Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) - The Urban Menu
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Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD)

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) 

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (or MCASD) is an art museum in San Diego, California, dedicated to collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting art from 1950 to the present.

MCASD was founded in 1941 as The Art Center in La Jolla, and has grown into a national and international institution.

The Collection, which contains over 4,700 works created since 1950, represents an artistic program to promote promising young contemporary artists while also recognizing well-established ones whose work deserves more visibility. The Museum is a vital cultural and civic asset to the region, with a focus on contemporary art and living artists. MCASD encourages all audiences to envision our world, region, and self through the lens of contemporary art.

The museum’s binational policy places particular emphasis on artists from both sides of the US/Mexico border praising both the artistic communities of San Diego and Tijuana.

At two iconic locations, La Jolla and Downtown, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) provides access to the very greatest artists and their works of our moment and time.

While the La Jolla site is temporarily closed for a substantial reconstruction and development project, MCASD’s main hub of activity is the Downtown location.

With site-specific installations by artists Jenny Holzer and Richard Serra, and soaring exhibition spaces that once housed the baggage building for the historic Santa Fe Depot, the Downtown campus captures the energy and vibrancy of the city. MCASD offers the community an unprecedented range of experiences, displaying a domestically acknowledged collection and a lively schedule of art shows and public programs.


Minimalism and Pop Art from the 1960s and 1970s, conceptual art from the 1960s to the present, installation art, Latin American art, and art from California and the San Diego / Tijuana region are some of the museum’s key assets. Many of the masterpieces in the collection are the outcome of artist residencies or commissions for MCASD exhibitions.


MCASD maintains empowerment initiatives for art acquisitions, whether it be through donations or purchases. New acquisitions complement and strengthen the Museum’s permanent collection as well as institutional initiatives, such as a focus on emerging artists and Latin American art.


The Museum of  Contemporary Art features stunning ocean views as well as a great variety of contemporary books and unique design artifacts you can find at The Shop.

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