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Mingei International Museum, San Diego

4.4
#17 of 42 in Museums in San Diego
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The Mingei International Museum is a non-profit public institution that collects, conserves and exhibits folk art, craft and design. The museum was founded in 1974, and its building opened in 1978. The word mingei, meaning 'art of the people,' was coined by the Japanese scholar Dr. Sōetsu Yanagi by combining the Japanese words for all people (min 民) and art (gei 芸).

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Mingei International Museum reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
117 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • It basically is a nicely designed restaurant, with a gift shop, not remotely resembling a museum. That's the ground floor. The first floor pretty much is an art gallery, similar to what you may find.....  more
    It basically is a nicely designed restaurant, with a gift shop, not remotely resembling a museum. That's the ground floor. The first floor pretty much is an art gallery, similar to what you may find.....  more »
  • As much a beautifully designed restaurant/bar space as art gallery, the Mingei is a joy for both those who want to enjoy a lovely lunch or the intimate and elegantly curated museum space. The monthly....  more
    As much a beautifully designed restaurant/bar space as art gallery, the Mingei is a joy for both those who want to enjoy a lovely lunch or the intimate and elegantly curated museum space. The monthly....  more »
  • This is a lovely but very small folk art museum with a beautiful collection from around the world. It took us less than 30 minutes to walk through the upstairs exhibit space but it was a nice... 
    This is a lovely but very small folk art museum with a beautiful collection from around the world. It took us less than 30 minutes to walk through the upstairs exhibit space but it was a nice...  more »
Google
  • Can I say this museum is my favorite museum so far in San Diego? I didn’t plan to visit here today but it was at museum month when I just walked by, I decided to have a look. I got a half price ticket because of the museum month. The exhibition is amazing! I really love how the curators curated all the folk craft arts from all over the world. I can see the arts are very different in their own cultural ways based on their history and location, but also kinda connected in someway based on the whole human beings’ cultural development. I love to see how folk arts influence and reflect our society.
  • I was lucky enough to take a tour with the current CEO. It's been totally remodeled and looks amazing. The bottom floor is the restaurant, gift shop and the education classroom hiding in the back. That whole which I find amazing. The second floor is the exhibit area. They were doing exhibit installation so there wasn't that much to look at while I was there, but there is also a library you can access that is really beautiful. Also if you purchase access to the exhibits, the balconies on that second floor are stunning.
  • There’s limited gallery space, but overall, it was a lovely experience. There’s a diverse collection of folk art, mostly from Japan, but also some pieces from many other countries like Myanmar, India, Ethiopia, and Mexico. The terraces on the second level were an expected discovery. You get a unique view of the park. The art library is closed Sundays, otherwise, I would have liked to explore that too. I spent about 45 minutes there. The new cafe on the first level is a really great. The menu is pretty large for a small cafe. I didn’t order any beverages, but purchased the lavender shortbread cookie, brownie, and ham & cheese croissant. I can’t wait to enjoy these treats at home.
  • Small museum that has a few exhibits downstairs free to view, while upstairs requires paid admission. Free for military. I really liked the folklore figurines and hats made of paperbags. The show areas aren't very large and it took probably 45 minutes to get through it at a slow leisurely pace. I suggest checking on their website what exhibit is currently showing to determine if it's worth attending.
  • Amazing! Went this past Monday to see their exhibition on Piñatas. Was honestly one of the most engaging and captivating exhibitions I've seen in a long time. Just to show, I've uploaded some of my favorite displays I captured during my visit. Please note that the second floor where the piñatas are at requires an entry fee. It's worth every penny, I'll say.

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