Visitors enjoy the 2011 MFA Graduate Exhibition at the Winery SF on Treasure Island.

Public Special Events


Book Release: Peter Selz and the Walter and McBean Galleries
Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco,

The San Francisco Art Institute celebrates the release of two books that offer unique perspectives on art history and the contemporary cultural moment.

  • Peter Selz: Sketches of a Life in Art, by Paul J. Karlstrom
  • Paradigm Shifts: Walter and McBean Galleries Exhibitions and Public Programs, San Francisco Art Institute (2006-2011), compiled by Hou Hanru with Mary Ellyn Johnson


5:30-6:00 pm, Peter Selz and Paul J. Karlstrom in conversation with Charles Desmarais, President of the San Francisco Art Institute

6:00-7:30 pm, Book signing and reception, with an opportunity to view the Walter and McBean Galleries and the Diego Rivera Gallery

If you would like to attend this event, please email to be added to the guest list.

About the books:

Peter Selz: Sketches of a Life in Art

This absorbing biography (UC Press, 2012) traces the journey of a German Jewish immigrant from Hitler’s Munich to the United States, and on to a career as a pioneering historian and curator of modern art at New York’s MoMA and the University Art Museum at Berkeley. The book also links Selz’s life story with his personal commitment to political engagement, and his conviction that significant art is always an expression of deep human experience.

Selz’s decades-long involvement with California art continues with the announcement that he will be generously donating his extensive personal library to SFAI.

Paradigm Shifts: Walter and McBean Galleries Exhibitions and Public Programs, San Francisco Art Institute (2006-2011)

SFAI’s Walter and McBean Galleries have been significant venues for exhibiting contemporary art since 1969. This archival book collects ephemera, images, and texts from SFAI’s exhibitions and public programs over the past six years, under the leadership of internationally renowned curator Hou Hanru. Paradigm Shifts reflects a strategy that aims to bring contemporary art practice into dialogue—and occasionally, confrontation—with the effects of globalization on our cultural lives and daily existence.

The book was generously supported by Gallery Paule Anglim and Kadist Art Foundation.

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