Museums & Heritage

Further cuts at SFMoMA end its film programme, art loan gallery and publishing platform

Seven staff will also lose their jobs as tightened budgets and low attendance impact operations

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Photo: Alan Morris

Following pandemic-related budget cuts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is doing away with some of its beloved and longstanding programming, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Among the losses will be the museum’s Artists Gallery at Fort Mason Center, an initiative that has been active since 1946 with the mission to sell, loan, and rent works by Bay Area artists to local offices and residences. The Artists Gallery will close in December. The museum’s film programme, which has been in operation since 1937, will close following the autumn 2021 season. And the museum’s publishing platform “Open Space” as well as its podcast “Raw Material” will both also end after the autumn, although the podcast will be reimagined as an online and in-gallery audio platform tied to current exhibitions. Finally the museum’s volunteer Modern Art Council, which is a fundraising and social group, will be disbanded. These closures are expected to cause a total of seven employees to lose their jobs, and they come on the heels of multiple rounds of pandemic-related layoffs, salary cuts, and furloughs that impacted hundreds of the museum’s employees.

“We are committed to our mission of being a dynamic center for modern and contemporary art, engaging and inspiring a diverse range of audiences. The reality is that the pandemic has had a major impact on our operations, exacerbating existing challenges such as reduced attendance, growing expenses and constrained budgets,” a representative of the museum says a statement. “In order for SFMOMA to sustain a healthy institution for our community, we must shift our approach to make these goals more actionable and successful in today’s dramatically changed environment. We are committed to programming that enhances visitor experience, both in our galleries and throughout the museum.”