The Museum's lecture-based programs offer curators, educators, artists, and guest speakers the opportunity to present a wide variety of perspectives on the Museum’s exhibitions and collections. Guest speakers include well known curators from other museums, artists whose work is being shown in the Museum, musicians, writers, cultural historians, and others who provide a dynamic dialogue about the ideas and issues presented within the Museum's exhibitions. The Museum collaborates with cultural institutions within Balboa Park and throughout the region to inspire a rich conversation between speakers, performers, and the audience. Audience participation and discussion, and opportunities to meet the presenters are important features of these programs.
The Museum brings some of the most interesting national and international minds in the field of art and cultural history to the Museum to present recent research on a variety of topics, and offers attendees an opportunity to hear from scholars, academicians, and artists alike. Frequently, lecturers address topics that directly relate to current Museum exhibitions or specific areas of our collections, but the talks can also serve as a way to address parts of the collection that are either not on view or not fully represented in the galleries. Email for more information.
One to three times a year, the Museum hosts symposia based on current special exhibitions. The program features internationally recognized scholars, museum directors, and important minds in the field of visual studies and culture from all over the globe. This three hour program affords audience members the ability to learn more about the art and artists we bring to San Diego, from several external voices. Email for more information.
Friday Morning Lecture and Tour Series
- Mary Magdalene - Muse and Enigma | September 19 | Purchase Tickets
- The Long Journey of Ramesses the Great | October 17 | Purchase Tickets
- American Visions: Place and Identity | November 21 | Purchase Tickets
- Portraiture of the Spanish World | December 19 | Purchase Tickets
- Cosmopolitanism Undone | January 16 | Purchase Tickets
- A Moment of Translucence | February 20 | Purchase Tickets
- American Art History in the 21st Century | March 20 | Purchase Tickets
- Talk: Dress Codes and Costume Design | April 17 | Purchase Tickets
- Storytelling in Indian Art | May 15 | Purchase Tickets
ArtStops are 15 minute, staff-led tours of one to three works on view. Museum curators and educators present these brief yet always enlightening and informative talks every Thursday and third Tuesday at noon.
Support Council Lectures
The San Diego Museum of Art enjoys the advocacy and assistance of eight support councils that offer members a wonderful opportunity to deepen their relationship with the Museum through their own specific area of interest. Several times a year these support councils offer special lectures and discussions led by curators and guest speakers. The support councils’ programs complement the Museum’s schedule of exhibitions, the collection, and ongoing education activities.