SFMOMA Plans Lebbeus Woods Exhibition, Adds Photo Trove to Collection

Detail from “San Francisco Project: Inhabiting the Quake, Quake City,” a 1995 drawing by Lebbeus Woods. (Courtesy San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will commemorate the career of architectural visionary Lebbeus Woods, who died last month at the age of 72, with an exhibition of his drawings and models. Scheduled to open February 16, “Lebbeus Woods, Architect,” will take a thematic approach to represent Woods’ wide-reaching interests in the political, ethical, social, and spatial implications of built forms. Among the 75 works on view will be those addressing cities damaged by nature (we’re looking at you, Sandy), such as his San Francisco earthquake drawings. “As the museum embarks on its own physical transformation, the exhibition marks an opportunity to consider the meaning and implication of such a shift,” said SFMOMA curator Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, alluding to the $555 million Snøhetta-designed expansion that will get underway in the summer of 2013. “There could not be a more fitting body of work to present at this moment.”

And the bigger and better SFMOMA will have more than the Fisher Collection to display in its new digs. Today the museum announced that it has lined up promised gifts of 473 photographs from three separate collectors. The trove includes 26 photographs by Diane Arbus from local collector and gallerist Jeffrey Fraenkel, and, from an anonymous donor (could it be Santa?) and Tokyo’s Kurenboh Collection, nearly 350 works by Japanese photographers (such as Nobuyoshi Araki, Yasumasa Morimura, Daido Moriyama, and Hiroshi Sugimoto), cementing the museum’s status as home to the largest collection of Japanese photography in the United States. The gifts also include photos by the likes of Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, and Garry Winogrand.