Tue, Apr 9, 2013 -- 10:00 AM

A History of Public Art in San Francisco

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Coit Tower in San Francisco, CA
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Coit Tower in San Francisco, CA

Today, it is nearly impossible to imagine San Francisco's Telegraph Hill without its landmark Coit Tower. But when the San Francisco Arts Commission approved the tower project in the early 1930s, public opinion was sharply divided. For 80 years, the city's arts commission has been at the center of a lively and often stormy debate over taxpayer-funded art. This commission's pivotal role in shaping public art and design is the subject of a new book, "San Francisco: Arts for the City." We'll talk to the author and to the current director of the commission.

Host: Michael Krasny


  • Catherine Wagner, artist and photographer, whose work will be included in the art commission's new Central Subway Public Art Program
  • Susan Wels, author of "San Francisco: Arts for the City -- Civic Art and Urban Change, 1932-2012"
  • Tom DeCaigny, director of cultural affairs at the City and County of San Francisco

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