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Curator Lecture: "The Great ArtQuake of 1915", by James A. Ganz

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van Rysselberghe, Garden of the Generalife in Granada

Théo van Rysselberghe, Garden of the Generalife in Granada, 1913. Oil on hardboard. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, gift of B. Gerald Cantor, 1969.1

Koret Auditorium

Nine years after San Francisco was rocked by the great earthquake of 1906, the city was the site of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, a world’s fair that included one of the largest art exhibitions ever presented on the West Coast. This talk gives an overview of the great “artquake” of 1915 and the aftershocks that are still being felt in San Francisco’s cultural institutions.

James A. Ganz joined the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in 2008 as Curator of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. His expertise is in the area of works on paper, and his scholarship ranges from old master prints and drawings to twentieth-century art and the history of photography. At the de Young, he organized Portals of the Past: The Photographs of Willard Worden (2015), The Bay Bridge: A Work in Progress, 1933–1936 (2014), Rembrandt’s Century (2013), Arthur Tress, San Francisco 1964 (2012), and a series of thematic photography exhibitions in the Fisher Family Gallery (2008–2010). At the Legion of Honor, he produced Artistic San Francisco (2011), Impressionist Paris: City of Light (2010), and Waking Dreams: Max Klinger and the Symbolist Print (2009). He was also responsible for the San Francisco presentations of Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Master Painter (2013–2014), Pissarro’s People (2011), The Magna Carta (2011), and Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin (2008). He is curator of the exhibition Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition opening October 17, 2015 at the de Young.

Ticket Information

Free tickets for the lecture are distributed beginning at 6 pm at the Koret Auditorium entrance. Seating is limited. Tickets are first come, first served.

Programming and general admission to the permanent collection galleries are free of charge during Friday Nights at the de Young. A discounted $15 ticket is required to visit the special exhibition galleries.


Support for Friday Nights at the de Young is provided by Hanson Bridgett, the Koret Foundation, and the Wells Fargo Foundation. During Friday Nights, funding from The Hearst Foundations makes possible free general admission to the permanent collection galleries. The media sponsor is the San Francisco Chronicle.

Contact Information

Mitzi Mathews
(415) 750-7694