Fall arts 2014: Museums and galleries 

Photography, history, modern masterworks, local heroes and ancient objects are among the season's offerings from the fine art world.


Robert Frank in America: The exhibition of more than 100 images showcases the Swiss-born photographer’s work from the 1950s surrounding his landmark book, “The Americans,” which depicted a country at odds with the era’s postwar prosperity. Organized by Peter Galassi, former chief curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, the show highlights themes of politics, race, religion, consumer culture, cars and the road, and illustrates the Frank’s formal strategies. Sept. 10-Jan. 5, free. Cantor Arts Center, Palm Drive at Museum Way, Stanford University, Stanford; (650) 723-4177, museum.stanford.edu

Hardly Strictly Warren Hellman: The exhibition, a collection of musical performances on video as well as personal ephemera, is a tribute the investment banker, philanthropist, musician and music enthusiast who died in 2011 and is perhaps best known as the creator of San Francisco’s free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. Along with archival footage of HSB performances never before made public, the show includes objects such as Hellman’s Star-of-David rhinestone studded jacket and a banjo signed by HSB headliners. Sept. 18-October 2016, $5-$12. Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F.; (415) 655-7800, www.thecjm.org

Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California: Combining artworks and historical documents, the unprecedented exhibition — a collaboration between the Oakland Museum of California and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art — examines how various social forces changed the face of art in and beyond California by focusing on four key moments: Murals, public art and Diego Rivera’s impact in the 1930s, postwar events at the California School of Fine Arts in the 1940s-50s, UC Davis’ founding art faculty and students in the 1960s-70s, and San Francisco’s Mission in the 1990s and 2000s. Sept. 20-April 12, $6-$15. Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland; (510) 310-8400, www.museumca.org

Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House: Paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds and William Hogarth are among some of the treasures in the exhibition, which offers an intimate look inside an 18th-century manor. Spectacularly recreated interiors, filled with exquisite furniture passed down through the centuries, evoke the sophistication of the era’s aristocracy. Oct. 18-Jan. 18, 2015, $10-$18. Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., Lincoln Park, S.F.; (415) 750-3600, legionofhonor.famsf.org

Keith Haring: The Political Line: Based on an exhibition of the same title in Paris last year, this U.S. premiere (and first major Haring show on the West Coast in nearly two decades) includes more than 130 pieces — subway drawings, paintings and sculptures — that assess the powerful and long-lasting political dimension and scope of the artist and social-justice activist’s work. Nov. 8-Feb. 16, $15-$30. De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.; (415) 750-3060, deyoung.famsf.org


Gorgeous: Drawing on works from the permanent collections in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Asian Art Museum, the show juxtaposes works by modern masters like Duchamp, Picasso and Rothko with Asian masterworks, providing new context for the term “gorgeous.” Through Sept. 14, $8-$12. Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., S.F.; (415) 581-3500, www.asianart.org

Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: More than 50 works from The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection — including pieces by Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Frank Stella — are on view in the exhibition from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Through Oct. 12, $14-$24. De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, S.F.; (415) 750-3600, deyoung.famsf.org

Leading Ladies and Femme Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis: The show spotlights original pencil-animation drawings, conceptual artwork, paintings, cels and photographs from the Disney animator who created Tinker Bell, Cruella de Vil and “Sleeping Beauty” characters Aurora and Maleficent. In addition, the museum celebrates its fifth anniversary with special programs in October. Through Nov. 3, $17-$25. Walt Disney Family Museum, 104 Montgomery St., Presidio, S.F.; (415) 345-6800, www.waltdisney.org

Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay: The photographer, an early chronicler of the gay experience, captured life in bars, clubs, and on the street in images dating from the late 1960s to the early ’70s. Through Jan. 11, $7-$10. De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, S.F.; (415) 750-3600, deyoung.famsf.org


20th Century Salon Photography: A Tribute: The show – featuring images by Jose Alemany, Karl Baumgaertel, Ruth Bernhard, Imogen Cunningham, Floyd Evans, Johan Hagemeyer, Fan Ho, George Hoxie, William Simpson and others – puts a spotlight on photographic salons of the 20th century, illustrating how these exhibitions influenced the art world to accept photography as a serious form. Sept. 4-Nov. 29, free. Robert Tat Gallery, 49 Geary St., S.F., (415) 781-1122, www.roberttat.com

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro: Architects of Destruction: The Australian duo’s multimedia exhibition, a collection of cross-stitchings, Lego works and drawings on whiteboard, reveals the artists’ views on the inherent costs of human progress. Sept. 4-Nov. 1, free. Gallery Wendi Norris, 161 Jessie St., S.F., (415) 346-7812, www.gallerywendinorris.com

Free Bird: The Never Ending Joy Ride, 1998-2014: The current iteration of Guy Overfelt’s evolving 16-year conceptual art work involves hoisting a 1977 Trans AM, the vintage four-wheeler of “Smokey and the Bandit” fame, onto a custom-painted white four-post hydraulic car lift. Sept. 5-Oct. 4, free. Ever Gold Gallery, 441 O’Farrell St.. S.F., (415) 796-3676, www.evergoldgallery.com

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Leslie Katz

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