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Title: Timken Museum of Art
Neighborhood & Address: Balboa Park, 1500 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Best For: Art admirers, meditators, knowledge seekers
Hours: 10:00 – 16:30, 13:30 – 16:30 Sunday, Closed Monday
Free Hours: Always free admission
Just to the east of the Plaza de Panama parking lot in Balboa Park is a squat white marble building that contrasts with the Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings that dominate much of the architecture in this part of the park. This building is the Timken Museum of Art, opened in 1965. Although many of the museums in Balboa Park are free on certain days through the Residents Free Tuesday program, the Timken is always free to all visitors.
The Timken Museum houses the Putnam Foundation Collection on a permanent basis. This collection includes European old master paintings, Russian icons and American art. There is also an upcoming temporary exhibition Behold, America! which will highlight American works from the Timken Museum as well as the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. This exhibition runs November 10, 2012 through February 10, 2013. If you are planning to visit Balboa Park as part of the December Nights celebration you will be able to view this exhibit from 10:00 – 21:00 on both December 7th and 8th.
The free admission aspect of the Timken Museum makes it a nice place to enjoy without feeling the need to justify paying admission by staying for an entire day. A visit to reflect on a piece or two during a visit to Balboa Park is a relaxing way to spend an hour. Of course, a longer visit can be nice too and there are docent-guided tours available each day to give an overview of the collection on display and answer questions. Tour details can be found here.
In addition to the tours there are regularly special events and activities that can be enjoyed by visitors like lectures or family activities that are child-friendly. The calendar section of the Timken website details upcoming events.
John was an accountant in a former life and now devotes his time to child-rearing, reading, writing, and working to ensure that San Diego is truly America’s Finest City. Interested specifically in environmental issues, John is always interested in learning more and connecting with others that want to improve the health of our world and community.
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John P. Anderson
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