San Francisco has a long history as a vibrant and innovative art scene, from the extensive collections at the de Young, SFMOMA, and Legion of Honor to the various galleries throughout the city. While the major museums offer everything from historic paintings to groundbreaking contemporary art, the independent galleries offer the chance to dive deeper into SF’s art scene.
San Francisco art galleries carry world-renowned artists and emerging talent alike. Each gallery offers a unique curation and selection of artists to explore, and many have decades of experience backing them.
Dolby Chadwick has accumulated an impressive roster of artists since it was opened in 1997. The gallery has curated over 250 exhibitions in its time– embracing a wide variety of genres and media. Dolby Chadwick also entered the literary world, publishing 40 art books and collaborating with visual artists and poets. Plus, you can call to make an appointment with the gallery to get an introduction to the works and artists first-hand.
This contemporary art gallery, established in 2018, features exclusive exhibitions from well-known and emerging artists. The gallery has two locations, including a small gallery inside the iconic Fairmont Hotel. The flagship space is located in bustling Union Square. Some current artists include Joel Amit, Norman Parkinson, and David Hollier.
Jenkins Johnson Gallery was founded in 1996 with a focus on contemporary art. In 2017, the gallery expanded to the East Coast and added a gallery in Brooklyn, New York. Since then, the gallery has continued to feature various contemporary artists, including Ming Smith, Julia Fullerton-Batten, and Wadsworth Jarrel.
Berggruen Gallery has been a part of the San Francisco art scene since its founding in 1970. The gallery features contemporary and post-war American and European artwork. A range of works and artists can be found in the Berggruen Gallery, from Henri Mattise to Georgia O’Keeffe.
Catherine Clark Gallery has been exhibiting contemporary art since 1991. The gallery brought visual and performance art together in 2016 with a program called BOXBLUR. In a continued effort to creatively reimagine gallery spaces, EXIT was opened in 2023. The space is meant to feel like a museum gift shop that welcomes relaxing and interacting with the space.
This photography gallery has been operating since 1979 and has presented close to 400 exhibitions in its time. Artists include Robert Adams, Wardell Milan, Katy Grannan, and many more. The gallery also has art books that are available for purchase.
Located in the heart of San Francisco, Maybaum features international contemporary artists. The gallery was opened by Christina Maybaum after many years in the art world, working at auction houses, galleries, and museums. The gallery often participates in various art fairs around the country.
Caldwell Snyder Gallery was founded in 1983, and its success throughout the years has led to two more California locations in Montecito and St. Helena. The gallery represents over 50 international artists from all over the world. The owners take pride in building relationships with artists throughout the years, and the flagship gallery in Union Square is still a beautiful space full of unique art.
Rena Bransten Gallery was initially focused on ceramic sculptures, but in the many years since its founding, the gallery has expanded to include many other types of art. The gallery has been a part of the San Francisco art scene since 1974 and continues to sell compelling pieces from various artists today. Some artists in the gallery include David Linger, Hung Liu, Bovey Lee, and many more.
Ken Harman Hashimoto founded the contemporary gallery in 2013 and currently has three galleries in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. The gallery features a new exhibition each month. Artists include KIM COGAN, Anna Valdez, Dan Lam, and many more.