Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art

Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art To inspire, educate and engage the broadest possible audience through the presentation, collection, and preservation of photography film and video.
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Take home the narratives and storytelling you enjoyed from the “Storyteller: Works by Holly Roberts” exhibition with sou...
04/16/2024

Take home the narratives and storytelling you enjoyed from the “Storyteller: Works by Holly Roberts” exhibition with souvenirs from the MOPA@SDMA Store!

From the exhibition catalogue to magnets and plates, there’s something for everyone!

Visit the MOPA@SDMA store on your next visit to the Museum.

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality."       ...
04/11/2024

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality."
-Pablo Picasso

Abstraction in photography transcends the constraints of reality, focusing instead on the interplay of form, color, and composition. Pioneers like Minor White, Harry Callahan, and Aaron Siskind skillfully manipulated light, texture, and perspective to unveil new dimensions of visual expression.

Since its inception, photography has been a canvas for manipulation and innovation. From early hand-tinting techniques to modern digital innovations, the evolution of photography has been marked by a continual exploration of artistic boundaries.

See examples of Abstraction in photography in our new exhibition, “Picture This: Recent Acquisitions,” now on view at MOPA@SDMA.

Featured:
Myoung Ho Lee, “Tree #2.” 2011. Archival inkjet print. Museum of Photographic Arts at the San Diego Museum of Art; Gift of the Lawrence Friedman Trust, M.2021.007.010.

Doug and Mike Starn, “Structure of Thought 18.” 2001-07. Epson K3 Ultrachrome inkjet print. Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art; Gift of the Lawrence Friedman Trust, M.2021.007.003.

“I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence.”                      ...
04/04/2024

“I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence.”
~Man Ray

From the early 1900s to the 1930s, photographers embarked on a journey of innovation, breaking free from traditional norms. Various movements emerged, from straight photography in the US that aimed to capture a scene in sharp focus to the avant-garde Russian Constructivist approach. These artists sought to capture the essence of industrial and social upheaval, often utilizing their work for propagandist purposes. Meanwhile, in France, Surrealism took hold, delving into the depths of the unconscious through art.

Regardless of the movement, these photographers deliberately turned away from the pictorialist tradition, aiming to showcase the true essence of photography's potential as an art form.

From the urban landscapes of Berenice Abbott to the experimental works of Andre Kertesz, Vilem Reichmann, and Milos Korecek, the energy of their images reflects the radical changes occurring in Europe and the United States during this transformative period

“Picture This: Recent Acquisitions” now on view at MOPA@SDMA.

Featured:
Martin Chambi, “Untitled (Stonework at Machu Picchu, Cuzco).” 1940. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Forrest D. Colburn, 2022.8.
Vilem Reichmann, “Encounter in Trummern.” 1946. Gelatin silver print. MoPA - Collection of Museum of Photographic Arts. Gift of Jerry Gardner, M.2023.004.073.
Josef Bartuska, “Wintertime.” 1930. Gelatin silver print. MoPA - Collection of Museum of Photographic Arts. Gift of Jerry Gardner, M.2023.004.104.

“Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.” ~Jean-Luc Godard Journeying through her soul's landscape for o...
03/28/2024

“Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.” ~Jean-Luc Godard

Journeying through her soul's landscape for over four decades, American artist Holly Roberts seamlessly blends painting and photography, delving into the depths of her inner world. Through her narrative-rich art, from confronting inner demons to exploring mythological symbolism, Roberts navigates the imperfections of existence. Snakes, dogs, birds, horses, and rabbits populate her canvas, each telling a story of their own. With a background in printmaking, painting, and photography, Roberts continues to redefine the boundaries of visual storytelling.

Explore five decades of Roberts’ work in her solo exhibition “Storyteller: Works by Holly Roberts” opening this Saturday, March 30th.

Telling stories in hues of green 🌿🍀This St. Patrick’s Day dive into the boundless world of exploration with the 17th Ann...
03/17/2024

Telling stories in hues of green 🌿

🍀This St. Patrick’s Day dive into the boundless world of exploration with the 17th Annual Juried Youth Exhibition, “Explorations.” From the depths of imagination to the essence of self-discovery, young artists from San Diego County and Tijuana redefine the meaning of adventure through captivating photography and video.

📷On view now through April 7th.

Featured:
Sadee Preece, “Vegetable Forest,” 2023. UV print on litho-grade polystyrene. Collection of the artist. ©Sadee Preece.

Ethan Han, “Lost Boys,” 2023. UV print on litho-grade polystyrene. Collection of the artist. ©Ethan Han.

