The Art in Cinema collection covers the years between 1938 and 1978 and documents the development and evolution of the San
Francisco Museum of Art's Art in Cinema avant-garde and experimental film series created by Frank Stauffacher and Richard
Foster, which began in 1946 and continued through 1955. The collection also includes materials related to the University of
California Berkeley Extension 1947-1953 film series, which was similar but not identical to the Art in Cinema series, as well
as the 1960s and 1970s film series produced by the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and other
On January 18, 1935 the San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMA) opened its doors on the fourth floor of the War Memorial Veterans
building in San Francisco. The director of the museum, Dr. Grace McCann Morley, had a vision that the museum would not be
for elitists but rather would embody community interests and would support the avant-garde and contemporary art of the day.
Further, Dr. Morley saw the museum as a platform for experimentation, providing an opportunity to showcase a wide variety
of media, including photographs, experimental films, architectural and landscape design. It is likely from this vision the
Art in Cinema film series was created. The development of the original film series, which ran from 1946 to 1955, is credited
to Frank Stauffacher in conjunction with Robert Foster, Douglas MacAgy, director of the California School of Fine Arts and
George Leite, publisher of Circle magazine.