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“Great Art”

San Jose Museum of Art
Ranked #19 of 132 things to do in San Jose
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of San Jose's most historic buildings, this former post office is now home to a permanent collection, and it features rotating exhibits as well.
Turlock, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great Art”
Reviewed January 10, 2012

If you can't get to the city to see the art shows there, this is next to the best thing if you are living in the south bay area.

Thank QueenTofu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

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Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
109 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Very Interesting Museum in the Heart of Downtown”
Reviewed November 29, 2011

Here over the holidays and used a reciprocating pass to see the museum. Very impressive with great exhibits. The main floor exhibit was wonderful showcasing one artists. Upstairs were 3 more rooms with and interesting assortment of exhibits.

We enjoyed walking through this open airy museum, and will check it out the next time we visit San Jose.

Visited November 2011
Thank Foster7204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
249 reviews
137 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
“Some exhibits will affect your senses.”
Reviewed October 1, 2011

I went on a weekday afternoon in September and there were only a handful of people which was so nice and peaceful. They do not take any discounts so the price is a bit high for the few exhibits. There are 2 public free tours of the exhibits included with your ticket which I found about way after the fact - something the front desk girl neglected to tell me. Apparantly they are put on by volunteers - would have enjoyed that. Another thing the front desk girl didn't tell me was that on the second floor are sachels containing art supplies, and also available are carrying stools and clipboards. I saw them and had to go back downstairs to ask about them. They are for adults or children. I recommend grabbing them after you go thru the exhibits, locate your favorite piece, sit and sketch. That was such fun! Wish all art museums had this option.
The exhibit on the first floor was closed as they prepared for an opening. So the only galleries available at the time of my visit were on the second floor and the children's room in the basement. So make sure you check online before you go to see what is currently open.
Even tho there was a limited number to see, I really enjoyed what was on display. My favorite was the exhibit called 'So, Who do you think you are?" Favorite art piece was a video of the sub-basement of one of the World Trade Towers a few days before 9/11. The piece clicked thru photos of machinery, parking spaces, grittiness while a video game like character walked thruout.
The other exhibit which was thought provoking was Ordinary Folks by Bill Owens. Photos were taken during the 70's of how people worked, and what their houses and communities looked like. Black and white detailed momentoes of that era. Loved the photos that were accompanied by explanations next to them from the people who were in the photographs.
"Book-ish" exhibit did not have as many art pieces but I did love in the rear of the room the paper bags with faces and histories of immigrants telling their personal stories - such a clever idea.
The fourth exhibit called Beta Space was basically a few pieces with computer or tech equipment to represent Silicone Valley. I can understand its appropriateness to the area; however, I didn't really get anything out of any of the art pieces. Just my opinion. That's what is great about art - we all feel from different things.
The Children's Exhibit is very small with few art pieces. But it does have a few interactives to help them learn about the color wheel and spacing, etc.
I ended my visit by checking out the gift shop which had a good variety and selection of books, jewelry, cards and home decor. All in all, I am glad that I checked this place out.

Visited September 2011
1 Thank joyceTL4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
54 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“I became a member because I visit every month!”
Reviewed September 10, 2011

I thoroughly enjoy visiting the downtown San Jose Art Museum. My husband and I visit for each new exhibit once a month anyways. I just became a Member of this museum, as I was COMPLETELY impressed with the R. Crumb "Genesis" exhibit. It was INCREDIBLE! Saw it for the first time in August 2011--then, had to visit again by myself in September to SEE the complete exhibit! Hint: less crowded if you visit the museum MID-week...Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Visited September 2011
Thank kat2kool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fortson, GA
Level Contributor
511 reviews
226 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 290 helpful votes
“Outstanding boutique museum with thoughtfully curated, provocative exhibits”
Reviewed July 25, 2011

While visiting my son's family, we all went to the San Jose Museum of Art because I had expressed an interest in that kind of sightseeing. We were a party of 6: 4 adults & two small children (3 months & 5 years).

The museum is in a very attractive part of downtown San Jose, lovely for strolling on a marvelous summer day. We had an excellent lunch at a nearby McCormick & Schmick's before visiting the museum.

I thought the museum was beautiful with large, spacious, well-lit exhibit spaces on two floors. At the time of our visit there were three thoughtfully curated, provocative exhibits: (1) the entire Book of Genesis illustrated by noted graphic cartoonist R. Crumb (a 5-year project with 100+ illustrations and 100% of the narrative!), (2) Indian art from the period since independence (1947) which had been pulled together from the many private collections of Indian families in the Bay area, and (3) a "beta space" with modern, avant garde work by local artists.

We joined a fascinating docent tour of the Crumb and Indian exhibits that was lively, informative and interactive. We then further explored the museum on our own.

As you might imagine, the two small children did not appreciate the art. However, our visit was a very enjoyable experience for the two older adults - namely, my wife & me.

Visited July 2011
2 Thank RalphSchmitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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