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In 2015 the Museum celebrated 100 years of art in Balboa Park and the Centennial Celebration of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The original inspiration for a permanent public art gallery in San Diego can be traced to the Panama-California International Exposition, held in Balboa Park during 1915-1916. The Exposition, which was organized to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal and to promote San Diego as a seaport, also showcased San Diego as a growing cultural center.
The San Diego Museum of Art, the region’s oldest, largest and most visited art museum, provides a rich and diverse cultural experience. Located in the heart of beautiful Balboa Park, the Museum’s nationally renowned permanent collection includes Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings, and 19th- and 20th-century American paintings and sculptures.
In addition, the Museum regularly features major exhibitions from around the world, as well as an extensive year-round schedule of supporting cultural and educational programs for children and adults. Exhibition text is always in English and Spanish. The Museum’s research library offers access to an extensive collection of art history publications.