Sage Cruz, “Exploration of the Mind,” 2023. UV print on litho-grade polystyrene. Collection of the artist. ©Sage Cruz.

London Davis, “A Walk in Wonderland,” 2023. UV print on litho-grade polystyrene. Collection of the artist. ©London Davis.

Hailey Soto, “Gentle Forest,” 2023. UV print on litho-grade polystyrene. Collection of the artist. ©Hailey Soto.

SPO(U)TTED at MOPA@SDMA!📷New exhibition alert! "Picture This: Recent Aquisitions" is now available on view. The exhibiti...
03/12/2024

SPO(U)TTED at MOPA@SDMA!

📷New exhibition alert! "Picture This: Recent Aquisitions" is now available on view. The exhibition looks specifically at the most recent acquisitions to the collection, the majority of which were gifted by local collectors or by the artists themselves.

✨From timeless classics to contemporary gems, this showcase celebrates the merging of creativity and history. From intimate portraits to bold abstractions, each piece tells a unique story, reflecting the rich tapestry of human experience.

Visit our new exhibition, “Picture This: Recent Acquisitions,” now on view.

Featured:
Hendrik Kerstens, “Spout,” 2011. Archival pigment print on photographic paper. Museum of Photographic Art at The San Diego Museum of Art: Gift of the Lawrence Friedman Trust, 2021.007.007. © Hendrik Kerstens

If photography were a recipe, we'd need a pinch of light, a dash of time, and a sprinkle of creativity. Forget the camer...
03/05/2024

If photography were a recipe, we'd need a pinch of light, a dash of time, and a sprinkle of creativity. Forget the camera and lenses, let's whip up some magic with the art of writing with light! 📸💫

Want to learn more about writing with light? Check out the Photography 101 link in our bio to learn more about how to create photographic art!

Opening soon, a new exhibition titled “Picture This: Recent Acquisitions” will showcase selections from over a thousand ...
02/29/2024

Opening soon, a new exhibition titled “Picture This: Recent Acquisitions” will showcase selections from over a thousand photographs that were accepted as gifts in the last three years, leading up to the recent merging of the Museum of Photographic Arts and The San Diego Museum of Art. From anonymous nineteenth-century photographers to renowned artists such as Berenice Abbott, Martín Chambi, Mary Ellen Mark, Arnold Newman, Alison Rositer, Aaron Siskind, Mike and Doug Starn, Louise Dahl Wolfe, and many more, the photographs presented in the exhibition reflect a diverse range of processes spanning nearly 200 years.

Opening Saturday, March 9, “Picture This” demonstrates that a photograph is truly worth a thousand words.

Hendrik Kerstens, "Spout," 2011.Archival pigment print on photographic paper. Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art: Gift of the Lawrence Friedman Trust, 2021.007.007. © Hendrik Kerstens

Save the date! Member Appreciation Weekend returns March 2 & 3. We love our members and this is sure to be a weekend eve...
02/16/2024

Save the date! Member Appreciation Weekend returns March 2 & 3. We love our members and this is sure to be a weekend event to remember.

The weekend starts with coffee in the SDMA Library the morning of Saturday, March 2, then extends throughout the Museum campus:

- Shop a special artisan showcase featuring jewelry and prints by Sarah Stieber

- Receive extra discounts at The Museum Store and MOPA@SDMA Store (an extra 10% discount for a total of 20% off your purchase)

- See the award-winning documentary "The Human Element" by featured artist James Balog in the MOPA@SDMA Joan and Irwin Jacobs Theatre

- Spin the wheel for special around town and Museum prizes

- Enjoy a variety of guided tours each from highly trained Museum docents

Don’t miss this special event and the final weekend of “Korea in Color: A Legacy of Auspicious Images.”

Not yet a member? Head to our website to find the membership option that works best for you: https://www.sdmart.org/membership/

Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy a museum date with your special someone. MOPA@SDMA remains a pay-what-you-wish museum, open...
02/14/2024

Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy a museum date with your special someone.

MOPA@SDMA remains a pay-what-you-wish museum, open Thursdays through Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Photo by

Fridays are for flowers! 🌺💐 🌼    See these floral photographs exploring identity and self-discovery in “Explorations: 17...
02/09/2024

Fridays are for flowers! 🌺💐 🌼

See these floral photographs exploring identity and self-discovery in “Explorations: 17th Annual Juried Youth Exhibition” on view now through April 7.

