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San Diego Art Museum’s Growth Brings Excitement And Sadness

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Photo by Smart Destinations / Flickr

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla, December 22, 2006.

San Diego Art Museum's Growth Brings Excitement And Sadness


Kathryn Kanjo, deputy director of art and programs, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego


The La Jolla venue of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has a location that New York's Museum of Modern Art would envy.

The 75-year-old museum sits atop a La Jolla bluff, giving patrons a stunning view of the Pacific coast. What MOMA wouldn't envy in any way is the scant space for exhibitions.

But that's going to change.

The museum's La Jolla location will close in January in anticipation of construction to expand exhibition space to about 40,000 square feet. To accomplish this, Sherwood Auditorium, long a venue for local concerts, will be converted into an 8,000-square-foot space for permanent and special exhibitions.

During construction, all exhibitions will be moved to the museum's three smaller venues in downtown San Diego. Not surprisingly, the museum will shrink for a time, offering half as many programs as it does now.

On a sad note, said Kathryn Kanjo, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's current deputy director of art and programs, eight full-time and 20 part-time employees will be laid off by January 2017.

When it reopens, providing all the funds are raised, the La Jolla location will be able at last to showcase its collection (there's currently no room) in a newly retrofitted building with two new terraces and an expanded sculpture garden.

Kanjo talks about the renovation project and what to expect when the entire museum moves downtown on KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday.


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