Exhibitions & Public Events

From the Tower: Collecting Queer Histories
Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019 - Sunday, Nov 3, 2019
Main Gallery at Fort Mason

From the Tower: Collecting Queer Histories

On view October 16—November 3
Main Gallery, SFAI—Fort Mason Campus

Special Reception: Friday, November 1 | 7–8pm

From the Tower: Collecting Queer Histories digs into the nearly 150 years’ worth of history accumulated in SFAI’s institutional archives as part of an ongoing effort to record and shed light on stories from its LGBTQ2+ community, and to ensure that those stories—so often silenced—get told.

Included are, to name just a few: the founder of the first suicide prevention hotline, the first director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a winner of the award for Berkeley’s Best Small Home Garden, a star of the local drag scene, a square dance caller, a Greenpeace board chair, world-renowned photographers and underground filmmakers, Salvador Dali’s collaborator and Robert Mapplethorpe’s lover.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the archives is actively soliciting memories and photos from current students and alumni. Help us make SFAI's future history as rich, diverse, strange and interesting as it deserves to be—archives@sfai.edu.

From the Tower is an exhibition series that explores artworks, images, objects, and stories living within the archives of SFAI.


From the Tower: Collecting Queer Histories is sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts and by the Koret Foundation.

Image: Performance in the SFAI Courtyard, c. 1978. Photo by Ed Ritter. Courtesy of San Francisco Art Institute.

Related Events
Artistic, Colorful and Unconventional: A Visual Tour of SFAI’s Queer History
Friday, Nov 01, 2019, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Scully Gray Box
See More »
Reception: From the Tower: Collecting Queer Histories
Friday, Nov 01, 2019, 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Main Gallery
See More »