Friday, April 1, 2022

Trip to the New Mingei Museum.

 By Patricia Frischer

Colorful Culture: African Bead

I know I am coming late to the party, but this was the first time I have visited Balboa Park since the pandemic started. The park was full of people, but luckily not too many were in the exhibition space of the newly renovated Mingei Museum.

The good news is that the top floor is full of the wonderful treasures that are always an inspiration to me. I get ideas for painting and sculptures and fund raisers and gifts from their wonderful collection of objects from all over the world (Humble Spirit/Priceless Art to July 4). As always, the works are beautifully displayed and well labeled. The works when I visited was a selection from their vast collection. But I did get a sneak peek of the Niki de Saint Phalle show that will be opening on April 8. And there is still the view of the wonderful board room table and chairs plus a brand-new glass fronted library. I can imagine spending hours there researching a subject in depth.

Procession by Alice Hudson

Colorful culture: African Beads

So simple and so charming

Wonderful ceramic pot

Conference table and chairs


Niki sneak peek

The downstairs was much less impressive than I thought it would be. There was no WOW moment when you walk in from either the old entrance or the new one from the Alcazar Gardens. There are five glass display cases but they didn’t really stand out visually. What you do see is the gift shop and the restaurant and the feeling you get is “spend money here.” The fact that was even a display on the second floor was not evident, if you had not visited the museum previously.  I had a particular problem with the low metal ceiling which I understand was supposed to be symbolic of a music box cylinder of raised metal bits. But the Mingei is not about music and this was a big miss for me.  However, I could see that in the future, if the restaurant seating could be altered in a more organic design, they could bring back a display on the ground floor.

Lobby Restaurant and metal ceiling

Gift Shop

New entrance from the garden

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