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The Do List's Favorite Museum Shows During the Holidays

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Dina Goldsteins Photograph ’Golem’ is part of the ’Jewish Folktales Retold’ show at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (Photo: Courtesy of the CJM)

My co-host Sarah Hotchkiss and I have picked our favorite shows at local museums (and one gallery) for the holiday season. We focused on places you can go with the family, or as a means of escape from them. The exhibitions share one quality: a sense of humor, which is a trait we find too rare in the art world.

Sept. 20–Dec. 10: Both Sarah and I love the work of the late painter Martin Wong, which can be seen in the show Martin Wong: Human Instamatic at the Berkeley Art Museum. We love the way he exposes his obsessions (with brick and streetscapes), for the tender portraits of his lovers, and for the fact that he once gave away canvases meant for a big gallery show that were worth thousands of dollars. Details here.

Oct. 28-Dec. 9: Martin Wong — California Years. A small show, at the Anglim Gilbert Gallery, of Wong’s early work before he moved to New York City. A worthy supplement to the Berkeley Art Museum’s exhibit. Details here.

Sept. 28–Jan. 28, 2018: Jewish Folktales Retold: Artist as Maggid at The Contemporary Jewish Museum is remarkable in so many ways. From the fresh takes on ancient stories that you can listen to online to the diversity of the artwork, which ranges from a science fiction portal to photos set in the Garden of Eden to a video of a goat (is that you Zlateh?) wandering through San Francisco. Details here.

Reconstruction of a Crouching Lion from the show Gods in Color at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco
Reconstruction of a Crouching Lion from the show Gods in Color at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco (Photo: Courtesy of Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco)

Oct. 28, 2017–Jan. 7, 2018: Gods in Color: Polychromy in the Ancient World at the Legion of Honor Museum shows how Greek and Roman statues weren’t just plain marble. The statues were brightly painted in ancient times, upending a notion of classical beauty that has been defined by white statues that never actually were… white. Details here.


Aug. 25–Jan. 14, 2018: This is Not a Selfie at the San Jose Museum of Art. Details here.

Through Jan. 7, 2018: Nina Katchadourian’s show Curiouser at the Cantor Museum of Art at Stanford. Details here.

Nina Katchadourian, 'Lavatory Self-Portrait in the Flemish Style #12.' From 'Seat Assignment,' 2010–ongoing.
Nina Katchadourian, ‘Lavatory Self-Portrait in the Flemish Style #12.’ From ‘Seat Assignment,’ 2010–ongoing. (Courtesy of the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery)

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