SFMOMA Expansion Aims to Redefine Role of Museum in the City

SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra describes himself as having a missionary's zeal, with modern art as his religion.

“There's a misapprehension that contemporary art is difficult, that it's only for certain people,” Benezra says. “I don't believe that. I believe it's for everyone.”

So Benezra is particularly excited about the expansion to the museum, which was unveiled Wednesday, that he believes will go a long way to bringing art to the masses. The project will break ground in summer of 2013 and is due to open in early 2016. Plans include the construction of a new 235,000-square-foot building that will run along the back of the current Mario Botta building, extending from Minna to Howard. It will have more public entrances, free ground-level galleries, new outdoor spaces — including a sculpture garden — and educational spaces connected to the galleries.

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