September 1, 2020

The San Diego Museum of Art Reopens to General Public September 5, 2020

Members Offered First Visits September 4; Free Admission For Frontline Workers and First Responders Through November 14

SAN DIEGO, CA – The San Diego Museum of Art will reopen its doors to the general public on Saturday, September 5, 2020, following a closure since March 14 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Museum members will receive early access to the Museum on September 4, 2020, beginning at 10 a.m.

To ensure the health and well-being of its visitors and following the City of San Diego’s guidance, the Museum will operate at a reduced visitor capacity and has implemented new safety protocols. All staff and visitors will be required to wear face masks, follow physical distancing measures and pass a non-invasive temperature screening to gain entry into the Museum. For more information on The San Diego Museum of Art’s reopening policies visit

“Our incredible staff has been working diligently to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all visitors. I am thrilled to be able to welcome the community back into the galleries,” said Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director at The San Diego Museum of Art. “We’re delighted to present two new exhibitions, Juan Sánchez Cotán and Cauleen Smith: Mystical Time and Deceptive Light and Rembrandt and Printmaking in the Netherlands, which will now be open to the public for in-person viewing.”

Juan Sánchez Cotán and Cauleen Smith: Mystical Time and Deceptive Light features a new work created by contemporary artist Cauleen Smith. The 30-minute video titled, Flori Canta, was inspired by the Museum’s permanent collection painting, Still Life with Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber (ca. 1602) by Spanish painter Juan Sánchez Cotán. Smith became captivated by the famous still life painting created more than 400 years ago after visiting the Museum. The show features both works in addition to the installation of five chairs, each uniquely outfitted and accessorized by the artist to provide a distinctive seating experience.

Rembrandt and Printmaking in the Netherlands will feature nearly 20 of Rembrandt van Rijn’s etchings, which, unlike contemporaries, were not reproductive of his paintings and are considered individual masterpieces. Rembrandt was among the greatest innovators in the history of art, producing masterpieces of painting, draftsmanship and printmaking. The works featured are from the Museum’s permanent collection in addition to some on loan from the University of San Diego. Some of the works have never been seen before publicly, while others have been in dark storage for the last two decades, so this exhibition presents a unique opportunity to view these special etchings.

Additionally, Mary Ellen Mark: Twins will open September 11 and features 18 large-format Polaroid photos by the acclaimed photographer Mary Ellen Mark. In these portraits, Mary Ellen Mark collaborated with her sitters–sets of twins–to pose and present themselves in ways that yield clues to their demeanor and personalities. Unlike the Polaroids that most of us are familiar with, these works possess an astounding level of detail and clarity, and are nearly seven times as large. Further supported by statements from the twins and a short documentary film, this exhibition explores what it’s like being a twin and how they are able to distinguish themselves from their special sibling.  

As an expression of gratitude and support for their service, the Museum is offering free admission to all frontline workers and first responders upon the reopening of the Museum through November 14, 2020. This program is generously sponsored by American Medical Response. More details are available here:

In addition, the restaurant at the Museum, Panama 66, is open for table service and has a new menu. Hours have changed and seating is limited, so please check the website for more information.

For those unable or not yet ready to visit in-person, the Museum will continue to inspire, educate and cultivate curiosity through its Virtual SDMA digital offerings, including the Masterpiece Minute podcast, SDMA Mobile App, social media channels and SDMA at Play digital activities for art students of all ages.

About The San Diego Museum of Art

Providing a rich and diverse cultural experience, The San Diego Museum of Art houses some of the world’s finest art. Located in the heart of Balboa Park, the Museum’s internationally renowned collection of more than 20,000 works–dating from 3000 BC to present day–includes Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings including the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of Indian paintings, East Asian art, American art, and Modern and Contemporary paintings and sculptures. The Museum regularly features major exhibitions of art from around the world, as well as an extensive year-round schedule supporting cultural and educational programs for children and adults. It also hosts engaging experiences that invite visitors to explore art through music, dance, film, food, and so much more. At The San Diego Museum of Art, exhibition text is always in English and Spanish.

The San Diego Museum of Art is located at 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego, Calif., 92101. General Information, (619) 232-7931, Group Sales: (619) 696-1935, Website: Twitter: @SDMA, Instagram: @SanDiegoMuseumofArt Facebook: