Fodor's Expert Review Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

La Jolla Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice

Editor's Note: This property is currently undergoing renovations.

Driving along Coast Boulevard, it is hard to miss the mass of watercraft jutting out from the rear of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) La Jolla location. Pleasure Point by Nancy Rubins is just one example of the mingling of art and locale at this spectacular oceanfront setting.

The oldest section of La Jolla's branch of San Diego's contemporary art museum was originally a residence, designed by Irving Gill for philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1916. In the mid-1990s the compound was updated and expanded by architect Robert Venturi, who respected Gill's original geometric structure and clean Mission-style lines while adding his own distinctive touches. The result is a striking contemporary building that looks as though it's always been here.

The light-filled Axline Court serves as the museum's entrance and does triple duty as reception area, exhibition hall, and forum for special events, including the glittering Monte Carlo gala each September,... READ MORE

Driving along Coast Boulevard, it is hard to miss the mass of watercraft jutting out from the rear of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) La Jolla location. Pleasure Point by Nancy Rubins is just one example of the mingling of art and locale at this spectacular oceanfront setting.

The oldest section of La Jolla's branch of San Diego's contemporary art museum was originally a residence, designed by Irving Gill for philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1916. In the mid-1990s the compound was updated and expanded by architect Robert Venturi, who respected Gill's original geometric structure and clean Mission-style lines while adding his own distinctive touches. The result is a striking contemporary building that looks as though it's always been here.

The light-filled Axline Court serves as the museum's entrance and does triple duty as reception area, exhibition hall, and forum for special events, including the glittering Monte Carlo gala each September, attended by the town's most fashionable folk. Inside, the museum's artwork gets major competition from the setting: you can look out from the top of a grand stairway onto a landscaped garden that contains permanent and temporary sculpture exhibits as well as rare 100-year-old California plant specimens and, beyond that, to the Pacific Ocean.

Artists from San Diego and Tijuana figure prominently in the museum's permanent collection of post-1950s art, but the museum also includes examples of every major art movement through the present—works by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Joseph Cornell, and Jenny Holzer, to name a few. The museum also gets major visiting shows. Head to the museum's X Store for unique cards and gifts. The pleasant courtyard at the museum café is a great spot to relax and recharge. Free tours are offered weekends at 2 (downtown on Saturday, and in La Jolla on Sunday), and on the third Thursday of the month at 5:30.

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Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice Silversea Cruise

Quick Facts

700 Prospect St.
La Jolla, California  92037, USA

858-454–3541

www.mcasd.org

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: $10, good for 1 visit here and at MCASD downtown within 7 days; free 3rd Thurs. of month 5–7, Closed Wed.

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