For 70 years, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has culturally enriched San Diego with its consistent and progressive acknowledgment, encouragement and exhibition of contemporary art. Here we explore only the La Jolla location of the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Founded in 1941 in La Jolla, California as a community art center by a group of artists and citizens, the first exhibition gallery was called the La Jolla Museum of Art and was located within the former home of local benefactor and philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps. Specifically designed for Miss Scripps in 1916 by famed architect Irving Gill, the house fell into an architectural alignment with other nearby Gill-designed buildings such as the La Jolla Woman's Club. Located on a promontory overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the elegant building was a precursor of Modernist architecture.
Since the La Jolla San Diego Museum founding, several changes, motivated mainly by considerable museum growth, have altered and refocused the museum. In 1971, reflecting what had become a strong institutional commitment to collecting art created within the past 100 years, the museum officially changed its name to the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, and 1949, 1959 and 1979 saw renovations incorporated around the original Scripps home and designed by San Diego architect Robert Mosher. These renovations added gallery and public space.
In mid May of 1990, the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art announced that the name of the nearly 50-year old institution would again be changed to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. This name change was initiated to reflect the Museum of Contemporary Art's commitment to all of San Diego, including La Jolla and beyond.
The mission of Museum of Contemporary Art is to acquire, exhibit, and preserve works of art created since 1950 so that they may be enjoyed and used by future generations. San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art's collection consists of more than 4000 objects including paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video and design. Recognized as one of the finest of its kind in the nation, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego collection is especially strong in the areas of minimal, conceptual, pop, site/installation work and California art created in the latter half of the 20th century.
Located on 2.1 acres of prime La Jolla real estate, the La Jolla location of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego offers something for everyone. From an active arts education program including lectures, workshops, film series and docent tours to a gift shop stocked with an eclectic array of items, this San Diego museum's culturally enriching work is a source of great pride for San Diegans and a cultural destination for San Diego tourists to visit.