

In 2015, pop star Rihanna made headlines when she attended the Met Gala wearing a spectacular creation by Guo Pei, which thrust the designer into the international spotlight. Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy is the first comprehensive exhibition of the work of the woman hailed as China’s first couturier. This dazzling retrospective features Guo Pei’s work from the past two decades, drawn from her most important collections shown on Beijing and Paris runways. Through exquisite craftsmanship, lavish embroidery, and unconventional dressmaking techniques, Guo Pei’s designs fuse the influences of China’s imperial past, European architecture, folklore, and the botanical world. Many of the opulent and intricate designs featured in Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy will be displayed in galleries alongside masterpieces of European art, creating dialogues that will highlight the historical and iconographical references made by the designer in her creations. This talk can be booked in either English or Mandarin. Guo Pei

The Obama Portraits Tour NEW 

June 18-August 12, 2022, de Young Museum

The de Young Museum is proud to present the portraits of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald as part of “The Obama Portraits Tour” organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Approximately  life-size, the two paintings present a striking contrast to earlier presidential portraits and images of first ladies. This talk will look at how artists Wiley and Sherald explore complex issues of identity in their work, as well as how portraiture shapes ideas about power, status, and legacy. Don’t miss this discussion of an important turning point in both American history and art. Obama Portraits Tour

Faith Ringgold : American People NEW 

July 16- November 27, 2022, de Young Museum

Throughout her long career, artist Faith Ringgold has drawn from personal and collective histories to document both her life and the struggle for justice and equity. Faith Ringgold: American People brings together fifty years of groundbreaking work, and is the most comprehensive exhibition of her art to date. From painting to experimental story quilts, this talk will show how Ringgold’s artistic style evolved to bear witness to the complexity of the American experience. Long overdue, this retrospective provides a timely opportunity to engage with the art of an American icon. Faith Ringgold

Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs NEW

August 20, 2022 – February 12, 2023, de Young Museum

Ramses II, known as Ramses the Great, was the most celebrated and powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom, which was Egypt’s golden age. Believed to be a living god, Ramses ruled for 67 years, erecting enormous temples, obelisks, and statues while also expanding Egypt’s empire. Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharoahs features one of the greatest collection of Egyptian artifacts ever to travel to the United States. This talk will explore Ramses’s life and discuss the marvelous treasures in this exhibition, from the pharaoh’s colossal royal sculpture to mummies and exquisite Egyptian jewelry. Ramses the Great

Behind the Scenes at Bouquets to Art

Bouquets to Art is one of the most popular and highly anticipated events at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.  Have you ever wondered how this annual floral celebration got started? This talk will reveal what goes on behind-the-scenes to make this highly successful event happen each year.  Learn how talented Bay Area designers use flowers and other natural elements to create dazzling displays inspired by works of art in the museum’s collections. Don’t miss your chance to get an inside look at this unique event that’s become a San Francisco tradition. Bouquets to Art

New Art Talks Coming Soon: 

Check back for future Art Talks