Selves and Others

The most compelling portraits reveal more than simply a sitter’s physical appearance — they hint at an individual’s character, suggest a psychological state, or perhaps even offer a glimpse of the sitter’s soul. Drawn from the many generous gifts Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein have donated to SFMOMA’s collection since the late 1990s, this exhibition features portraits of the self; of personas or avatars; of family members, lovers, and friends; and of strangers. Made from the nineteenth century to the present and organized thematically, the works in the exhibition were created by artists including Claude Cahun, Rineke Dijkstra, Man Ray, Cindy Sherman, and Gillian Wearing, among many others.