“The worst-programmed major museum in America”

That’s what Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes is saying about the De Young Museum under the relatively new directorship of John Buchanan:

Remember this ending to SF Chron art critic Kenneth Baker’s Hiroshi Sugimoto-at-the-de Young review?

Probably the de Young has never seen an exhibition of gravity and elegance to compare with “Hiroshi Sugimoto” and a look around the institution suggests that the next one like it will be a long time coming.

Now we know what Baker was expecting: FAMSF released its 2007-2009 exhibition schedule yesterday. It reveals that FAMSF is well on its way to becoming the worst-programmed major museum in America. Heck, considering its programming and ethics problems, by the end of 2009 FAMSF might not be a major museum.

For more, and the DYM’s schedule of forthcoming shows, see the original Modern Art Notes post.

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  1. I’m glad to see that a real critic has pointed out the museum’s massive shortcomings. Was this what we paid for with the money raised for that enormous (and ugly) building. Just don’t get me started on that darn tower. Really, for a city with such cultural pretension, SF’s museums are, by and large, not world class. The Asian is, the SF MOMA on occasion (when they can tear themselves away from worshiping at the latest piece of tripe to come outof NY) but the De Young and the Legion are sub par in so many areas. The Legion has a decent collection of European paintings and objects d’art but so much of what’s in the De Young is very poor. Not all, mind you – the work that they have of the Bay Area Expressionists – Bischoff, Diebenkorn, Joan Brown, is good but they don’t have enough of it. The Early Modern Collection is decent but what in the holy heck is all that gaudy glasswork doing in the museum? Even from a design standpoint, it’s dreck! Some of the traveling exhibits have been good; the Arts and Crafts show was very good but crammed in a space that was too small for it (IMHO). I’m not a fan of clothing so the Vivienne Westwood exhibit didn’t interest me – and the pretentious verbage and video made me laugh. The Nan Kemper show was a waste of space. In fact, it seems to me that the “old” de Young had more interesting shows with less fol de roi around them.
    The pandering to the SF glitterati, endless parties and trivial exhibits are a disgrace.

  2. and now there’s all this talk about the MOCA’s louis vuitton store!
    (which we alluded to on our museum blog quite awhile ago)