San Diego - Art Museum

I was only going to be gone five days. But the weather in San Diego was going to be warmer than it had been in Boise. I had to dig out some shorts and that would mean some sandals, too. There was also an artist reception and gallery walk and talk to attend and I needed something nicer to wear, along with nicer shoes.

With clothing choices made, I decided to try to get everything into my regular sized backpack, knowing the plane would be small and I didn’t want to pay to check a bag. It was tight.

My friend, Kathleen, was also going on the trip. Although we had not made arrangements at the same time, we were on the same flights. We were staying in separate locations in San Diego, as she had friends she knew there.

I chose an Air BnB place that was in the downtown area so I could walk places and not have to worry about having a car. It was about a half mile walk to Little Italy and the waterfront and about a mile walk to Balboa Park.

Balboa park with sculpture by Alexander Calder

Kathleen’s friend was kind enough to loan her a car, so on our first full day there, we drove to Balboa Park to see the San Diego Museum of Art. They had a couple of Monet’s in a small special exhibition, along with some works by other artists. Also, there was an exhibition of Masters from Latin America which were older pieces, many religious images.

We spent lots of time looking at the permanent collection, as well. As usual, I took lots of pictures, but I will just share a few with you.

I was really attracted to this piece below by Wolf Kahn. The colors caught my eye and it’s soft brushstrokes and subject matter seem very peaceful to me. I like the contrast of the complementary citrusy greens with the deep maroons. Add that to the fact it is a natural autumn scene, which is my favorite season.


Height of Autumn by Wolf Kahn

One of my favorite things at the museum was the room which was part of the Visible Vaults exhibition where they had flat files out for visitors. From working at the Boise Art Museum for many years, with a lot of time in the vault, I know there is a ton of artworks in permanent collections that the public will never see for several reasons.


Flat files with artwork at San Diego Museum of Art


The docent at the museum mentioned several, one of which included that there are pieces that have been acquired, but don’t really fit in with the exhibitions they put together. I know also that sometimes there just isn’t enough money to frame the pieces.

It was great fun for me to look through them all. I didn’t know what I would discover. They did a nice job of having the pieces matted and covered with glass or plexiglas so they were protected.

I liked this print by Andy Warhol, even though he is not one of my favorite artists. It is a lithograph.


Happy Butterfly Day a lithograph by Andy Warhol


I thought this Japanese print was a little unusual and Halloween appropriate.


Kunwana: The Sea-captain and the Monstrous Apparition of the “Sea Monk” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi


There was another special exhibit of photographs by Brenda Biondo, but I will write about that in another post.

Outside there were various sculptures by different artists. Here are a few.


The Watchers by Lynn Chadwick


Odyssey III by Tony Rosenthal


We also went to the smaller Timken Museum in the park and got much inspiration from the plants in the Botanical Building, as well.



Kathleen had other plans for dinner, so I discovered the Café Gratitude on my own. They advertise as a plant-based restaurant working toward sustainability. I had happy hour guacamole and homemade chips, which was very fresh and delicious.

My Air BnB host had told me that art supplier, Dick Blick, had a store within walking distance, which I had not realized. I was very excited to see it from the window of the restaurant! I had time to go over after dinner.


Blick Art Supply store


I totally geek out around art supplies. Although I knew I wouldn’t be able to really buy anything because there was no room in my bag and couldn’t have more liquids on the plane, I still spent a great deal of time just looking at everything. (I can always order from them online, which I do.)

While I was in the store, there were also some kids looking at the smaller items by the check out. I overheard one young boy say, “This is heaven!” And I totally agree with him.








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