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.

All Creatures Great and Small – NEW
Animal lovers, join us for a lighthearted look at the roles animals play in art. Sometimes our furry or feathered friends take center stage and other times they are on the sidelines in symbolic roles.  In this tour we will not only enjoy some animal companionship but look at art spanning many cultures and eras as we discuss why the artists included our animal friends. 

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 Africa – Sculptures, Masks, and MoreNEW
During this tour of 19th- and 20th- century African art, we’ll be viewing sculptures, masks, and other objects made for religious and secular purposes. Works made of wood, bronze, cloth, and beads will be viewed from various regions of Africa.

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 PersiaNEW
Explore the culture of ancient Persia (modern day Iran) as we look at works of art made in bronze, clay, and paper dating from about 1,000 BCE to the 17th century CE. Learn how Persians lived, their love of fashion and poetry, and their contributions in the field of medicine and science that still benefit us today.

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

California Dreamin’ – NEW
Live the dream as you explore works of art of California and by Californians.  Experience the natural beauty and the wonderful diversity of the people and places of the Golden State.

Changing Forms of Buddhist Art – NEW
Buddhism and Buddhist art spread from India along the Silk Road to other regions in Asia.  This tour will explore the differences that time, place, and cultural traditions had on depictions of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas in these various regions.   

Cranach to Canaletto: Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation
Tour a selection of stunning Old Master paintings from the more than seventy-five works presented in Cranach to Canaletto: Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation.  These works, exemplifying themes of portraiture, landscape, mythology, and domestic environments, reflect the unique personal taste of the connoisseur who assembled this remarkable private collection, Georges Bemberg.

Everything You See Could Be a Lie:  The Photorealistic Drawings of Ana de Alvear
Don’t be fooled. There is more to these still-life images than initially meets the eye. Join a docent-led virtual tour of Everything You See Could Be a Lie: The Photorealistic Drawings of Ana de Alvear to learn how the Madrid-based multidisciplinary artist challenges long-held opinions about what constitutes art and how art is made, raises questions about modern society, and invites viewers to dig deep and examine their own identities.

Paintings from the Confinement: Works by Marianela de la Hoz
Enjoy a close-up look and discussion of 11 intimate egg tempera paintings created by San Diego-based artist Marianela de la Hoz in 2020 to 2021 in response to the life-changing global pandemic of COVID-19.  This virtual tour offers an armchair visit to the exhibition on view at the Museum from now until May 2022.

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.

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.

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.

Toulouse-Lautrec, the Artist of Bohemian ParisNEW
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s immersion in the colorful and theatrical life of Paris in the end of the 19th century allowed him to produce a collection of enticing, elegant, and provocative images of the modern, sometimes decadent affairs and protagonists of those times. The San Diego Museum of Art holds an important collection of those images that we are happy to share with our visitors during this virtual tour.

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.

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. | Nicolaes Maes (AKA Nicholaas Maas), Portrait of a Girl (detail), ca. 1664. Oil on canvas.  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Appleton S. Bridges, 1926.120. | Otto Dix, Rising Moon. Gouache on paper. Gift from the Estate of Vance E. Kondon and Liesbeth Giesberger, 2011.91. | Carmeroon royal stool. Wood. Gift of Sana Art Foundation, CA-005. | Katsushika Hokusai, 36 Views of Mt. Fuji: Mount Fuji in a Thunderstorm, 1823-1829. Woodblock. Bequest of Mrs. Cora Timken Burnett, 1957.176. | Reza Abbasi, A standing youth in a striped coat, ca. 1610. Opaque watercolor on paper. Gift of Edwin Binney 3rd, 1971.66. | The Sports of Love, mid-16th century. Opaque watercolor and ink on paper. Edwin Binney 3rd Collection, 1990.586. | Francisco Zúñiga, Mother and Daughter Seated, 1971. Bronze Sculpture. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S. Larsen, 1971.27. | Alfred Richard Mitchell. La Jolla Cove. 1950. Oil on canvas. Gift of the artist. 1965.26. | Lucas Cranach. Portrait of Sibylle de Cleve. IL 2021.1.5. | Ana de Alvear. Romantic/Eight Butterflies One Ladybug. IL 2020.9.14. | Marianela de la Hoz. Once upon a Time, There Was a Grandmother Who Lived Inside a Cell Phone. IL2021.4.8. | Buddha Shakyamuni in the earth-touching gesture, ca. 13th century. Bronze Sculpture. Bequest of Pliny F. Munger,  1964.225.a-b. | Serizawa Keisuke, Children Having Tea, undated. Katazome on paper. Gift of Isamu Kawaguchi, 2002.64. | Giorgione (Giorgio da Castelfranco), Portrait of a Man, 1506. Oil on panel. Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam, 1941.100. | Quran Page (detail), ca. 1335. Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper. Edwin Binney 3rd Collection, 1990.239. | Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin Rouge—La Goulue, 1891. Lithograph, poster on paper. Gift of the Baldwin M. Baldwin Foundation, 1987.19. | Mir Kalan Khan, Lovers by a Tree, 1725. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. Edwin Binney 3rd Collection, 1990.382. | 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.