We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Meh....” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA)

Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA)
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Go San Diego Card
Ranked #134 of 424 things to do in San Diego
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Museum of Photographic Arts is one of the only museums in the country dedicated exclusively to the photographic arts, presenting work by some of the world's most celebrated photographers and cinematographers in its spacious new galleries and state-of-the-art 228 seat theater. MoPA is located in beautiful Balboa Park near downtown San Diego.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2014 via mobile

Love photography exhibitions but this was a an exhibition of how not to run a photography exhibition. $8 entry is too pricey for the 3 rooms. I've been to better photography exhibitions that are free. There's a half decent Ansel Adams display but bear in mind I did say 'half'. I'm sure if Ansel attended this museum and took a selfie even he would have a look of disappointment on his face.

1 Thank allaussieadventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

85 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chula Vista, California
Level Contributor
156 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
“Nice museum, but very small”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2014

I love checking out photography displays so naturally I wanted to visit this museum in Balboa Park. The museum is laid out well and has a nice display. Unfortunately, just when I was really enjoying this museum, I walked into the main lobby. I thought that there might be an upstairs, but there wasn't. Total it will take about a half an hour to 45 minutes to visit. The entrance fee was $8/person. It is a little pricey for such a small museum. The display was really pleasing, it just needs to be larger. There is a gift shop attached to the museum. I may go back if there is a special exhibit that is of interest to me. However, I wouldn't go out of my way to visit this museum.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank worldtraveller2801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fascinating tranquility ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2014 via mobile

What a surprising visit. My wife was a little reluctant as this attraction wouldn't be "our normal thing." How wrong we were! The theme on our visit was "Power" and the exhibition took us through so many different emotions whilst surrounded by peaceful tranquility. I found it fascinating for the effect the photos had on our emotions.
More of an adults destination by its nature but don't even hesitate to go if you get the chance.

2 Thank 05062586
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
245 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“Rotating exhibits will keep you guessing...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2014

A visit to this museum was not our first choice, but for a reasonable price, it got us through the door. All in all, it was a pleasant surprise for a family who always lugs around a camera. This place IS smallish, but contains some eye-catching pieces in black or white or vivid color.

Rotating exhibits will keep you guessing, but we were lucky to be there when they were showcasing CA talent. Watched a video of John Chiara taking photos with his homemade camper-sized camera...totally amazing! Another artist, Matthew Brandt uses a large format and soaks his c-prints in the same water of his images...lakes, reservoirs etc to get a surreal affect.

If you're looking for Ansel Adams, head to Yosemite. OR see some of his photos alongside his modern counterparts starting next month....piques my interest!

Visited December 2013
Thank Shimadog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glendale, California, United States
Level Contributor
40 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2014

After visiting an impressive array of museums over the past few years, my wife and I were looking forward to the Museum of Photographic Arts. What a disappointment! Aside from being a small exhibit, we both found it surprisingly bland and uninteresting. Visitors would be much wiser to spend time elsewhere in the park.

Visited January 2014
2 Thank Longstreet7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA) also viewed


Been to Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA)? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing