The Pier 24 Photography Museum is a non-profit art museum located on the Port of San Francisco. It has a collection of over 4,000 photographs, including works by celebrated figures in the history of photography. This exhibition is a small sampling of the collection.
The museum is free to visit. However, you must make an appointment to enter. In addition to its extensive collection of photographs, Pier 24 is also home to the Pilara Foundation Collection, a private collection of more than 4,000 photographs.
The Pilara Foundation Collection aims to preserve photography. Their collection spans the history of the medium, from the earliest known Polaroid images to the most recent work by artists such as Garry Winogrand. These galleries feature iconic images by celebrated figures in the history of photography, alongside works by emerging and unknown photographers.
For its tenth anniversary, Pier 24 is presenting a number of exhibitions. They include About Face, which features portraits by more than fifty photographers, including Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Lee Friedlander. Looking Back: Ten Years of Pier 24 Photography is the first of these upcoming exhibitions. A second will open in spring 2022.
Unlike most art museums, Pier 24 feels less institutionalized. Its entry way features a secure door with a speaker. Its galleries are strategically sized in relation to the work on the wall.
In addition to its permanent collection, Pier 24 hosts several exhibitions each year. Some of these exhibits are group shows, whereas others are solo. Most of its shows are theme-based. Past themes have included the ways captured images shape our world, as well as artists’ ways of transforming photographs.