The Moscone Center houses a diverse collection of San Francisco’s public art. These pieces were commissioned or placed as part of the City's Percent for Art ordinance which sets aside funding for the inclusion of art in the construction of public buildings.
Moscone South houses six works of interior art, as well as one large exterior sculpture installed just outside the Esplanade Ballroom building on the corner of Third and Howard streets. These pieces include:
Moscone South Exterior
A sculpture by Keith Haring, "Untitled" (Three Dancing Figures), Version A, Edition 2/3, 1989, painted aluminum. The artist was born in the U.S, 1958-1990.
Moscone South Interior
Esplanade Ballroom Lobby
"George Moscone," a cast bronze sculpture by Spero Anargyros. The bust depicts the former San Francisco Mayor and California State Senator after whom the city's convention center is also named. The piece is displayed just inside the entrance to the Esplanade Lobby. The artist is American born. The piece includes a famous quote by Mayor Moscone about his beloved city:
"San Francisco is an extraordinary city because its people have learned to live together with one another, to respect each other, and to work with each other for the future of their community. That's the strength and the beauty of this city - and it's the reason why the citizens who live here are the luckiest people in the world. -Mayor George Moscone"
A multimedia work by Hung Liu, "Map No. 33" is displayed on the east wall of the Esplanade Ballroom lobby. It consists of 41 canvases shaped to conform to the first survey map of San Francisco as drawn in 1839. The artist was born in Changchun, China, 1948.
The Earliest Inhabitants - To include references to the Moscone area's earliest inhabitants, the Ohlone Indians, Liu made drawings of found possessions on glazed ceramic tiles set into the display cases. These objects, which date from 0 to 940 AD, were resurrected from a nearby burial ground - now the site of Yerba Buena Gardens - and have since been returned to the tribe for burial.
Below the painting is a series of display cases containing artifacts excavated from the Moscone Center construction site in 1978 and dating from 1855 to 1906. These artifacts belonged to the site's 19th century inhabitants, mostly newcomers who, in the wake of the Gold Rush, flocked to San Francisco from throughout the world. A Chinese bowl, corroded pocketwatch, soda bottles, pipes, wood dominoes, marbles, and other household objects recall the everyday activities of families and laborers that lived and worked on that block.
Moscone South Interior
Mezzanine Level Bridge
Located on Moscone South's Mezzanine Meeting Room Bridge are four works of interior art:
A work by Viola Frey, "Exterior/Interior Garden", 1987, oil on canvas. It is hung on the East end of the bridge. The artist was born in the U.S., 1933.
A work by Tom Holland, "Marengo", 1981, epoxy paint on aluminum and fiberglass. The artist was born in the U.S., 1936.
A work by Sam Gilliam, "Tholos Across", 1981, mixed media. The artist was born in the U.S., 1933.
A work by Paul Wonner, "Souvenir of San Francisco", 1981, acrylic on canvas. It is hung on the West end of the bridge. The artist was born in the U.S., 1920.
Moscone North Interior
North Upper Lobby
Moscone North exhibits an untitled acrylic and mixed media on canvas by Gustavo Rivera, commissioned in 1981. It is hung in the north upper lobby. The artist was born in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico, 1940.
Moscone West features two pieces of art that encompass a dramatic contrast in media. The interior piece is highly organic in material and function, and the exterior piece is a technologically sophisticated work of mobile electronic art.
Moscone West Interior
First Floor Lobby
"Tree", by Hilda Shum, Po Shu Wang, and David S. Gordon, is a 101-foot tall California Redwood tree that stands as a sculptural element in the center's grand staircase. Completed between 1998 and 2003, this work was created from a single redwood tree that had died of natural causes and was harvested in accordance with California Department of Forestry guidelines.
Moscone West Exterior
The exterior art piece, "Facsimile" by artists Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, consists of a 15' by 25' LED video screen upon which video images from a variety of sources are featured. Artist Elizabeth Diller was born in Lodz, Poland and Ricardo Scofidio was born in New York City, New York.