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Mingei International Museum reopens after $55 million expansion project

Mingei International Museum has reopened in San Diego’s Balboa Park following a three-year renovation project.

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mingei international museum

The Mingei International Museum has reopened in San Diego‘s historic Balboa Park after a three-year closure and $55m renovation. The institution is offering dynamic exhibitions, commissioned artworks and public programmes.

Mayor Todd Gloria said: “This bold, inspirational project represents a commitment to art appreciation and education and provides a welcome investment in our beautiful and iconic Balboa Park.

“This is an extraordinary transformation and achievement for Mingei, but also for the park and our city. It’s about time we polish our crown jewel – I look forward to many more improvements to Balboa Park.”

Mingei reopens in Balboa Park

mingei international museum

The Mingei International Museum now covers 56,000 square feet. Enhancements include an additional 10,000 square feet of exhibition and programming space, as well as outdoor terraces and a courtyard.

In addition, the museum features a flexible theatre space, its first-ever education centre, a retail space called Shop Mingei and the Craft Café. Also, the Artifact at Mingei restaurant is opening in October 2021.

San-Diego-based architect Jennifer Luce, founder and principal of LUCE et studio, lead the renovation and expansion project at Mingei.

“We are confident that the new Mingei will be a cultural anchor in Balboa Park and a source of inspiration for the San Diego region and our national and international visitors,” said director and CEO Rob Sidner.

$55m renovation in San Diego

mingei international museum

Mingei’s reopening kicked off a month of celebrations, from performances and hands-on activities to building and exhibition tours and artist lectures.

Established in 1978, Mingei International Museum showcases folk art, craft and design from all eras and cultures across the globe. The attraction welcomes more than 100,000 visitors annually.

Meanwhile, San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) has started construction on the new Comic-Con Museum, located in Balboa Park’s historic Federal Building. The attraction opens on November 26.

SeaWorld San Diego has unveiled the haunted houses, scares zones and creepy cocktails on offer at its first-ever Howl-O-Scream, running on select nights from September 17 through October 31.

Images: Mingei International Museum

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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