SoMa has several shining attributes, from its setting by the bay to the many incredible restaurants and shops, but one that continually draws people from both near and far is its art. The area is teeming with boutique art galleries and contemporary museums, affording SoMa a truly unique cultural character. So whether you want to attend an eclectic gallery event or admire some of the world’s most renowned pieces of work, SoMa is full of vibrant options.
Just moments from your doorstep at The Harrison lies one of the most celebrated art museums in the nation: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Not only is the building a piece of art in and of itself, designed by the ever-renowned Snøhetta architecture firm, but the museum likewise houses an internationally-recognized collection of contemporary works, featuring artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Roy Lichtenstein. Be sure to check out the sixth floor Fisher Collection for a museum experience to remember.
1AM, short for First Amendment, is a progressive gallery and cultural space that sits on Howard Street, a few blocks from The Harrison. Their mission is to promote freedom of speech—hence its name—through urban art exhibitions, public murals and experiences. So if you’re looking for an interactive gallery visit, head to the community-oriented 1AM to join one of the team building activities or eye-opening street art classes and tours.
The Museum of the African Diaspora is situated on Mission Street, a mere 15 minute walk from your doorstep. The incredible exhibition showcases the history, art and cultural diversity that resulted from the migration of Africans throughout the world. MoAd is one of the few museums across the globe to focus solely on African Diaspora culture, presenting an opportunity for visitors to likewise be apart of history. Be sure to check out the first floor gallery, which connects to the St. Regis—meaning you can enjoy a drink at the bar before or after your museum exploration.
The Gagosian Gallery has 16 exhibition spaces worldwide, one of which resides just opposite SFMOMA. Designed by Kulapat Yantrasast of Los Angeles–based wHY Architecture, the Gagosian Gallery focuses on the relationships between fine art, sculpture and structural design, featuring artists like the ever-renowned Pablo Picasso and Joe Bradley. Here, you can expect a sun-drenched gallery that is lined with some of the world’s most coveted works, all whilst being open and free to the public.