The Museum of Photographic Arts is situated in a beautiful Colonial-style building in the Balboa Park of San Diego. As I love photography I wanted to visit the museum and was very surprised. It was for me a little like a theme-walk. The photos are beautiful. I was more looking at the presentation of the photos as in that moment I had the ‘problem’ that I didn’t know how is the best way to present my photos. Large frame, no frame, black or light passepartout, how big the photos.. there are so many ways and I found a lot of inspiration right in this museum. And courage to present my photos also in a bigger size. On canvas for example. But that’s another story…
A little bit of history? The Museum of Photography Arts – short: MOPAs – was founded in 1983. It shows photos from the 19th century to the present day with a range from documentary to expressive photography. More than 7.000 images are collected here, from over 850 photographers. The building housing the museum is the Casa de Balboa at the Balboa Park and easy to find.
There is a print-viewing room, a classroom, a theater, a book store and more. More than 100.000 visitors come here annually and there are up to 10 major exhibitions. They give classes and workshops, lectures and films.
I read this on their website): “The mission of the Museum of Photographic Arts is to inspire, educate and engage the broadest possible audience through the presentation, collection, and preservation of photography, film, and video”
Sounds promising and I would say they are fulfilling their mission.
I had a long walk around to see the photos – and their framing/non-framing. It gave me a lot of inspiration.
One room was dedicated to light and I liked something I read: “… Night only suggests things, it doesn’t fully reveal them. … it frees powers within us which were controlled by reason during the day…” Night photography is something very special and not easy at all. But always very intriguing and mysterious, revealing without revealing. And a great play-ground for photographers.
Light Makes Photography. Embrace Light. Admire it. Love it. But Above All, Know Light.
The museum is closed on Mondays and opens the other days at 10 am. Very interesting is the fee: pay as you wish. So everyone can give what he/she thinks would be the right amount. That is nice as it gives the possibility to visit the venue also to people they don’t have money.
MOPAs, San Diego, California/USA: