The Timken Museum of Art in San Diego is reopening in June after two years of renovations. Located inside Balboa Park, the museum is the first in the world to use cutting-edge patented antiviral technology made for the Department of Defense to ensure the health of visitors.
Along with the new air filtration, the interior of the mid-century modern building was renovated for a more contemporary look. The Timken underwent a complete renovation with restoration of the ornamental bronze accents, new gallery wall colors, upgraded lighting and ceilings, digital technology, a reimagining of the galleries and new wall texts that tell the unique story of each artwork in its collection.
The museum first opened in 1965.
On Wednesday, June 8, the Timken will welcome the public back to the new Timken that includes a reimagined look at the Timken’s various galleries in its priceless collection of European Old Masters, American artists and Russian icons. Upon arrival, visitors will see that part of the impressive renovation includes conservation of the historic bronze, which covers much of the Museum’s entrance and interior as structural and decorative accents. These bronze elements, which had accumulated a dark black patina over time, have been polished back to its original striking and eye-popping golden finish.
During the two-year closure, Megan Pogue, the Timken’s executive director, and Dr. Derrick R. Cartwright, director of curatorial affairs, have worked tirelessly on every last detail of the new interior to make the reopening possible. This often included immersing themselves in the duties of architects, engineers, construction crew, city officials, and operations staff while monitoring the ever-fluctuating price of steel and the labor and supply chain issues to meet deadlines and stay on budget.
Pogue said, “The required, pandemic-related closure led us to make this long-discussed renovation a reality. The Timken remains a welcome destination to enjoy, contemplate and appreciate great art. Our iconic building remains architecturally unique in Balboa Park.”
The museum also added to new art pieces to its collection. The museum acquired Ella Ferris Pell’s 1890 “Salomé,” reportedly the most famous painting of her career and the exquisite, “Bust of Eve,” by sculptor Thomas Ball.