Featured:
Kailyn Tian, age 15, “Endless Discoveries,” 2023. UV print on litho-grade polystyrene. Collection of the artist. © Kailyn Tian

Destiny Clo-Trombley, age 15, “Spreading,” 2023. UV print on litho-grade polystyrene. Collection of the artist. © Destiny Clo-Trombley

Celebrate Lunar New Year with On Film: Korea in Color this Thursday, Feb 8.See Korean film “Peppermint Candy,” selected ...
02/06/2024

Celebrate Lunar New Year with On Film: Korea in Color this Thursday, Feb 8.

See Korean film “Peppermint Candy,” selected in partnership with PacArts Movement and a complement to “Korea in Color: A Legacy of Auspicious Images,” a special exhibition currently on view at The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA).

“Peppermint Candy” is a powerful work of Korean New Wave cinema and Lee Chang-dong’s second directorial feature. The film spans 20 years in the life of one man, Yongho, from his callow teens through his fraught middle age. Presented in seven chapters in reverse-chronological order, the film begins with Yongho’s su***de and ends with a first date full of the promise and verve of youth.

A brief discussion between PacArts Artistic Director Brian Hu and SDMA Associate Curator Rachel Jans will give context to the film selection as it relates to the featured exhibition.

Come early for complimentary access 4:00–5:00 p.m. with your On Film ticket see the featured exhibition, on view at The San Diego Museum of Art, then head over to MOPA@SDMA for a Lunar New Year-inspired soju cocktails served inside the MOPA@SDMA atrium starting at 5:00 p.m.

Get tickets now! https://www.sdmart.org/event/on-film-at-mopasdma/

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival continues online!Streaming across the US from now through Feb. 10, see five films, ...
02/05/2024

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival continues online!

Streaming across the US from now through Feb. 10, see five films, including two online exclusives: Ella Glending’s “Is Anybody Out There?” and “Seven Winters in Tehran.” The films “Bad Press,” “Si Pudiera Quedarme (If I Could Stay)” and “We Dare to Dream” are also included in the digital lineup.

Digital festival passes are available to US viewers at https://ff.hrw.org/san-diego to watch the festival films anytime now through 11:59 p.m. PST on Feb. 10.

01/31/2024

Human Rights Watch Film Festival is this Friday and Saturday!

The empowering film festival is back in person at our beautiful Joan & Irwin Jacobs Theater Friday, Feb 2 and Saturday, Feb 3 with 4 exciting films and discussions. Get in-person tickets at https://bit.ly/48VLUqK

The festival will also be streaming online across the US from Feb 4-10. Reserve your digital festival pass at https://bit.ly/3HAv7h3

Presented in partnership with Human Rights Watch

Celebrate Lunar New Year and the year of the dragon with Korean art and film, plus a fun Year of the Dragon cocktail on ...
01/26/2024

Celebrate Lunar New Year and the year of the dragon with Korean art and film, plus a fun Year of the Dragon cocktail on Thursday, February 8. 🐉

Start the new year with friends, fun, film, and the auspicious art on view in “Korea in Color: A Legacy of Auspicious Images,” a special exhibition on view at The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) through March 3.

On Film: Korea in Color features

- Access to see the special exhibition “Korea in Color” at 4:00–5:00 p.m.
- A Lunar New Year-inspired soju cocktail with West 32 Sojo, Maesil (Korean green apricot plum), lemon, cinnamon and sparkling water at MOPA@SDMA at 5:00 p.m.
- Korean film “Peppermint Candy,” selected in partnership with (PacArts), showing at 6:00 p.m. in the MOPA@SDMA Joan and Irwin Jacobs Theater

Get your tickets now at the link below!
https://www.sdmart.org/event/on-film-at-mopasdma/

In the battle between film and digital photography, have the best of both worlds! Our latest adult workshop explores the...
01/19/2024

In the battle between film and digital photography, have the best of both worlds! Our latest adult workshop explores the intersection and opportunities of film and digital photography.

Starting Saturday, Feb. 3, this hands-on, four-session workshop explores the evolution of photography and how to make the most of both film and digital photo skills to bring together beautiful results.

Sign up now to learn how to work with film photography in a world where digital is often the norm and discover new ways to merge these skills to create innovative and exciting images.

Cameras, both digital and film, are provided or you can bring your own. Resource lists to further explore post-digital practices will also be provided. Great for all skill levels.

Reserve your spot at https://bit.ly/3vKOUrq

Fighting to stay together.  “Si Pudiera Quedarme (If I Could Stay)” takes viewers on an intimate journey with Ingrid, Je...
01/18/2024

Fighting to stay together.

