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The San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts (M.O.P.A.) re-opens, bigger and better. 

By Michael Seewald
March 4, 2000

The San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, (M.O.P.A.), located in beautiful Balboa Park in San Diego, California, has recently been expanded.   Originally the museum was opened in May of '83 with 7,000 sq.ft., (the same month and year Seewald's Photographic Art Gallery in Encinitas opened)!  The re-opening took place tonight, after one year of work... quadrupling it's size! 

It was a gala two day event attended by thousands... free admission.  Mariachi bands performed whilst Arthur Ollman, director of the museum since it's inception, welcomed the dignitaries and donors with a broad smile on his face.  I would beam too, as the new museum is much improved, esthetically as well as size wise.

The first thing one notices is the large glass entrance way into the museum.  It makes it very light and airy, unlike the old entrance, which made you feel as though you were walking into a large walk-in closet.   By being able to see the cathedral ceiling a bit of stature is added.

The bookstore, located just off to the left, looks empty due to the amount of extra space gained over the previous one.  The architecture, with steel beams running about at diagonals, gives it a  'modern art' feel. Also, a theater has now been added in which art movies, old movies, etc. are being shown.

My only hope is that the exhibits they show will be of a higher caliber than many in the past.  While shows of 'shock' nature may be in vogue at a lot of 'modern museums', I don't think you have to stoop that low to get attention.   Some recent past exhibits, showing the work from the permanent collection, has been spectacular, such as the following artist that exhibited the previous year.

Anamorphose/Metamorphose: Photographic Interventions by Georges Rousse

Link to Museum...

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