San Jose Museum of Art

San Jose’s premier art institution celebrates West Coast creativity and explores the new frontiers of technology and art.

Friendly and not the least bit pretentious, the San Jose Museum of Art is a place to soak up art in a relaxed and welcoming environment. Featuring a permanent collection of approximately 2,000 pieces, the museum specializes in 20th- and 21st-century works from the West Coast and North Pacific and is gaining a solid reputation as a supporter of electronic and interactive art.

Explore the permanent collection, which consists primarily of modern and postmodern pieces, drawing extensively from Bay Area and North Pacific artists. You’ll find paintings, drawings and works in other traditional media, as well as cutting-edge installations and new media pieces that reflect San Jose’s role in the technology industry.

While the permanent collection is diverse and engaging, it’s quite small and is best viewed alongside one of the museum’s special exhibitions. The museum runs extensive educational and outreach programs for children and adults, so if time allows, take in a lecture, workshop or concert.

Tours of the museum leave the lobby twice a day, but private or group tours can be booked in advance. The museum is also a great place to sit back and relax. Find one of the many reading areas inside the museum or head over to the on-site café in the historic wing.

The San Jose Museum of Art is located downtown in the historic post office building and its adjoining annex. Nearby parking can be expensive; however, the museum is close to a light rail station. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, except major holidays.