With its black-and-white striped cylindrical skylight, the Museum of Modern Art (151 3rd St.; 415-357-4000) is an eye-popping ode to Modernism, drawing architecture buffs and art lovers from around the world. Its permanent collection includes works by Robert Rauschenberg, René Magritte and Piet Mondrian; and major photographic works by Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, and Edward Weston. Matisse and Beyond: The Painting and Sculpture Collection is an ongoing exhibit showcasing works from the first 60 years of the 20th century, beginning with Fauvism and Cubism and concluding with Pop Art and Minimalism. Among the collection are important works by Mondrian, Bruce Conner, Paul Klee, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Picturing Modernity: The Photography Collection includes pictures from the mid-1800s to the present that capture key moments in the development of the medium. The museum is open every day except Wednesday, 10 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. (11 a.m. in winter/spring) and until 8:45 p.m. Thursdays. Admission: Adults $12.50, seniors $8, students $7, children 12 and younger free. Admission is half price Thurs. eves. and free the first Tues. every month.
City Arts and LecturesCity Arts has presented conversations and lectures with cultural icons, literary luminaries, and notable figures in the world of arts, politics, and science for more than 25 years. You never know who might show up: Nora Ephron talking to Armistead Maupin; David Sedaris delivering one of his priceless monologues; Adam Gopnik and Ani DiFranco. A gab fest for the culturally illuminated. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., (415) 392-4400.
Bonnie Wach is the author of USATODAY.com's San Francisco City Guide.