Saturday, February 27, 2016

San Diego Museum of Art, 2/18/2016

When the Panama-California International Exposition was held at Balboa Park in 1915-1916, a fine art collection of European old masters was on display. This was the beginning of what is known today as the San Diego Museum of Art. The building that currently houses the museum was officially opened February 28, 1926. 

Galleries can be found on the two floors of the museum. The lobby has a beautiful fountain in front of the staircases. Near the entrance to the Art of East Asia is this ancient (Egypt, 1279-1212 BC) statue of Ramesses II

The East Asia exhibition explores the philosophical and creative traditions of the region. Below are: The Buddha in the Earth-Touching Gesture, Nepal, 13th century and various other unique Buddha sculptures.

Persian Art tile work circa 1800s.

Tombs: Art for the Dead of China: Two camels (China, 8th century) and a horse found in tombs. 

Statues of northern China (12th century).

Wedding Chest (Korea, 18th century); Chinese rosewood furniture (1644-1911) characterized by beautiful simplicity. 

Buddhist portable shrines are miniature versions of temple icons. They were carried on a journey by the faithful or used as a domestic altar. A miniature Shinto temple (Japan) with shrine foxes are shown.

Japanese Buddhist temples were often situated on a site of sacred springs. Urns, such as the one below, were "cleansing water fountains" placed on the natural spring (c 1800).

Next we moved onto the European Art: Devotion 1300-1800 Exhibit that has primarily religious-themed works. Below are: 
  • Madonna and Child with Saints, c 1411, Fra Angelica
  • Retable of Saint John the Baptist, 1440, Blasco de Granem
  • The Arrest of Christ, c 1515, the Workshop of Hieronymus Bosch 
  • The Adoration of the Shepherds, 1576, El Greco 
  • God the Father with Angels, c 1828, Giotto
  • Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, c 1770, Fra Miguel de Herrera. This is a nun's badge worn on the chest of daily dress and devotion.

The photos in this post are a fraction of the works that can be seen here. Admission to the museum is $12/adults; $9/seniors. Our Macy's Museum Month Pass reduced the price by half. Several galleries were closed so check their website for current exhibitions, hours of operation, etc., at

After visiting the exhibitions in the museum, we continued to the Art of the Open Air exhibit outside. There are fifteen sculptures displayed in close proximity to the art museum that represent a wide diversity of modern works by various artists. Here are a few:
  • The Prodigal Son, 1905, Auguste Rodin
  • Border Crossing, 1989, Luis Jimenez
  • The Watchers, 1960, Lynn Chadwick
  • Figure for Landscape, 1960, Barbara Hepworth
  • Cubi XV, 1963, David Smith
  • Spinal Column, 1968, Alexander Calder

Art museums are always very enjoyable for us; each with its own personality and unique pieces. If you don't have time for the interior of the museum when you visit San Diego, the outdoor sculpture garden is great and free.

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