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San Diego, California

Mingei International Museum

1439 El Prado

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The Mingei International Museum has all types of art from around the globe. Its permanent collection, built since its establishment in 1978, includes more than 19,600 objects of folk art, craft, and design. In 1996, it moved into its current space, a 41,000-square-foot building to accommodate its burgeoning collection. Its collections are divided nationally and by region, and include art from Mexico, India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Africa, the Middle East, the U.S., and pre-Columbian art from Central and South America. Those collections include religious paintings and votive offerings from Mexico; textiles and bronze devotional objects from India; and masks, whistles and slingshots from Africa.

The museum has six exhibition galleries, a theater and an art reference library with books, films, slides and photographs. Since it opened, the museum has put on more than 140 major exhibitions, some of which have traveled around the country to other museums. Some of those exhibitions have included showings of textiles from Central Asia and Iran, mid-century California modernist art by Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman, and the art of origami.

Mingei International Museum Information

  • Public Transportation: Good (take bus 7 to Park Blvd./Presidents Way, where you can catch the free Balboa Park Tram to the Plaza de Panama stop, which is a short walk from the museum)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Closed Mondays and major holidays
  • Admission: $7 adults; $5 seniors; $4 children (6–17), students and active military with ID; free children (under 6) and members. Free admission on the third Tuesday of each month to San Diego County residents
  • Tour: Free docent-led tours are available Tuesday–Sunday from 1 p.m.–3 p.m. Allow 45 minutes to one hour for your tour. Group tours are also free, and must be scheduled in advance
  • Membership: Individual membership is $45; Family membership is $60; Student/Teacher membership is $25. Member benefits include unlimited free admission to Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park; invitations to complimentary exhibition preview parties and member events throughout the year; a 10% discount on purchases in the Museum Store; a subscription to Communiqué, the member newsletter; discounts of up to 50% on Museum programs and trips; and use of the Museum’s Art Reference Library.