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“A gem!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
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$83.99*
and up
Go San Diego Card
Ranked #22 of 77 things to do in La Jolla
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: With two locations, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is the region's foremost forum devoted to the exploration and presentation of the art of our time, presenting works across all media created since 1950. MCASD provides an unprecedented variety of exhibition spaces and experiences for the community, showcasing a dynamic schedule of exhibitions and public programs. Located in the coastal community of La Jolla, take in the fabulous ocean view from the Edwards Garden Gallery, or lunch on the patio at the Museum Café. MCASD La Jolla also houses the Museum's X Store, filled with a selection of contemporary art books, apparel, and innovative design objects. Situated directly across the street from the La Jolla Cove and within walking distance to the renowned Wedding Bowl in Cuvier Park, MCASD La Jolla's spectacular ocean views and distinctive architectural design make it an exclusive venue for your big day. Our La Jolla location offer spaces that are adaptable and elegant, from a grand reception with dinner and dancing in our remarkable Axline Court to an intimate wedding ceremony overlooking the ocean in our picturesque Pacific Union Pocket Park. History Established in 1941. Founded in 1941 as The Art Center in La Jolla, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) has evolved into an organization of national and international renown. The Museum serves the region as a vital cultural and civic asset, with contemporary art and living artists at its core. The La Jolla location was originally an Irving Gill-designed residence, built in 1916 as the home of philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps. Today, MCASD La Jolla comprises nearly three acres of prime oceanfront property, including the Edwards Sculpture Garden. Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates' renovation of MCASD's La Jolla location opened in 1996.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
New York
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A gem!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2011

If at all possible, have one of the guards (extremely knowledgeable) show you around.

Visited October 2011
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Thank JeffK7882
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 reviews from our community

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New Jersey, USA
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Had a great time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2011

I didn't know what to expect from this museum, and we just went on a whim, but it is one of the things I remember most about our trip. We really enjoyed all the art, and the views were fantastic, as was the small garden. I read a previous rating that said it was mostly a one-person show -- that was not our experience. We saw lots of different art -- a short film that we swear is the basis for the current ads featuring an odd guy answering lots of phones, a fun dark room with light-sensitive walls, crazy Rube Goldberg-ish sculptures, and much more. It was fun and off-beat and interesting. Not huge, but then, it didn't cause museum fatigue.

Visited August 2010
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1 Thank Puppy_raisers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
94 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Great Ocean Views, Current Exhibit Open to Interpretation”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2011

I came here during museum month and got in for half price, $5. I found out I have 7 days to come back and I can also go to the downtown location also! Sweet! The lady at the front desk was really nice and greeted me as soon as I walked in the door. She was very helpful. I was there for 45 minutes.

The location of the museum is definitely the highlight. There is a room that has a panoramic view of the ocean and you can go outside to the Garden Terrace for views also.

I went during the Mexico: Expected/Unexpected. I wasn't really moved by the exhibit. Maybe I just don't care for contemporary art? Not sure. I didn't like how the security sort of follows you around to make sure you don't take photos or touch anything. As soon as I was making my way to a little room down a few steps, a guard walked down the steps in front of me then stayed in the room walking around while I was there. Then, he followed me back up the steps when I was finished. Maybe if they were a little more inconspicuous, I wouldn't have felt creeped out.

My husband really wants to visit the museum, maybe I'll like it more with a

Visited February 2011
Helpful?
Thank FreqTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, OH
Level Contributor
121 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Not what I expected”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2008

My husband and I enjoy art and seeing new things. We were staying at the Scripps Inn nearby and decided to check out the Contemporary Art Museum. Our primary disappointment is that it was mainly a one person show when we were there, an artist named Bruce Naumen (sp?) who works with neon light tubes. So you are not seeing a variety of artists, but different works by one artist. The outdoor garden was a variety of artists and was beautiful and interesting. But the only other work in the interior besides the neon pieces was 6 photos of California golf courses. If you enjoy getting a feel for one artist's evolution such as it is, then you might enjoy it. If you are looking to be exposed to a variety of artists, this is not the place (at least when we were there). I would advise calling ahead to see what is currently on display before going.

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3 Thank CarlyMegsMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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