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Museum of Photographic Arts

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Museum of Photographic Arts

Museum of Photographic Arts
1649 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
Tues - Sun 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego California
San Diego Culture Package
Enjoy entrance to three museums including the Museum of Photographic Arts for one low price! Use promo code SDOVIP10 for added savings!
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Museum of Photographic Arts Information

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Top 5 Things to Know About the Museum of Photographic Arts:

  1. Collection: The photographic collection at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego features 7,000 images from 850 artists. The artwork displayed presents the transformations in photography from the early 19th century to modern day. Photojournalism and social documentaries are also prevalent in the gallery.
  2. Exhibits: The Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego features constantly changing exhibits but presents collections such as W. Eugene Smith's Jazz Loft Project and the Annual Youth Exhibition, which showcases artwork from the perspective of San Diego's youth. Traveling exhibits also stop at the museum including Ansel Adam's scenic landscape photography and Ruud van Empel's haunting artwork on the complexity of childhood.
  3. Artwork Submissions: The San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts welcomes and encourages photographers to submit their artwork for review, however the museum asks that artists follow the submission guidelines. These guidelines can be found on the museum's website .
  4. Tours: Several tours are offered at the Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego including docent-lead tours, self-guided tours, behind the scenes tours and even print viewing room tours. These tours vary in price and must be reserved in advance. 
  5. Children Welcome: The San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts invites children to view and learn about the photography. The admissions desk provides Family Activity Guides to take around to the exhibit so the kids can gain an appreciation for the artwork.

Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts is open Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 5pm. with extended Thursday hours during the summer months. The museum encourages guests who are looking to view the exhibits during a quiet time to visit the gallery on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings to avoid the crowds. Regular adult admission is $8, but senior citizens and students receive discounted admission. Museum of Photographic Arts members, active military members and their dependents and children under the age of 12 years enjoy free entry every day. San Diego residents are also granted free admission with proof of residency on the second Tuesday of each month.

The Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego features photography from the early 19th century daguerreotypes to the digitally constructed photography of today. The permanent collection boasting over 7,000 prints presents the vast styles and genres of photography throughout history. While the collection covers a vast range of history, it also focuses a great deal on the photographic styles and elements of mid-twentieth century Soviet Russia. Photojournalism and social documentaries by artists such as Alex Webb and Charlies Moore are also represented in the galleries at the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts. 

  • Do Celebrate Your Next Event at the Museum: The museum offers venue space in the David C. Copley Atrium and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Theater located on site at the museum. Guests will enjoy private viewings of the exhibits and access to the outdoor patio as well.
  • Don't Bring Your Camera: The museum encourages guests to appreciate and admire the artwork, however due to the individual photographer's copyrights, it is prohibited for guests to take photographs of the artwork. 

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