Mural 'Aarde' for SFMOMA

By: Claudy: 12-05-2016

For the renewed SFMOMA Claudy Jongstra created a monumental, site-specific mural installation.In a transitional space between the white-walled galleries and the outdoor rooftop garden, Aarde shifts in color and weight in response to the building's architecture.

Aarde brings together raw and crafted felt, hand-spun silk, and dried floraThe gold color and native flowers reference California's mineral and agricultural histories, which have influenced its cultural past as well.



The Dutch word aarde means "earth" in the geological sense. Noticing a contemporary divide between ecological and cultural sensibilities, Jongstra works to reconnect them. As Rembrandt sourced his rich paint colors from Dutch plants, Jongstra also harvests most of her materials locally.

This large-scale textile mural works in evocative contrast to the hard-edge materials of the museum's building, creating a unique passage that marks SFMOMA's architectural history through the designs of architects Mario Botta in 1995, Mark Jensen in 2008, and Snohetta in 2016.


Aarde was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, courtesy by Claudy Jongstra.

The new SFMOMA opened May 14th 2016


We are grateful for the major support for Aarde provided by Roberta and Steve Denning, generous support provided by Diana Nelson and John Atwater, additional support provided by Patricia W. Fitzpatrick, Denise Littlefield Sobel, and The Creative Industries Fund NL.