5 Questions: Carolyn Eames

October 20, 2010  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Carolyn Eames, who has worked at SFMOMA for 25 and 1/2 years, retires today. Carolyn started in admissions in 1984 when SFMOMA was still located on Van Ness Avenue. When the museum moved to its current Third Street location in 1995, she joined the Operations Department as the museum’s receptionist. It would be hard to imagine anyone else knowing as much as she does about SFMOMA. Carolyn, everyone here will miss you tremendously, and we wish you all the best!]

Do you collect anything?

I collect African sculptures and African art. I would like to collect more. One of the things that I would like to do when I retire is travel to Africa to collect art.

There’s the generic interview question that goes, “If you could invite anyone to dinner who would it be.” What I want to know is, what would you serve?

The first person who comes to mind is Pablo Picasso. He was one of the first artists I ever really loved. When I was 9 years old my mother bought me a book of Picasso. I remember that he lived in the south of France and they were eating dinner and it was a whole fish. If I invited him to dinner I would bake a fish. I love to cook, so I cook all sorts of things. I’d make something from my garden for them. My garden has lots of herbs and lettuces. Right now we just got through eating all the tomatoes. I have things like kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, carrots, shallots, and garlic. I’d probably cook them something from my garden to go along with the fish.

If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your home, what would it be?

Probably something from the British Museum, although I’ve never been there. But maybe some sort of object from Egypt. I like artifacts and sculpture a lot.

It’s interesting, but I’ve never thought about what I’d like to own. I’m at the point now where I don’t even have favorite artists.

The two Jackson Pollock paintings that are up together in The Anniversary Show, I would love to have those. We always have Guardians of the Secret up, and they brought out the other painting, Male and Female. I love those two.

What do you listen to while you work?

I would love to listen to music at work, but I can’t. My favorite music is salsa. I listen to music a lot. I love jazz, and I love salsa. There’s always music on at my house.

Other than your phone or keys, what do you always carry with you?

My sunglasses.


In her newfound free time, Carolyn hopes to dedicate more time to painting, traveling, and becoming a Pilates instructor. And, Carolyn, come visit!

7 Comments

  1. twiceastammy Says:

    carolyn, i will miss your anecdotes and awesome sense of humor. it’s been such a pleasure working w/ you at the museum all the years that i’ve been here. good luck to you and enjoy yourself!!! woooo hoo!!! :) tammy

  2. nadiah Says:

    Carolyn, thanks so much for everything, and enjoy your retirement! You deserve it!! <3 nadiah

  3. TPA2SFR Says:

    Carolyn, I am so excited for your future and so glad that you’ve made this choice while you’re still able to go out and enjoy the world – take in and appreciate every moment. You will be missed at 151 Third Street – Please pop-in from time to time and brag about how happy you are.

  4. Stephanie P. Says:

    Carolyn, you will be dearly missed! The museum won’t be the same without you. Enjoy this new chapter of your life, no one has earned it more than you! xoxo Stephanie (all the way from NYC)

  5. anne Says:

    miss you already, Carolyn! a bit of conversation with you always brightened my day. now, have a beautiful time making your garden grow!! xoxo

  6. catherine mills (seattle) Says:

    Carolyn: I stumbled upon this tonight and was so glad I did. This is wonderful news. I will share this with Kara, Tracy and Celeste. SFMOMA won’t be the same but I know you will be having a great time. Enjoy!

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