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“Average, but worth visiting if you are in town.”

San Diego Museum of Art
Ranked #78 of 449 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed 13 October 2013

Obviously this musuem does not compare to any of the great musuems of the world, or even secondary ones, like Philadelphia or San Francisco, however, it is a lovely little musuem who, since Sr. Bacigalup was the curator, now moved on, improved dramatically its curation. Sadly, it seems to have discontinued its commitment to regular exhitbits of contemporary art, esp from Mexico. Nevertheless its a cute little musuem and if you are in San Diego for some odd reason and feel like a musuem, this is a pleasant one with an occasional special exhibit. The permanent collection is also not at all bad with some special collections like the one of Indian miniatures.

2  Thank Kanadukathan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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141 - 145 of 222 reviews

Reviewed 12 September 2013

This museum is very small, a fact which I can't emphasize enough. The works on display were all well selected, representing a variety of styles and time periods. While I would've liked to have seen more context provided for why very diverse works were grouped together, the galleries did flow generally well. There are some impressive items in their collection and the museum definitely worth a visit when you're in the area. However, it is again, quite small, so unless you plan to carefully examine every item on view, you're unlikely to spend significant time here. I'd recommend combining a visit to this museum with at least another at the park.

1  Thank zinneablue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

My son and I happened upon the Museum of Art while visiting Balboa Park. We had seen the Museum of Photographic Arts in the park and had heard about the Arnold Newman works on display. While the museum had a number of other attractions, we were impressed with the Newman display both in quantity and quality of the display. The cost was not too bad and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Would recommend depending on what kinds of exhibitions are of interest.

1  Thank es_in_tx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2013

SDMA's own publicity oversells this museum considerably ("the finest museum in the US's finest city"). There's no way it's a match for the great US galleries but if you adjust your expectations, there's plenty of interest here. The galleries are well laid out and they tick the boxes of all the major genres (although sometimes by artists you haven't heard of). The particular disappointment was to paucity of American art in the collection - just one tiny gallery. The best was the 20th century art, where there is a mixture of European and American works, including a fine selection of Mexican art (Diego Rivera for example). There was also a special exhibition on while we were there. Nice cafe attached - one tip, eat there first and your receipt entitles you to $2 off entrance to the museum - we did this the wrong way round.

2  Thank Susan8552
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2013

Great selection of artwork, very helpful workers, and cool tours. I've been here a few times and have enjoyed both the permanent exhibits, and the new exhibits. I recently upgraded to the family membership for $75. I highly recommend purchasing the membership, as there are many benefits of doing so such as lectures, discounts, and previews. Make sure to go on one of the 30 minute, docent guided tours while you are there. Please note that you will have to check your bags in at the front door. Be sure to check out the Piranesi exhibit, and the short film. Overall, it's a great museum, and definitely worth checking out.

1  Thank michelle_p925
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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