Best Museums in San Diego, California (IV)
Best Museums in San Diego, California: MCASD Downtown – Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
The La Jolla-based Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego first established a presence downtown in 1986 when it opened a small satellite gallery in a warehouse at 8th and G streets. In 1993, it moved to larger quarters on Kettner Boulevard, across from the Santa Fe Depot. Within a few years, the museum expanded into the historic train station’s baggage building and in 2007, it added an adjacent three-story structure – giving the museum’s downtown branch even more exhibit space than the mother ship in La Jolla.
Downtown exhibitions usually focus on young regional artists on the cutting edge. Its TNT (Thursday Night Thing) is a quarterly bash that includes live music, artist talks, art-making activities, interactive performances inspired by new exhibitions, food and drink. It’s a popular venue for singles interested in meeting like-minded singles. (Admission costs $10, $7 for students.)
Best Museums in San Diego, California: MCASD La Jolla – Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
It seems fitting that the former estate of newspaper heiress and philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps has evolved into the cultural centerpiece of La Jolla. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego traces its history to 1941 when a group of local artist began exhibiting their work in the Scripps house. Eventually, money was raised to purchase the home and turn its rooms into galleries.
Over the years, the museum has been expanded, remodeled, redefined and renamed several times. Today its permanent collection spans all contemporary art movements since 1950 and includes works by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Sella, Edward Ruscha, Richard Serra, John Baldessari, Jasper Johns and Nancy Rubins. The collection has particular strength in the art of Southern California, Latin America and border regions.
The museum stages a variety of talks, tours, and other events including a film series. The Museum Café is open from 11 AM – 3 PM weekdays, from 9 AM – 3 PM weekends. The MCASD X Store sells contemporary jewelry and chic design objects for the home – as well as apparel, books, posters and toys.