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California Dreams

San Francisco – a Portrait

12 September 2019 to 12 January 2020

As places of longing, California and San Francisco in particular have always stood for the dreams of a "better life": dreams of prosperity and abundance, of other (at times utopian) social orders, innovative life styles, creative artistic perspectives, and new technological horizons. Both the Asian-Pacific region in the west and Europe in the east have had a lasting impact on San Francisco.

«The Bay Area extends a magical embrace that has made generations of outsiders and outcasts feel at home.»Lawrence Rinder, Director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Time and again, global impulses have emerged from San Francisco: from the gold rush of the 19th century to the great social and political movements of the 20th century. Today, Silicon Valley is another global center of attraction in the San Francisco Bay area.

With artworks and historical objects from numerous Californian and European lenders the exhibition draws a many-faceted portrait of the city of San Francisco over four centuries. It touches upon important global issues of our time, especially those of migration and displacement. The exhibition celebrates San Francisco as a place whose pluralistic identity is constantly being renegotiated to this day.

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Admission tickets

Online ticket with a public transport ticket

€10/ €6.50 (concessions), Family ticket €16

School groups enjoy free admission to the exhibition on Fridays (booking necessary)
Happy-Hour-Ticket: 7 € (available two hours before the museum closes; individual visitors only, all exhibitions.) Combined ticket for all exhibitions available. More information

Show bibliography
Illustrations
  1. Joseph Sharp, with a pick axe, pan and gun, ca. 1855, © Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley / Alec Soth, Quick Fix Computer Sales & Services, Mountain View, 2013, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art© Alec Soth, Foto: Don Ross / The Dancers Wilbur and Mae Tai Sing at the nightclub "Forbidden City", c. 1940, © Museum of Performance and Design, San FranciscoJoseph Sharp, with a pick axe, pan and gun, ca. 1855, © Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley / Alec Soth, Quick Fix Computer Sales & Services, Mountain View, 2013, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, © Alec Soth, Foto: Don Ross / The Dancers Wilbur and Mae Tai Sing at the nightclub "Forbidden City", c. 1940, © Museum of Performance and Design, San Francisco
  2. Charles Christian Nahl (and August Wenderoth), Miners in the Sierras, detail, 1851/1852, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC © Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Fred Heilbron CollectionCharles Christian Nahl (and August Wenderoth), Miners in the Sierras, detail, 1851/1852, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC © Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Fred Heilbron Collection
  3. Ricardo Duffy, The New Order, detail, 1996, Screenprint, Los Angeles County Museum of Art© Ricardo Duffy, Foto: bpk / Los Angeles County Museum of Art / Art Resource, NYRicardo Duffy, The New Order, detail, 1996, Screenprint, Los Angeles County Museum of Art © Ricardo Duffy, Foto: bpk / Los Angeles County Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY
  4. Robert Schwartz, The Shapeless Street, detail, 1997, oil on panel, San Jose Museum of Art© San Jose Museum of Art, photo: Douglas SandbergRobert Schwartz, The Shapeless Street, detail, 1997, oil on panel, San Jose Museum of Art © San Jose Museum of Art, photo: Douglas Sandberg
  5. [Translate to english:] Harold John Brothers, Russian Hill, San Francisco, Ausschnitt, 1945, color stencil print, Fine Arts Museums San Francisco© Photo: Fine Arts Museum of San FranciscoHarold John Brothers, Russian Hill, San Francisco, detail, 1945, color stencil print, Fine Arts Museums San Francisco © Foto: Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
  6. Gene Anthony, LSD, detail, c. 1967, Photograph, California Historical Society, San Francisco © Courtesy California Historical Society© Courtesy California Historical SocietyGene Anthony, LSD, c. 1967, Photograph, California Historical Society, San Francisco © Courtesy California Historical Society
  7. Doug Hall (*1944), Chrysopylae: a video portrait of the Golden Gate Bridge and the massive minternational container ships that pass under it on their way in and out of San Francisco Bay, 2012, Two channel video installation with soundtrack by Jim McKee, Joan Jeanrenaud and Jeremiah Moore, 28 min. © Doug Hall, San Jose Museum of Art, San JoseDoug Hall (*1944), Chrysopylae: a video portrait of the Golden Gate Bridge and the massive minternational container ships that pass under it on their way in and out of San Francisco Bay, 2012, Two channel video installation with soundtrack by Jim McKee, Joan Jeanrenaud and Jeremiah Moore, 28 min. © Doug Hall, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Museumsmeile Bonn
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4
53113 Bonn
T +49 228 9171–200

Opening hours

Mondays closed
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
(including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)

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