art exhibitions San Francisco 2020

7 Unmissable Art Exhibitions To See In San Francisco In 2020

From the Pop art to Pompeii, the best art exhibitions in San Francisco in 2020 will appeal to all art tastes. New exhibitions are opening throughout the year, but we’ve also thrown in an ongoing modern art exhibition in the city that you simply have to see. This list is a great mix of old and new.

Get ready to explore this creative city and take in some world-class artwork along the way…

Best Art Exhibitions To See In San Francisco In 2020


1. Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 – de Young Museum

This fantastic exhibition honours the incredible legacy of Black Power in the San Francisco Bay Area through more than 150 works by over 60 artists. The exhibit will showcase art from Black artists that sheds light on the issues of race and identity. Expect thought provoking pieces.

2020 Dates: Now – March 15th

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2. Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving – de Young Museum

Kahlo’s work is mostly based around politics, gender, and sexuality, and she is most iconic for creating pieces that showcase herself. This exhibit in San Francisco includes artefacts from the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City, including photographs, clothing, jewellry, drawings, and paintings.

2020 Dates: March 21st – July 26th

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3. Pop, Minimal, and Figurative Art – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

This exhibition of works from the 1960s and beyond features Pop and Minimal artists, as well as the work of key figures exploring the human form as subject. It’s a must-see exhibit, with works by Richard Artschwager, Philip Guston, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol. Modern art lovers will really enjoy seeing these iconic pieces of art.

2020 Dates: Ongoing

Copyright: Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

4. Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment – Asian Art Museum

This exhibition brings together Buddhist artworks from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Asian Art Museum, home to two of the country’s most significant collections of Himalayan art. Sculptures, paintings, textiles and book arts made between 800 and 2016 chart a “journey from the ordinary world to awakening.”

You walk through the exhibition in such a way that you will feel a connection and “awakening” the deeper you dive into the path.

2020 Dates: Now – May 3rd 2020

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© Tsherin Sherpa. Photograph © Asian Art Museum

5. Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave – Legion of Honor

In AD 79, the Bay of Naples, Italy, was rocked by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii and nearby villages and farms were completely buried under lava and hot ash, which killed thousands as they went about their daily activities. The exhibition brings visitors back into this world by focusing on everyday life; especially on food and drink.

There’s beautiful works of art, mosaics and other preserved ornaments.

2020 Dates: April 18th – August 20th

art exhibitions San Francisco 2020

6. The Walt Disney Studios and World War II – The Walt Disney Family Museum

Did you know that the Walt Disney Family Museum served as an active U.S. Army base from 1846 to 1994? Disney devoted over 90% of their wartime output to producing training, propaganda, entertainment, and public-service films.

With the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, this exhibition will showcase rarely-seen artwork, film clips, photos, and other historical pieces from this unique time in animation history. Even non-Disney fans will find this a fascinating thing to see in San Fran.

2020 Dates: May 13th – January 11th 2021

art exhibitions San Francisco 2020

7. David Park: A Retrospective – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

The famous Bay Area pioneer of figurative art will be celebrated with 127 works displayed in chronological order, from Park’s early social realist paintings in the 1930s to his final works on paper in 1960. The show also has a selection of the 1950s canvases of Bay Area figurines for which Park is best known. It’s one of the must-see art exhibitions in San Francisco in 2020.

2020 Dates: April 11th – September 7th

art exhibitions San Francisco 2020

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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