SFMOMA has scheduled three upcoming days for free museum-going, and given the general public's ravenous hunger for in-person culture, you'd best sign up for a reserved entry slot or risk standing in a terrible line.
For the second time since the start of the pandemic, as KQED reports, SFMOMA is offering some free-entry days for the public, including a Saturday in May that promises to be PACKED — or at least as busy as they allow, capacity wise, with masks and blah blah.
The first date is actually this Monday, April 26, and the latest available times for entry (3:00 and 3:30 p.m.) are already sold out. Clearly people who are working from home can knock off a little early to get to the museum, but for everyone else who is either funemployed or enjoys an even more flexible schedule, there are still times available between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. as of this writing.
The next two free days are Saturday, May 22 (10 a.m.–5 p.m.), and Thursday, June 24 (1 p.m. to 8 p.m.). Entry tickets for these days aren't yet available, and will go online two or three weeks before the date, the museum says — so it pays to be eagle-eyed on social media, etc. There's also an upcoming Free Family Day on May 16, which allows groups of up to four adults with at least one child under 18 to enter for free.
Previously, when COVID restrictions were lifted in the fall and museums were allowed open at 25% capacity, SFMOMA opened for free for an extended period in October, before having to close once again.
These days, there is new stuff to see, including a collection of new work commissioned from local artists called Bay Area Walls; the pandemic-related show from more local artists called Close to Home: Creativity in Crisis; the Contemporary Optics show from Olafur Eliasson, Teresita Fernández, and Anish Kapoor; the two-channel video installation on Black culture and existence called Future Histories: Theaster Gates and Cauleen Smith, which juxtaposes Gates's 2018 piece Mama Mamama or What Is Black Power? with Smith's Sojourner from 2018; and a show of new work from Charles Gaines.
Upcoming on May 8 is the opening of a retrospective of the work of multimedia artist Nam June Paik, the first-ever West Coast retrospective of the Korean American's work which began in the Fluxus movement of the early 1960s and extended into the early 2000s. Appropriate to the Bay Area, Paik is credited with coining the term "electronic super highway" in the 1970s to describe the future of telecommunications.
Since it reopened in 2016, SFMOMA has been free to everyone under the age of 18, but free entry days have been limited to one-off Culture for Community events. SFMOMA used to have programs with half-priced admission and late hours on Thursdays, and free admission the first Tuesday of every month (a program that was sponsored by AT&T at the time), but those days are long gone.
It's unclear whether the museum plans to continue the free days through the rest of the year beyond the June 24 free day/night.
Image: Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons