The Mingei International Museum is one of the most posh museums at Balboa Park in my opinion. Beautifully displayed, and now with a delicious new restaurant called Artifact.
The museum displays pieces by anonymous craftsmen of ancient times, from traditional cultures of past and present and by historical and contemporary designers. Their rotating exhibits have never failed to disappoint over the years and I always leave with a sense of uplift and inspiration. There are SO many talented artists out there!
The Mingei International Museum was founded in 1978 by Martha Longenecker. Longnecker was a professor at San Diego State University who also studied pottery making in Japan. She got the opportunity to study with the Mingei Association of Japan which inspired her to carry on these traditions and visions into the states.
Since its opening, the Mingei has displayed over 180 exhibitions, ranging from a wide variety of cultures, styles and themes. Some of the exhibitions have been from unknown artists, while others have been from world-renowned artists such as Niki de Saint Phalle.
For those that area San Diego residents, this museum is FREE to you every THIRD Tuesday of the month!! You will need to show proof of address to get this perk!
I am now officially obsessed with their new restaurant Artifact. The food is amazing!
The outdoor patio has this amazing mural:
Make sure to check out and appreciate the Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture outside the museum! You can also explore her amazing outdoor exhibition located in Kit Carson park in Escondido known as Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Garden.