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“What a surprisingly wonderful collection!”

San Diego Museum of Art
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Ranked #84 of 426 things to do in San Diego
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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.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
143 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“What a surprisingly wonderful collection!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2014

This is the crown jewel of Balboa Park. The special exhibits introduced me to two artists I was unfamiliar with (Sorolla and Henri) and enjoyed immensely. The permanent collection contained treasures from the Renaissance through the end of the 20th century (as well as a solid East Asian art section).

The museum is larger than expected, particularly in comparison with the other Balboa Park sites, but still can be manageably and thoroughly enjoyed in a few hours -- and even a shorter trip (if you have time constraints) is absolutely worth the price of admission. There are treasures around every corner!

Visited July 2014
2 Thank sjbirder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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199 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
Hamden, Connecticut
Level Contributor
329 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
“Great Museum - Great Collections”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2014

The San Diego Museum of Art is a great medium sized museum which has an accent on southern California and Spanish art. We found it quite good.

Visited July 2014
Thank OldeBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
74 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Great Sorolla Exhibit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

What good luck. Joachim Sorolla at San Diego Museum of Art!! We tracked him down in New York or should I say tracked him up -- way up at the Hispanic Museum at 155th Street -- for our first introduction to this amazing artist. His mural retrospecting Spain's history of vivacity is a gem. Then we visited his home in Madrid for an intimate viewing that included many studies for his larger paintings. So when I say the exhibit in San Diego is worth whatever distance you may need to travel, I hope you'll go. We drove down from L.A. The museum has done a great job of honoring the art and the artist. There are rooms of some of his best art and much that we had not seen. For instance, we had not seen his portraits of many famous Americans. But the one that caught our attention was of Christopher Columbus. It's shown with many of his studies and they're fascinating all by themselves. Familiar to us are his paintings of children playing on the beach and in the water; but always fresh is how full of life and movement they are. And his women carry a splendid respect and love of essential femininity; so beautiful in their gowns of light and air. There's even a film worth watching. A couple hours flew by before we realized we were suffering from that 'museum walking' that kills your back.

And as other reviewers have said, there's much more excellent art to be seen in this museum. To extend our visit, we went across the plaza to the restaurant, Prado. Since this was our first visit, we were delighted to find excellent food, friedly service, nice ambiance indoors and out -- and reasonable prices.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank damajane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chula Vista, California
Level Contributor
156 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“Best museum in San Diego”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

After visiting several museums in San Diego, we weren't expecting much from the SD Museum of Art. Most SD museums are small and average. We were pleasantly surprised when we visited the Art Museum. The entrance fee was $12/adult. We loved the exhibit on East Asian art. The old carvings and paintings were really spectacular. I wish that the exhibit was larger. The museum consisted of 2 floors and had several different galleries with paintings and sculptures. There were paintings from Monet, Dali, O'Keeffe, Picasso and numerous other artists that I'm not familiar with. Overall, a good place to visit for a couple of hours. However, it's not a good place to bring young children.

Visited May 2014
Thank worldtraveller2801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Troy, Michigan
Level Contributor
424 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
“Very nice museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2014

We really enjoyed this museum. The current special exhibit, Sorolla in America, is fantastic. The building is attractive too.

Visited June 2014
Thank msu_mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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