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Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, located in the heart of La Jolla, California, in San Diego County, is one of only 16 nonprofit membership libraries in the United States. This rare cultural institution, an important one to the greater San Diego area, offers a depth and accessibility of resources and programs found nowhere else in the region.

The library, devoted exclusively to music and art, has an outstanding and ever-expanding collection of books, periodicals, reference material, compact discs, videocassettes, DVDs, sheet music and librettos, as well as one of the most significant collections of artists' books in Southern California. The library is open to the public five days a week; members can check out materials for a modest annual fee.

The Athenaeum also presents an eclectic, year-round schedule of art exhibitions, concerts (classical, jazz and new music), lectures, studio art classes through its School of the Arts, tours and special events. To quote the San Diego Union-Tribune, "There are few libraries in America as unusual as the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library."

Admission to the library is free. Gallery exhibits are free and open to the general public. Materials may be used in the library or checked out by members. Borrowing privileges are limited to members only. Books may be checked out for four weeks, and all CDs, videos and DVDs for two weeks. Materials may be reserved in advance.

Guided Tours
Free guided tours take place the third Saturday of every month at 11 a.m.

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Upcoming event at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

Jazz At The Athenaeum: Mark Turner And Ethan Iverson

  • Today, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • The Athenaeum jazz series continues on Saturday, Feb. 25, with two of the top jazz instrumentalists of their generation, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner and pianist Ethan Iverson. Mark Turner is one of the most highly regarded tenor saxophonists in jazz. The New York Times praised him simply as “possibly jazz’s premier player … his stature in the jazz world keeps growing ... a great jazz musician.” In addition to leading ... Read more

All upcoming events at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

Advanced Painting Techniques: Painting Skies Starts January 21, 2017

Beginning To Intermediate WatercolorStarts February 10, 2017

Dancing With The Brush: Chinese Brush Painting And CalligraphyStarts February 7, 2017

Drawing A Variety Of Subjects In Color Pencil Starts January 23, 2017

Drawing & Watercolor YOU Can DoStarts January 25, 2017

Exploring Contemporary Art From All Over The WorldStarts January 25, 2017

Figure/Portrait And Painting/DrawingStarts January 24, 2017

Impressionism Into FauvismStarts January 19, 2017

Oil Painting TechniquesStarts January 21, 2017

Pencil Figure Drawing And The Art Of CompositionStarts January 23, 2017

Sketching With Pen & Ink & WatercolorStarts January 16, 2017

The Five Key Elements To Better Painting Starts January 19, 2017

Jazz At The Athenaeum: Mark Turner And Ethan IversonToday

Painting Alla Prima – Get Loose!Tomorrow

Jazz At The Athenaeum: Ralph TownerMarch 2, 2017

Joyce Cutler-Shaw Dialogues In Art & Architecture Series - Lecture TwoMarch 7, 2017

Chamber Music At The Athenaeum: Trio Con Brio CopenhagenMarch 8, 2017

Mandelring Quartett At TSRIMarch 11, 2017

'Music At The Movies' With Bruno LeoneMarch 14, 2017

The Library At Night With Colin McAllisterMarch 26, 2017

Chamber Music At The Athenaeum: New Bach TrioMarch 30, 2017

Joyce Cutler-Shaw Dialogues In Art & Architecture Series - Lecture Three April 4, 2017

Chamber Music At The Athenaeum: Los Angeles Philharmonic OctetMay 2, 2017

Past events

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Business hours

Tuesday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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