Profile of the Timken Museum of Art in San Diego


The Timken Museum of Art in San Diego, California was established in 1965 as the Timken Art Gallery.

The Museum has a permanent collection of more than 60 works of art, mainly Old Master paintings, and some sculptures and decorative art objects.


The Timken Museum of Art's roots begins with the art collection of sisters Anne and Amy Putnam, who collected European old master paintings at the beginning of the 20th century.

In 1951, the Putnam sisters established the Putnam Foundation. With the financial support of the Timken family, the collection became the basis for the Timken Art Gallery which opened in 1965.

Before the Timken Museum opened, the collection of the Putnam sisters was exhibited on loan at several prestigious art museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the National Gallery in Washington, DC, and Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum. 

The Timken Museum of Art was constructed in 1951 on the site of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, located in Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama. The architectural firm Frank L. Hope and Associate designed the mid-century building, the largest of its kind in the region, to showcase the art collection in San Diego for future generations.

Museum's Mission:

The Timken Museum of Art's mission, per their website:

"Considered one of the finest small museums in the world, the Timken Museum of Art, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015, provides visitors with an accessible and enriching cultural experience featuring a beautiful collection, intimate surroundings, and perennially free admission."


The Timken Museum of Art is located at Balboa Park in San Diego, California.

Please refer to the Museum's website for directions and further information.

Conservation Department:

The Timken Museum of Art has a permanent collection, and requires art conservation as a method to study, clean, and restore paintings so that they can be conserved for future generations.

To learn more about the field of art conservation, please see Fine Art's interviews with conservators.

Famed Artworks in Collection:

The Timken Museum of Art's collection includes early Italian Renaissance devotional paintings, late nineteenth century paintings from the United States, 15th to 19th-century Russian icons, and European Old Master paintings.

"Notable works in the collection include Rembrandt's Saint Bartholomew (the only painting by the Dutch artist on public display in San Diego); Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Parable of the Sower; John Singleton Copley's Portrait of Mrs. Thomas Gage; Eastman Johnson's classic The Cranberry HarvestIsland of Nantucket; and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot's View of Volterra."

Noteworthy Facts:

Employment Information:

The Timken Museum of Art does not post job listings. However, the Museum posts volunteer opportunities in the various departments such as administrative, curatorial, collections, exhibitions, marketing, sales, and security. 

How to Apply for a Job:

Contact the Timken Museum of Art first to inquire if any positions are available. Volunteer opportunities are always available so that may be a good way to get started.

Museum's Contact Info:

    The Timken Museum of Art,2550 Fifth Ave Suite 500, San Diego, California 92103. Tel: 619.239.5548.


    Timken Museum of Art's website

    Museum Hours:

    • Monday closed
    • Tuesday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
    • Wednesday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
    • Thursday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
    • Friday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
    • Saturday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
    • Sunday 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm
    • Closed holidays