“Si Pudiera Quedarme (If I Could Stay)” takes viewers on an intimate journey with Ingrid, Jeanette, and their families over the course of 5 years as they go in and out of Sanctuary all in the search for a permanent legal status to live without fear of deportation.

See the film in person Saturday, Feb. 3 at the MOPA@SDMA Theater in Balboa Park and streaming online across the US the week of Feb. 4-10.

Get tickets and learn more at https://bit.ly/3HAv7h3

Hear what it takes to grow a museum collection. 📷  Join Deborah Klochko, former executive director, Museum of Photograph...
01/16/2024

Hear what it takes to grow a museum collection. 📷 

Join Deborah Klochko, former executive director, Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA), this Friday as she shares how our San Diego community has changed by teaching people how to read images one picture at a time. 

Ms. Klochko has a passion and a gift for telling stories while continuing the tradition of innovation that defined photography. With 40 years of experience in photography museums as an educator, director, and curator, she has grown the collection at the Museum of Photographic Arts, now the Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art (MOPA@SDMA), through a legacy of images that inspire, educate, and engage the broadest possible audience. 

Tickets on sale now! See the link in bio.

Hear what it takes to grow a museum collection. 📷  Join Deborah Klochko, former executive director, Museum of Photograph...
01/16/2024

Hear what it takes to grow a museum collection. 📷

Join Deborah Klochko, former executive director, Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA), this Friday as she shares how our San Diego community has changed by teaching people how to read images one picture at a time.

Ms. Klochko has a passion and a gift for telling stories while continuing the tradition of innovation that defined photography. With 40 years of experience in photography museums as an educator, director, and curator, she has grown the collection at the Museum of Photographic Arts, now the Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art (MOPA@SDMA), through a legacy of images that inspire, educate, and engage the broadest possible audience.

Tickets on sale now! https://bit.ly/422HlZ1

The world needs to hear stories of individuals standing up for each other and their communities. Stories that reflect th...
01/13/2024

The world needs to hear stories of individuals standing up for each other and their communities. Stories that reflect the world we live in today. The Human Rights Watch Film Festival returns Feb 2-10, screening in-person at MOPA@SDMA and presenting a streaming US digital edition from Feb 4-10. Join to experience the power of storytellers to create change.

Reserve your tickets today at https://bit.ly/3HAv7h3

To locate and/or renew your SDMA | San Diego Museum of Art Membership, please Create an Account. We will attempt to use the information you enter to locate your existing Membership.

Fight for truth. An enthralling, edge-of-your-seat nail biter,  is a timely and unprecedented documentary about a lone j...
01/10/2024

Fight for truth.

An enthralling, edge-of-your-seat nail biter, is a timely and unprecedented documentary about a lone journalist fighting a corrupt system for her fellow citizens.

See the Sundance Festival 2023 award-winning film in-person at our state-of-the-art theater on Saturday, Feb. 3 and streaming across the U.S. Feb 4-10 as part of Human Rights Watch Film Festival San Diego.

Get tickets and learn more at
https://mopa.org/event/human-rights-watch-film-festival-opening-night-2024/

San Diego: Join us and  on Feb. 2 for 80 minutes of q***r joy!   Uplifting, funny, honest and moving, director Jen Marko...
01/03/2024

San Diego: Join us and on Feb. 2 for 80 minutes of q***r joy!

Uplifting, funny, honest and moving, director Jen Markowitz invites audiences into the innocence and joy of a summer away with friends in a judgment-free zone, building community, and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Summer Qamp is the opening night film of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival San Diego. Get tickets and learn more at https://mopa.org/event/human-rights-watch-film-festival-opening-night-2024/

Happy New Year! Wishing you rest, relaxation, and joy this first Monday of the New Year.   Please note, the Museum is cl...
01/01/2024

Happy New Year! Wishing you rest, relaxation, and joy this first Monday of the New Year.

Please note, the Museum is closed today in observance of New Year’s Day.

Normal business hours resume tomorrow. See you soon.

Featured:
Diego Rivera, “Sleep” (detail), 1932. Lithograph. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Latin American Arts Committee, 1993.14.

Esther Bubley, “Mother Reading to Child” (detail), 1950. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Ken and Jacki Widder, 2006.271.

Baisan, “Laughing Daikuji (with fan, reclining on treasure sack),” 1st half 20th century. Ivory. Anonymous gift in loving memory of Evelyn H. Ornstein, 1994.129.

12/26/2023

SDMA and MOPA@SDMA are OPEN all week! Explore beautiful Balboa Park and visit us with family and loved ones this week.

Exhibitions currently on view include

- ​"Korea in Color: A Legacy of Auspicious Images" (SDMA)
- ​"Modern Women" (SDMA)
- ​"Carlo Miranda: In Search of Sonder" (SDMA)
- "James Balog: Photographs from the Anthropocene" (MOPA@SDMA)
- "Explorations: 17th Annual Juried Youth Exhibition" (MOPA@SDMA)

Discover all that’s on view. The 20 galleries in SDMA and five galleries at MOPA@SDMA exhibit works from around the world and across time and media.

SDMA is open today through Sunday, 10am-5pm.

MOPA@SDMA is open today through Sunday, 11am-5pm.

Happy Holidays! The Museum is closed today, December 25, 2025, in observance of Christmas Day.  Featured: Severin Roesen...
12/25/2023

Happy Holidays! The Museum is closed today, December 25, 2025, in observance of Christmas Day.

Featured: Severin Roesen, “Still Life of Fruit and Wine on a Table,” 1853. Oil on canvas. Gift of the Daniel P. Abeloff Trust, 2021.123

Happy first day of winter! Feel the chill with scenes from Iceland by James Balog and come see the full solo exhibition ...
12/21/2023

Happy first day of winter! Feel the chill with scenes from Iceland by James Balog and come see the full solo exhibition “James Balog: Photographs from the Anthropocene” on view through March 10, 2024.

Balog’s “ice diamonds” are chunks of ice broken from a receding iceberg and carved into jewel-like shapes by the seawater photographed as part of his Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) in the Arctic and Antarctic, Greenland and Iceland, Alaska and Africa, Bolivia and Canada, the European Alps, and Mount Everest in Nepal.

Featured:

James Balog, “Ice Diamond #2,” February 9, 2008, Jökulsárlón, Iceland. Pigment print on archival fiber paper. Courtesy of the artist. © James Balog.

Save the date and get your tickets now. The Human Rights Watch Film Festival returns to San Diego this February 2 and 3 ...
12/20/2023

Save the date and get your tickets now. The Human Rights Watch Film Festival returns to San Diego this February 2 and 3 with a four-film lineup that is not to be missed.

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival features critically acclaimed films on topics including the rights of LGBTQ+ teens, family separation, refugee rights, disability rights, and the right to a free independent press in Native American tribes. Each in-person screening will be accompanied by a Q&A with filmmakers and human rights leaders.

Get opening night tickets and explore the full film festival: https://bit.ly/485dBwG

Last week we celebrated Deborah Klochko in recognition and thanks as she retires after a nearly two-decade tenure as exe...
12/12/2023

Last week we celebrated Deborah Klochko in recognition and thanks as she retires after a nearly two-decade tenure as executive director of the Museum of Photographic Arts, now MOPA@SDMA following its historic merge with The San Diego Museum of Art. To extend the celebration we’re sharing some of her most memorable exhibitions.

“When asked to select my 3-5 favorite exhibitions from the last 17 years, it gave me pause—how do I choose my favorite child.

“The exhibitions included here all originated at MOPA. Ranging from the Dutch artist, Ruud van Empel’s first American museum exhibition to ‘The Time Between: The Sequences of Minor White’ they all reflect the rich diversity of photography.”

- “Ruud van Empel: Strange Beauty,” October, 2012–February, 2013

- “The Time Between: The Sequences of Minor White,” October 2015–January 2016

- “Beauty and the Beast: The Animal in Photography,” May–October 2016

- “Moment in Time: A Collection of Photographs,” May–September 2018

- “Out of the Shadows: Contemporary Chinese Photography,” May 2020–March 2021

Thank you, Deborah, for creating a hub in San Diego for the photographic arts and helping people be more attuned to the world around them! Here are photos of some of these memorable exhibition openings.

Join the San Diego Italian Film Festival at the MOPA@SDMA theater this Thursday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m. for a film scr...
12/09/2023

Join the San Diego Italian Film Festival at the MOPA@SDMA theater this Thursday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m. for a film screening of “Le otto montagne/The Eight Mountains.” An epic journey of friendship and self-discovery, “The Eight Mountains” is a landmark cinematic experience set in the breathtaking Alps.

Learn more about the film and get tickets at https://bit.ly/41cpdvr

Address

1649 El Prado
San Diego, CA
92101

Opening Hours

Thursday 11am - 5pm
Friday 11am - 5pm
Saturday 11am - 5pm
Sunday 11am - 5pm

Telephone

(619) 238-7559

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