If you haven’t yet been to the San Diego History Museum to see the “Masterworks of the Exposition Era,” it’s not too late! This important exhibit will be on display for an additional two weeks in January.
“Masterworks of the Exposition Era” commemorates the art of the original 1915 Exposition, which featured a dramatic presentation of the work of a group of prominent American painters, hand-selected by renowned artist Robert Henri, including George Bellows, John Sloan, William Glackens, George Luks, Guy Pene duBois and other great American artists of the era. This exhibition of their now-classic paintings was complemented by a display by such notable California-based painters of the period as William Wendt, Guy Rose, Anna Hills, and E. Charlton Fortune, along with outstanding works from a group of regional artists who were soon to turn San Diego into a thriving art center, including Maurice Braun, Alfred Mitchell, Alice Klauber, and Charles Fries.
The Museum has also produced an elegant and colorful commemorative “Souvenir,” an illustrated catalog capturing the spirit of the Exposition, recreating the world of San Diego art in 1915, and recognizing all those who contribute.
The 1915 Exposition was a powerful moment for the city, and 2015 provided a significant opportunity to recall the event and explore its impact; the exhibition will also create a legacy moment for the contemporary San Diego community.
One of the oldest and largest historical organizations on the West Coast, the San Diego History Center was established in 1928 by noted philanthropist, businessman and civic leader George W. Marston, who built Junípero Serra Museum to house the new institution on Presidio Hill, site of the founding of California. Marston gifted the Serra Museum and the adjacent land to the City of San Diego in 1929.
For over sixty years, the Serra was the site of the then-Historical Society and Research Library. In 1982, the Historical Society moved its collections and museum from Presidio Park to the Casa de Balboa in Balboa Park, maintaining the Serra as an auxiliary museum and educational center. In 2010, the name, San Diego History Center, was formally adopted. The History Center remains one of the very few institutions in the U.S. dedicated to a major American city.
The San Diego History Center is the steward of our community heritage and the principal institution reflecting our community identity. At the 50,000 square foot History Center and Research Library in the Casa de Balboa, staff continues to collect, preserve and display unparalleled collections of regional history. These are a vital community resource for all San Diegans, showcasing San Diego and its diverse communities through our exhibitions and public programs, highlighting what makes San Diego unique and the region’s emerging role in the 21st century world. The Museum also serves as a lifelong learning center for all ages and members of our community. Its K-12 educational programs, including School-in-the-Park, currently serve over 11,000 school children annually, and their popular adult and family programs and Speakers Bureau serve thousands more. Its Research Library serves residents, scholars, students, researchers and historians both onsite and, globally, online. With its rich historical content, archived material and online photo sales, their website is visited by more than 1,000 distinct visitors daily, making it among the most visited museum websites in our region.