Hours & Information

Virtual Tours now available. In the interest of public health and safety due to COVID-19, in-person tours in the Museum are not being offered at this time.  Instead, docents are hosting Virtual Tours online. Each tour lasts approximately 50 minutes and is offered on the Zoom platform. 

See the tour schedule below to view the calendar of tours and register to attend. Prior registration for these FREE tours is required. Upon registration, the online link to the selected tour will be sent by email along with instructions.


Tour Topics

Still life image of fruit

Treasures of The San Diego Museum of Art
Enjoy a survey of the highlights of the Museum’s permanent collection, featuring masterpieces from many time periods, cultures, and places around the world.

Amazing Women of Renaissance and Baroque Art
Although the Renaissance and Baroque periods in Europe were periods of social constraint for most women, there were historical, religious, and mythical women who stood out as leaders, creators, and role models both in their own times and for years to follow. Join us on this tour to meet these extraordinary women and the art they inspired. 

Anything Goes: An Era of Abstraction20th-Century Art
Art in the 20th century underwent a profound revolution that challenged traditional notions of technique, subject matter, and the very nature of art that had prevailed for centuries. This tour will examine important works in our permanent collection that illustrate these exciting changes.

Around the World: Travel, Adventure, and Food
Take an armchair journey around the world and through time, experiencing some of the varied cultures and traditions of our planet by virtually traveling to various locations, witnessing stirring adventures, and sampling a variety of foodstuffs depicted in art.

Art and Anxiety:  German Expressionism
The first part of the 20th century brought uncertainty, anxiety, and the Great War to Europe.  Artists responded with colorful and often explosive expressions of the feelings, worries, and ideas of their generation. This tour explores their art and how it reflects the struggles and concerns of their times.

Art of East AsiaChina, Japan, and Korea
The essence of the art of East Asia is explored in this tour of works from China, Japan, and Korea. Artworks from 3,000 BCE to the present day will be viewed and participants will gain a deeper understanding of the culture, history, and religions of these three historic countries.

Art of Latin America
Immerse yourself in the rich artistic heritage of Latin America during this in-depth look at the work of some of the most important artists from this dynamic part of the world. Primarily focusing on the Museum’s excellent collection of Mexican art, this virtual tour will consider important innovations in painting, printmaking, sculpture, and photography.

Art of South and Southeast Asia
Journey to the world of South and Southeast Asia through the Museum’s fascinating and diverse collection, which spans almost 2,000 years. This virtual tour will examine works of art from India, Thailand, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and beyond, focusing on the vast range of materials and subject matter that are the foundation of the art and material culture of the region.

Art of Spain and Latin America
Explore the Museum’s celebrated collection of Spanish and Latin American art during this captivating virtual tour, which will illuminate the multifaceted artistic heritage of both regions as well as their historical and cultural connections.

Art of the Open Air
How does art in three dimensions stimulate your experience? Challenge your imagination in this virtual walk around outdoor sculpture.

Built by Women
The breadth of achievement and innovative contributions by women artists to the art world is extraordinary. This tour focuses on sculpture, ceramics, quilting, wire weaving, and more—all built by remarkable women artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Faces & Places: Art of America—for school groups
From sea to shining sea, from indigenous to immigrant, experience the extraordinary breadth and diversity of the people and places of America through great works of art, from colonial times to the present. Suitable for 5th grade and other school groups.

A Gallop Through Time…On a Horse, of Course
The horse was one of the first subjects of art, depicted in cave paintings and sculptures nearly 20,000 years ago. Whether sacred symbols or images of power and beauty, the subject of horses continues to inspire the artists of today. View the Museum’s collection from ancient Asian sculptures and Chinese ceramics to European and American painting.

Moving On: Immigration and Migration
Explore the impact of colonization, immigration, and migration on our country by seeing how these phenomena are represented by artists from the 17th through 20th centuries.

My World, Our Planet: Environmental Art
Take a journey through time and place to explore the relationship between humankind and the environment as seen in art. See how artists use art to express their ideas, concerns, and feelings about the world they live in and their place in it in this free 50-minute virtual tour of the Museum’s collection led by Museum docents.

Reflections of Childhood
Children have been popular subjects in art throughout many eras and many lands, whether it be as subjects of portraiture, objects of maternal affection, or energetic figures at work or play. In some religious traditions, even depictions of sacred children play important roles. This tour will celebrate the many facets of childhood as shown through art.

Rembrandt and Printmaking in the Netherlandsspecial exhibition
Explore the intriguing world of Rembrandt’s innovative and expressive etchings as displayed in the Museum’s special exhibition of loans and works from the permanent collection running through April 2021.

Renaissance and Baroque Art
The Museum’s renowned collection of European art of the Renaissance and Baroque eras is the focus of this inspiring tour, which will chronicle the development of new styles and techniques in the 14th through 17th centuries. It examines diverse artworks ranging from devotional subjects to portraiture, landscapes, and still lifes created in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France, and Germany.

South Asian Art: Indian Miniature Painting
Delve into the stories of South Asia with this docent tour of miniature opaque watercolor paintings crafted during the 14th through 19th centuries. Learn about the techniques and influences involved in the creation of this rich and diverse art form. Explore the different styles and purposes of these paintings while garnering a deeper understanding of the culture and history of South Asia.

