Image 1: 1986 Richard Shaw Ceramics Class.


The long wonderful history of Ceramics at the School is exemplified in this 1986 Richard Shaw Figure Modeling Class, “Course No. CE2, ” with “Mr. Shaw” in the center! Located on the east side of the ramp in the Pafford Clay 1969 building, the Ceramics Department kilns are used for art making and occasionally for cooking chicken dinners for SFAI Galas—like the one illustrated here in 1996 honoring filmmakers Barry Levinson and Francis Ford Coppola emceed by Robin Williams from the ramp.


Image 2: 1996 Ceramics Area hosting “Tower of Dreams Gala” honoring Francis Ford Coppola and Barry Levinson.

Image 3: 1996 “Tower of Dreams” emcee, Robin Williams whose mother attended the School.



With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.


2022……..1975……..


THIS SUNDAY, April 10th, McClaren Park: SFAI has TWO ENTRIES in the 2022 resurrected version of SFMOMA’s Artists Soapbox Derby!!!!! Here is the link to THIS YEAR’S version: https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/2022-soapbox-derby-at-mclaren-park/


BONUS: The 1975 Richard Shaw Pencil Car has been restored and will be there!!!! see below!!!


In preparation for THE 2022 version of the SFMOMA’s Artists Soapbox Derby, attached below is information on the ORIGINAL 1975 VERSION.


Image #1: Flo Allen, Queen of the Artists’ Soap Box Derby

Image #2, Martha Shaw (left) and Richard Shaw


The Artists’ Soap Box Derby was orchestrated by the San Francisco Museum of [Modern] Art—twice—once in 1975 and then again in 1978. Even though this was a SFMOMA production it has all of the fingerprints on it of SFAI---irreverent, entertaining, brilliant, conceptual, kind of dangerous, and loaded with entrants and artists who were SFAI students, faculty, staff and alumni. Artists were given $250 in 1970s money to build their cars. Sponsorship included everyone and anyone in S.F. from Cissie Swig to Ghirardelli Square, from the California State Automobile Association to Beefeater Gin, from Shreve and Company to Wilkes-Bashford haberdashery. Artists included Robert Kinmont (and Ben Kinmont) Lynn Hershman, Richard Shaw, Carlos Villa, Bonnie Sherk, Jeremy Anderson, Janet Delaney, Ursula Schneider, Phil Linhares, Tom Marioni, Eleanor Dickinson, Howard Fried, Valery Hardy, Jamie Rasmussen, Mike Henderson, Bill Allan, David Best, Bill Geis, Judith Linhares, Leo Valledor, Rodger Jacobsen, “Meadow”, Ant Farm, Bill Morehouse, Ivan Majdrakoff, Nancy Rubins, Nell Sinton…and….drum roll, Flo Allen! who presided as the Soap Box Derby Queen. It was a virtual Who’s Who of mid-1970s Bay Area Art folk. And if that is not cool enough there is a terrific 1975 film made by Amanda C. Pope titled The Incredible San Francisco Artists’ Soap Box Derby that won a SECA award from SFMOMA.


and you can watch Pope's film on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/9069815

And……there was another film made by College of Marin students about the 1978 soap box derby…..: https://vimeo.com/209299335?ref=em-share

For more information about the Artists’ Soap Box Derby check-out this blog on the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art webpage: https://www.aaa.si.edu/blog/2017/10/supercharged-with-wit-talent-and-magic-the-artists-soap-box-derbies

Want to know more about SFAI’s prestigious Athletic History? See: https://matrix277.org/Object-57





With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.


April 1, 2022

From the SFAI Library & Archives: SFAI at sea!











SFAI’s coastal setting has always generated an appreciation and love of nautical endeavors revealed not only in the art from the 19ththrough the 21st centuries as evidenced above by works of SFAI artists like Richard Shaw, Ed Hardy, William Coulter, and SFAI students living at Sausilito’s Gate 5, but also with SFAI Director Ernest “Commodore” Mundt’s maritime-loving administration of the early 1950s when their idea to resolve space problems was to commandeer a retired ferryboat, the S.S. Lauren Hartman, berth it in Aquatic Park, and set up seafaring studios. Unfortunately, the boat soon became home not only to artists but also to an infestation of rats, so bay swimmers and rowers at the South End Rowing Club, irritated by the presence of this monstrosity in their midst, ended the experiment in nautical education when they torched the vessel, and SFAI has remained landlocked ever since.


Image 1: The S.S. Lauren Hartman run aground at San Francisco’s Aquatic Park

Image 2: The S.S. Lauren Hartman, post-fire

Image 3: William Coulter, San Francisco Fire (1906)

Image 4: Ed Hardy, Sailing Ship, (c. 1956)

Image 5: Richard Shaw, Bride and Shipwreck (2003)

Image 6: Pirkle Jones,Madonna & Mt. Tam Gate 5(1970)



With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.