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Local Voices S2 E4: Thinking about Materials

Materials used in art can give us clues to the artist’s process, techniques, and ways of thinking. They can also spark our understanding of the artwork. Join our museum ambassadors Elisabeth, Kaitlin, and Leighanna as they discuss how and why various materials are used in three artworks in the Fine Arts Museums’ collections.

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Gift basket, ca. 1985. Woodpecker, meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), California quail (Callipepla californica), and other feathers; clamshell, sedge root, willow, and cotton, 2 x 4 1/4 in. (5.1 x 10.8 cm). Gift of Mrs. Samuel G. Fleishman, 49.13.4

Thornton Dial, Blood and Meat: Survival for the World, 1992. Rope, carpet, copper wire, metal, canvas scraps, enamel, and splash zone compound on canvas on wood, 65 x 95 x 11 in. (165.1 x 241.3 x 27.9 cm). Museum purchase, American Art Trust Fund, and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection. © 2020 Estate of Thornton Dial / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, 2017.1.7


Martin-Guillaume Biennais, Hot-Water Urn, ca. 1845–1899. Silver, 17 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 12 1/4 in. (44.5 x 21.6 x 31.1 cm). Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1944.11a–d

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About Local Voices

Local Voices is a new podcast series from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco designed to celebrate art and Bay Area creativity. Local Voices highlights unique perspectives from Bay Area visual artists, musicians, scholars, community leaders, and thinkers aimed to reframe exhibitions and collections through relevant and local narratives. Through these diverse access points, we welcome the Bay Area community and beyond to engage in meaningful and inspiring narratives.