Spiritual Art Around the World
Why are we here? How should we live? Is there life after death? See how cultures around the world address humankind’s universal questions through devotional or spiritual masterworks such as Renaissance and Baroque painting, African masks, Indian miniature painting, and Asian sculpture.

Visions of the United States
This virtual tour explores the rich history of the United States by looking at some of the people, places, and ideas that have formed the complex mosaic of the nation from its founding to the present time.

painting of a couple in a garden

What’s love got to do with it? An Exploration of Romance in Art
Throughout history and around the world, art has celebrated romantic love in all its variety. From infatuation, emotional intimacy, sensual pleasure and longing, to enduring rapport, this core experience of being human demands visual expression. Join us for a multicultural look at the art of romance.

Coming Home Hurts by Beverly McIver

Where do Artists Get Ideas? Portrait, Landscape, Still Life, Abstract
Explore four genres of painting—portraits, landscapes, still life, and abstract (non-representational)—to discover that inspiration is all around us in this free 50-minute virtual tour specially geared for families of the Museum’s collection led by Museum docents.

Women in the Lead
The inspiring works in this tour highlight the creative styles and techniques of women artists from the 16th century to the present and celebrate female empowerment worldwide. Often dismissed in the male-dominated art world, women’s contributions to the history of art are immeasurable and enduring.


Tour Schedule

See the calendar of upcoming virtual tours at the Museum below.


Specialty Tours

Memories at the Museum | Alzheimer Tour

Participate in “Memories at the Museum” a collaboration with UCSD’s Alzheimer’s Research Center, the Timken Museum, Mingei International, and MOPA to offer tours to people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s Outreach program serves student, senior centers, libraries, community organizations. Tours are currently being offered through Zoom. For more information please email Dr. James Grebl, Manager of Docent Programs, at jgrebl@sdmart.org.

Featured: Juan Sánchez Cotán. Still Life with Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber, ca. 1602. Oil on canvas. Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam. 1945.43. | Francisco de Zurbarán. Virgin and Child with the Infant Saint John, 1658. Oil on canvas. Gift of Anne R., Amy and Irene Putnam. 1935.22. | René Magritte (AKA René-François-Ghislain Magritte). The Shadows, 1966. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge. 1976.205. | José Agustín Arrieta. Still-life, ca. 1870. Oil on canvas. Museum purchase with funds provided by Dean and Mrs. Michael H. Dessent and the Latin American Arts Committee. 2001.17. | Otto Dix. Rising Moon. Gouache on paper. Gift from the Estate of Vance E. Kondon and Liesbeth Giesberger. 2011.91. | Katsushika Hokusai. 36 Views of Mt. Fuji: Mount Fuji in a Thunderstorm, 1823-1829. Woodblock. Bequest of Mrs. Cora Timken Burnett. 1957.176. | Alfredo Ramos Martínez. Indian with Cactus, ca. 1930. Tempera on laminated board. Fine Arts Society purchase. 1932.1. | The Sports of Love, mid-16th century. Opaque watercolor and ink on paper. Edwin Binney 3rd Collection. 1990.586. | Pedro de Mena. San Diego de Alcalá (detail), 1665-1670. Polychromed wood. Museum Purchase with Funds from the Estate of Donald Shira and from Anne Otterson. 2012.77.a-b. | Francisco Zúñiga. Mother and Daughter Seated. 1971. Bronze Sculpture. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S. Larsen. 1971.27. | Louise Nevelson (AKA Louise Berliawsky). Night Presence II, 1976. Welded Cor-Ten Steel. Museum purchase through the Earle W. Grant Endowment Fund. 1976.137. | Eastman Johnson (AKA Jonathan Eastman Johnson). Wounded Drummer Boy (detail), 1865-1869. Oil on board. Gift of Mrs. Herbert S. Darlington. 1940.79. | Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (AKA Henri-Marie-Ramond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa). The Jockey (detail), 1899. Lithograph. Gift of the Baldwin M. Baldwin Foundation. | John Sloan. Italian Procession, New York. Oil on canvas. Museum purchase with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Appleton S. Bridges. 1926.127. | Thomas Moran. Below the Towers of Tower Falls, Yellowstone Park, 1909. Oil on canvas. Gift of Lydia and Etta Schwieder. 1968.48. | Serizawa Keisuke. Children Having Tea, undated. Katazome on paper. Gift of Isamu Kawaguchi. 2002.64. | Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-portrait, Etching at a Window (detail), 1648. Etching. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Helen M. Towle Bequest. 1947.64.d. | Giorgione (Giorgio da Castelfranco). Portrait of a Man, 1506. Oil on panel. Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam. 1941.100. | Balarama alters the course of the Jamuna River, (detail), 1640-1650. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. Edwin Binney 3rd Collection. 1990.781. | Quran Page (detail), ca. 1335. Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper. Edwin Binney 3rd Collection. 1990.239. | Asher Brown Durand. Landscape-Composition: In The Catskills, 1848. Oil on canvas. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Gerald and Inez Grant Parker Foundation. 1974.72. |Mir Kalan Khan. Lovers by a Tree, 1725. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. Edwin Binney 3rd Collection. 1990.382. |Beverly McIver. Coming Home Hurts, 2008. Oil on canvas. Gift of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; Hassam, Speicher, Betts and Symons Funds, 2009. 2009.163. | Marie-Guillemine Benoist (AKA Marie-Guillemine de Laville-Leroux). Portrait of a Lady, ca. 1799. Oil on canvas. Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam. 1946.5.