Pier 24

Let’s hear it for Andy Pilara – the saintly reformed capitalist, photography collector, and philanthropist who created Pier 24 to display his collection and keeps it open to the public at no charge, with new shows about every year and a half.

Yes, it’s tightly structured, and to get in you have to make a reservation through the site above.  Best be on time because you get exactly thirty minutes to see the current show and are then chased out before the next group enters.  The groups are quite small, i’m guessing about 25 people, which works out to about one person per room, so there’s never anyone standing in front of something you want to look closely at, the most relaxed and pleasant museum experience i’ve ever had.

Another quirk is that the works are not labeled.  To know what you’re looking at you have to consult the catalog you’re loaned upon entry and figure out which room you’re in and where the photo is in it.  Not sure this is a plus, and every time i leave i swear that for the next show i’ll be sure to bring a pen and paper to write down the names of the photographers and works, but so far i’ve yet to do so.

In previous shows there have been photographs by artists i knew, but this time they were all new to me and of course i didn’t remember a single name.  Sigh.  Damn well should have, as there were some fascinating works.

Like this series of heavily embroidered photographs.


And this room, half full of prints, into which you were encouraged by the docent at the door to enter, step on the prints near the door, and even pick some up for closer examination.  The docent and i agreed that it would be in poor taste to take a flying leap into those stacked in the back of the room as if you were a kid jumping into a pile of autumn leaves.


I’m not sure what it is about that show, but every time i come out of it i’m compelled to start snapping photos right and left.  I have a feeling that i’m hardly unique in this and that hundreds of people have taken this shot just outside the door.

Outside Pier 24

And then maybe this one next door.

Pier 26


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. David Ogden
    Posted 22 January 2015 at 11:32 | Permalink

    Have been to Pier 24 twice and agree that it’s an amazing environment to view and enjoy the photos they display. Mr. Pilara’s generosity is difficult to grasp.

    • Matte Gray
      Posted 30 January 2015 at 11:45 | Permalink

      I agree. He’s a prince…with an extra helping of noblesse oblige.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.