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View the Best Collection of Spanish Art at the San Diego Museum of Art

If you have an interest in art, look no further than what the Balboa Park website calls “the region’s oldest and largest art museum.” The San Diego Museum of Art is a fine arts museum located in Balboa Park, San Diego. The museum houses a broad collection, but has a particular strength in its Spanish art collection. This gem of the San Diego area has nearly half a million people visit its facility every year to enjoy the various exhibits and special events.

Architectural Art

Normally, you would think that a museum would only house art, but The San Diego Museum of Art’s display starts with the building itself. The building was built in 1926 and modeled after various important architectural wonders throughout the world. One of the main pieces of reference lies with the heavily ornamented front door of the museum. This door was inspired by the doorway at the university of Salamanca and features ornate decorations in a Spanish style door. The San Diego Museum of Art building is also modeled closely to the Cathedral of Valladolid, along with the interior motifs modeled after the Santa Cruz Hospital of Toledo, Spain.


The main exhibits in The San Diego Museum of Art are very encyclopedic in nature and range through history, from 5000 BC to 2012 AD. Spanish works are seen throughout the museum and include popular Spanish artists Murillo, Zurbaran, Cotan, Ribera, and El Greco. The museum’s first major acquisition was the 1939 purchase of Francisco Goya’s El Marques de Sofraga, which had never before been placed for public view.

Art Programs & Art Alive

The San Diego Museum of Art has also started a contemporary art program to supplement its classic Spanish presence. In 2010, the museum teamed up with the Agitprop gallery to create the Summer Salon series. The program featured local emerging artists who presented and performed temporary art works and workshops. Each of these displays are now on display in the museum permanently.

The San Diego Museum of Art puts on a major art fundraiser called “Art Alive.” Floral designers use flowers and other organic materials to express a unique interpretation of the museum’s permanent collection. These are then displayed next to the corresponding exhibit for four days. Contact us today for more information, or check out our amazing San Diego vacation rentals today!

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Visit the San Diego Museum of Art

Address: Balboa Park, 1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92102

Phone: (619) 232-7931