Best Museums in San Diego, California: Marston House Museum – Arts and Crafts treasure
This 16-room Arts and Crafts showplace on the edge of Balboa Park was once the home of George and Anna Marston and their five children.
George W. Marston was a tireless civic leader and founder of The Marston Company, once this city’s premier department store. He commissioned renowned local architects Irving John Gill and William Sterling Hebbard to design and build the home in 1905.
The home’s exterior exemplifies the English Tudor intent of its original design and the “form follows function” philosophy of the Craftsman period. The interior features spacious hallways juxtaposed with close, intimate living areas that evoke the “hearth and home” aesthetic of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Rooms are furnished with Mission-style pieces, including some designed by Gustav, Leopold and John George Stickley, plus decorative pottery, paintings, and textiles created by top Craftsman-era artisans.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 8,500-square-foot home sits on five acres of rolling lawn and manicured formal gardens.
The Save Our Heritage Organisation, which operates the museum, offers tours every half hour; they run about 45 minutes.
Best Museums in San Diego, California: Mingei International Museum – Folk art, crafts & design
To create the word mingei, Japanese scholar Dr. Sōetsu Yanagi combined the words for all people (min) and art (gei). That’s exactly what visitors find at the Mingei – contemporary and historic folk art from cultures all over the world.
Opened in 1978, the museum’s collection and changing exhibitions showcase creative expression from renowned designers as well as from unknown crafters. More than 140 countries are represented. Works range from ancient clay vessels to 21st century couture. Visitors will find textiles, utensils, jewelry, ceremonial objects, musical instruments, containers, tools, housewares, dolls and toys.
Exhibitions are often accompanied by related lectures, films, demonstrations, music, theater and/or dance. Free docent-led tours begin at 2 PM daily.