Your Guide to The San Diego Museum of Art

From the Art of East Asia to German Expressionism, there is something for everyone at The San Diego Museum of Art. Find exhibition listings, gallery locations, and where to catch a glimpse of the larger-than-life works featured in the Art of the Open Air sculpture walk. Find your own work of art to take home from The Museum Store and don’t forget to visit Panama 66, the Museum’s restaurant offering locally sourced food, draft beer, craft cocktails, and live music on select evenings.

And download the SDMA App to learn more about the works in the galleries as well as the public art in the Plaza de Panama and the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden. Hear fascinating stories behind the art, artists, and styles through curator-led videos and custom audio tours.

Now On View

1-3 / Art of the Americas (Ongoing)

4-5 / Wonders of Creation: Art, Science, and Innovation in the Islamic World (Opening September 7, 2024)

6 / Of Sea and Sand: California Paintings (Ongoing)

7-8 /  Art of East Asia (Ongoing)

9-10 /  Visible Vaults (Ongoing)

11 / Jasper Johns: Drawings and Prints (On view through October 27, 2024)

12 South / Art of the 20th Century (Ongoing)

12 / Pearls from the Ocean of Contentment (On view through October 13, 2024)

12 North / Arts of South & Southeast Asia (Ongoing)

13 South / Modern Women (Ongoing)

13 North / Arts of Iran (Ongoing)

14-15 / Berenice Abbott: Changing New York (On view through June 16, 2024)

16 / Art of Devotion (On view through November 17, 2024)

17 / Art of the Portrait (On view through December 8, 2024)

18 / Renaissance to Realism (Ongoing)

19 / Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (Ongoing)

20 / Agents of Power: Body Adornment in African Art (On view through July 7, 2024)

Museum Guidelines

Whether you’re a first-time museum visitor or a lifelong member of The San Diego Museum of Art, we welcome you and thank you for visiting.  Please be aware of our museum guidelines, which are designed to make your visit enjoyable.

We are a bilingual museum and you will find all our exhibition texts in English and Spanish.

The San Diego Museum of Art has 20 galleries of art from around the world.

Enhanced Safety Precautions due to COVID-19
There are currently enhanced safety precautions in place at the Museum. The protocols listed below are in place to make your Museum experience pleasurable and safe. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Masks are strongly recommended for all Museum guests ages 3 and older. Please note, the following are not permitted instead of a face mask: gaiters, bandanas, scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, or masks with an exhalation valve. Face shields are also not allowed instead of a mask, but may be worn over one.
  • Credit and debit card transactions encouraged.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at targeted locations.
  • Enhanced cleaning schedules of high-touch areas remain in place.
  • Handheld maps and brochures are not available. Instead, we encourage visitors to use the SDMA app.

See all the information about the Museum’s reopening.

The Museum Is a Welcoming Shared Space
The San Diego Museum of Art is a welcoming space. All who share this space are expected to treat others with respect and dignity. Anyone whose conduct is disruptive, abusive, or discriminatory will be asked to adjust their behavior and may be asked to leave the premises.

Service animals that are trained to do work or perform specific tasks for the benefit of an individual with disabilities are welcome at SDMA. For more information about service animals please visit the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) informational webpage on service animals.

Pets and emotional support animals are not permitted within the Museum.

Benches and Stools
Please enjoy the benches placed throughout the galleries. If you wish to use a portable stool, please ask at the Admission Desk.

Children Are Welcome!
The Museum is an enjoyable and fascinating place for children of all ages. Please make sure that they are always accompanied by an adult.

We want children to enjoy the galleries. We invite them to talk, laugh, and move around freely. However, running and other physical activity in which they can hurt themselves or damage the works of art are not permitted.

For groups, we request one adult for every ten children under the age of 14.

The Museum reserves the right to restrict admission to visitors wearing certain types of clothing that could pose a danger to our works of art (e.g. ski masks, long-protruding objects, etc.)

Coat Check
For your comfort and the safety of the art on view, please leave larger items at home. Coat check is available, as space permits, to stow food, drink, backpacks, and oversized items, including bags exceeding 16x16x8 inches and umbrellas, as these items are not allowed inside the Museum. Additional items may be checked at our discretion. Please note, backpacks and backpack-style child carriers must be worn on the front of the body, carried by hand like a briefcase, or left at coat check. Strollers are allowed in all gallery spaces. Thank you for keeping our works of art safe.

Eating and Drinking Are Not Allowed in the Galleries
Food and beverages, including chewing gum and bottled water, are not allowed in the galleries.

Photograph with Care
We encourage our visitors to share their experiences and photos with friends. For that reason, non-flash photography of objects in the Museum’s permanent collection is permitted for private use only.  Photographs may not be published, sold, reproduced, transferred, distributed, or otherwise commercially exploited in any manner. Flash photography, the use of tripods, monopods, extension sticks (also known as selfie sticks), and the use of movie or video cameras are prohibited.

Please also note that photography is not permitted in special exhibitions or in areas designated “No Photography.” Please check for the “No Photography Allowed” symbol at gallery entrances, or on a work of art’s label. If you’re not sure whether photography is permitted, please ask a Museum Attendant.

The Museum reserves the right to enforce no photography rules on particularly busy days.

For press photography, please contact Venice Henson at 619.295.8232 x129. For other special photography project requests, please contact the Marketing Department at 619.232.7931 or

The Museum reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withhold and/or withdraw permission to photograph on its premises.

Video filming is not permitted at the Museum unless preapproved by SDMA’s marketing department. Contact to inquire.

Sketch with Pencils
Sketching in the galleries is welcomed. Visitors may use pencil, colored pencils, or crayons on sketchpads, notebooks, or drawing boards up to 15 x 17 in. Please take care not to prop materials against walls or display cases, nor spread out on the floor, and maintain a safe distance from the artworks. Ink, chalk, paint, pastels, and easels are prohibited. To arrange sketching visits for groups of ten or more please contact

Talk About It
We encourage dialogue in the galleries, but please be courteous to others.  Please limit cell phone conversations to non-gallery spaces, such as the John M. & Sally B. Thornton Rotunda, or outside. Your sticker enables you to re-enter as many times as you need during your visit.

Touching Art
It is tempting to touch a work of art. Though one touch may not seem like much, even the slightest contact can damage the surface of a painting, discolor stone, and even rust metal. A good rule is to keep a 12-inch safety zone between you and a work of art. This helps to avoid accidental touching or bumping.  As it is the Museum’s responsibility to make sure works of art remain safe, we thank you for not touching on behalf of future generations of visitors. Please do not lean on walls or cases, either to write or for physical support. Feel free to sit on the benches or the floor as you look, talk, write, or draw.

Tours and Groups
If there is a tour or program in the galleries, feel free to enter the gallery but we ask that you move around the group.

Museum Map

Thomas Moran, Below the Towers of Tower Falls, Yellowstone Park, 1909. Oil on canvas. Gift of Lydia and Etta Schwieder. 1968.48.