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“Great collection of contemporary and historical crafts”

Mingei International Museum
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San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Ranked #96 of 438 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A museum of folk crafts with a variety of displays that run the gamut from textiles and toys to painting and sculpture.
San Diego, California
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Great collection of contemporary and historical crafts”
Reviewed 24 May 2013

The craft scene is widely under appreciated by casual observers of the art world. The Mingei houses an excellent, rotating collection of crafts including furniture, musical instruments, fibers work, glass work, and other pieces. One of the highlights is the Chihuly chandelier hanging about the staircase. Well worth an hour of your time if you're strolling through Balboa, and definitely worth going out of your way if you're interested in craft art.

Visited March 2013
Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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97 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Charming staff and fascinating exhibits”
Reviewed 7 May 2013

I loved this museum so much I went two days in a row. The objects are things that people use
or else are in the folk tradition. Lighting, installation and architecture are first rate, and the staff
is totally engaged and friendly. Also the gift shop has some very reasonably priced items
that I haven't seen elsewhere. On my next trip back to Balboa I will head immediately for the Mingei!

Visited April 2013
Thank donnaverush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chula Vista, California
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Small but interesting”
Reviewed 20 March 2013

I visited the Mingei on Resident Free Tuesday for the first time and found it to be a beautiful facility with an interesting collection and exhibits.

I have to admit that I wasn't overly impressed with the current Bill Traylor exhibit, but that's just personal preference. (The exhibit itself was very nicely done; it was the artwork that didn't excite me.) The musical instruments, furniture, Niki de Saint Phalle sculptures, and glasswork by Dale Chilhuly did a better job of grabbing my attention.

It's a small enough museum / collection where you can see it in about an hour.

The staff was helpful and informative.

You must check backpacks and large bags at the entrance, but the museum did allow photographs without flash (according to the staff member I asked).

There's a small gift shop near the entrance.

I'll keep my eye on future exhibitions and would definitely return if I find something that appeals to me.

Visited March 2013
Thank zed1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hyattsville, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
294 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“A Really Lovely Guided Tour”
Reviewed 3 February 2013

My girlfriend and I recently came out from DC to visit her parents and found ourselves wandering around the Mingei museum one afternoon. It's a smaller (not small) museum, but it was well worth the trip.
At the door, we were met by Olivia, who asked us if we'd be interested in a guided tour. She was charming, engaging and very pleasant to speak with. Shortly thereafter, we were joined by Kathleen, another tour guide, who was just as lovely. It was actually really wonderful, because it felt like you were talking to a couple of every day, down to earth gals who just really loved the content of the place. They also had a wealth of knowledge on all of the different displays though. Very beneficial for us. It exemplifies the phrase "art of the people". By the people and for them to enjoy. I definitely thank them personally, as it's people like themselves who keep people like me returning.
The content of the museum itself was really wonderful. For my favorites, it'd be a toss-up between the Takamura furniture and the different musical instruments that they had on display. Really beautiful. I look forward to my next trip there!

Visited January 2013
1 Thank CaptainAwethume
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“The Mingei Museum-A Fine Collection of Applied Art from Around the World”
Reviewed 2 February 2013

One of my favorite museums in San Diego's Balboa Park is the Mingei Museum of International Crafts and Art. In most cultures, there is no distinction made between art and craft. This museum has a wonderful range of fascinating objects made for both practical, and aesthetic purposes. The collections are truly international in scope, with objects from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and elsewhere, and they include a remarkable range of objects. A particular favorite of mine is the wonderful collection of furniture by George Nakashima. On every visit, I have found things to surprise and delight me. The word "Mingei" is Japanese for "art of the people." Don't miss this one-of -a-kind museum experience.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Martin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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