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“Pleasantly surprised”

San Diego Museum of Art
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Ranked #84 of 426 things to do in San Diego
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Attraction details
Owner description: The San Diego Museum of Art, the region’s oldest, largest and most visited art museum, provides a rich and diverse cultural experience. Located in the heart of beautiful Balboa Park, the Museum’s nationally renowned permanent collection includes Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings, and 19th- and 20th-century American paintings and sculptures.In addition, the Museum regularly features major exhibitions from around the world, as well as an extensive year-round schedule of supporting cultural and educational programs for children and adults. Exhibition text is always in English and Spanish.
Chula Vista, California
Level Contributor
104 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2013

I visited the San Diego Museum of Art for the first time on Residents Free Tuesday, and was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the collection and the facility itself.

The collection spans a variety of interests, from modern to European classics to its current exhibition about the art of east Asia. It also has an interactive display where kids can get involved.

The museum is divided into several separate galleries, each focusing on a specific type of art. No photography is allowed, and large bags and backpacks must be checked at the entrance. Of course, there's a small museum store near the exit.

It's a moderately sized museum (two levels) and I spent about an hour going through it. If you're a true art enthusiast, you certainly could spend considerably longer there.

It's definitely one of the museums in Balboa Park that I would return to.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank zed1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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200 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Adrian, Michigan
Level Contributor
2,126 reviews
563 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 830 helpful votes
“Pretty Good Art Museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2013

This was a pretty nice art museum. The displays were well thought out and the variety was more than adquate. The facilities in the museum area of the park was also very appealing. It is worth a visit.

Thank Debbie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
349 reviews
192 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Go see what you want specifically, then wander about”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2013

By checking the website ahead of time I found some paintings I really wanted to see so did those first (El Greco, Bonnard, Picasso, Fra Angelico, Courtan, others) and then wandered a little to see what else there is to enjoy and there's a lot! Don't forget to ask to see if you are eligible for a discount to the $12 at the door or ask for a tour by a helpful docent.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank TolerantTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2013

There are many things to be grateful for, but talent comes from the heart. More than enough talent in one place.

Thank Michelle F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
122 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Very diverse”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2013

This museum covers quite a range. There are several galleries that currently have Asian exhibits and several focusing on American art. They are curated differently. One of the Asian exhibits was devoted to the story-telling art of India, with pages that were meant to be seen only rarely. The illustrations are so delicate and the extensive collections were contained in a small gallery. This contrasted with the American exhibit that was very bold and displayed spaciously for appreciation. The upstairs gallery contains the permanent exhibits.

There is an excellent cafe adjacent to the museum, although you have to enter outside of the building. It's to the left as you face the building. They have both table service and counter service. Their sandwiches feature interesting and tasty combinations - fig and prosciutto was delicious. The ambiance, which looks out either over the square or over the sculpture garden
is very relaxing.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank patio53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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