Welcome to The San Diego Museum of Art!

Over a hundred years ago, the initial inspiration for the Museum arose during the 1915 Panama–California Exposition that established Balboa Park as a destination for visitors from around the globe and as the cultural heart of San Diego. Today we maintain the spirit of these origins—as a vibrant center of activity where people, ideas, and art from throughout the world come together in San Diego—while continually striving to find new ways to demonstrate the importance and relevance of art in the lives of all people.

To this end, the Museum’s mission statement couldn’t be clearer: to inspire, educate, and cultivate curiosity through great works of art. This means bringing art into the lives of as many people as possible. Essential to this mission are the great works of art—the more than 20,000 objects that compose the Museum’s permanent collection. The permanent collection is at the core of the Museum’s identity and not only anchors our gallery installations here in San Diego, but reaches international audiences as well through travel to institutions in London, Tokyo, Madrid, and Mexico City, among many others. Much as these international relationships show that art has no borders, our educational programming for all ages (reaching more than 50,000 youth through neighborhood initiatives) and our outreach in underserved local communities ensure that art serves as a bridge to connect people from all walks of life.

With the relaunch of this website, we extend access to the Museum to even wider audiences. Here you will find a useful guide to discover more about the Museum’s collections, exhibitions, programs, and events. Just like everything we do at the Museum, the content of this website was put together with you in mind. Whether you are local to Southern California or live thousands of miles away, whether you are a seasoned museum connoisseur or just opening your eyes to the world of art, we have extraordinary art experiences for each of you. Whatever your background, whatever your interests, your curiosity will be ignited and your viewpoint expanded as you explore this website and visit our galleries in beautiful Balboa Park.

Roxana Velásquez

Maruja Baldwin Executive Director & CEO

The San Diego Museum of Art

Francisco de Zurbarán, Saint Francis in Prayer in a Grotto, 1650-1655. Oil on canvas. Gift of Conrad Prebys and Debbie Turner. 2014.132.