The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Reportedly owing money to between 100 and 199 creditors, possibly including former faculty and staff, SFAI may be forced to liquidate its $65 million in assets, including property , equipment and works of art. Concerns are swirling, particularly over the Diego Rivera mural that adorns the school’s Russian Hill campus. The in situ works of 1931, The realization of a fresco showing the construction of a cityis valued at $50 million.

The dossier is the latest unfortunate turn of events in three years in which the legendary art school – which at various times counted among its teachers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still – has struggled to survive . In March 2020, as the Covid-19 crisis grips the world, SFAI announced plans suspend registrations and dismiss teachers. A month later, after adopting what he called “extreme measures”, the council revealed that the school would remain open but stop hosting degree programs, instead offering on-site and online studio art classes, public education programs, and curatorial exhibitions and projects funded by grants intended to support it as it reinvented its business model and pursued potential partnerships. Three months later, the school reverse courseannouncing that it would resume falling graduation courses for students already enrolled in the institute who were within a year of graduation.

In January 2021, SFAI was discovery of the sale of Rivera’s mural: filmmaker George Lucas and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art emerged as potential buyers. However, news of the possible sale was met with public outrage, and city officials voted unanimously to begin the process of designating the mural a national monument. In the spring of 2022, the Mellon Foundation awarded a grant of $200,000 for the restoration of the work. The mural and other works from the school’s collection are now in the custody of the SFAI Legacy Foundation and Archive, a nonprofit organization founded by former SFAI librarians Becky Alexander and Jeff Gunderson.

In July 2022, SFAI’s last hope of staying open faded when the University of San Francisco, which was considering a merger with SFAI, deemed the plan too risky and decided to open its own department of science instead. ‘art. SFAI announcement when it would close permanently.

“While it seems inevitable after the separation of USF and SFAI, it is still a sad ending after 150 storied years that have enriched San Francisco and our national arts community,” said the San Francisco Supervisor. , Aaron Peskin, who represents the municipal district that houses the SFAI campus. , say it San Francisco standard. “I remain committed to the long-term preservation of Diego Rivera’s iconic murals and ensuring they are accessible to the public.”


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