MOPA Staff Blogs

Joy Riding, Check Forgery, Grand Larceny

Guest post by Cairie Riney, a digitization/online access intern at the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC). For the past few months, Cairie has been working with MOPA to digitize some of the Museum’s special collections.  

Women's History Month

In honor of March being celebrated as Women's History Month, I'd like to share this wonderful article written by Mrs E. N. Lockwood for an 1873 issue of Photographic Mosaics. Photographic Mosaics was published from 1866-1901, and highlighted new innovations and events happening in the world of photography at the time. As Mrs. Lockwood's passionate entreaty reminds us, women were considerably less involved in photography than men were in the mid to late 19th century, and as Naomi Rosenblum discusses in A History of Women Photographers:

The Amazing Camera Obscura!

Have you ever come across a computer from 10 years ago and find yourself wondering how anyone was impressed by such outdated technology? Technology has a short life in our day. But the exception to this is the camera obscura, a photographic technology that is over 1,000 years old and still manages to captivate our sense of wonder today.

Camera Obscura at MOPA

Saturday, March 17th is Science Family Day in Balboa Park, an exciting day of family activities at each of the museums in the Park. As in years past, MOPA will be constructing a gigantic camera obscura right out front of the Museum for your viewing pleasure. Come by the Museum to enjoy the full experience, but here’s some great images taken from books in the Dubois Library’s collection to give you a little taste of what to expect...

Book Drive

For the whole month of March, MOPA’s Dubois Library will be hosting a book drive, collecting new and used children’s books, in English and Spanish. The books will be given to Words Alive, a local non-profit that distributes books to underserved, low-income, and at-risk children, teens, and adults. Please consider donating any gently used (or new!) books for ages 0-18; donations can be dropped off inside MOPA, Tuesday- Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm.

POP Thursdays: Modern Myths, Folklore, and Tall Tales


March 15th marks the first POP Thursday of 2012 and we’re shaking things up. I personally invite you to join us for an evening of modern storytelling featuring live performances by So Say We All and exclusive screenings of two short films. Yes, this is a personal invitation to you all because I have previewed the program for the evening and it is AWESOME. I wouldn’t want you to miss out!

Taking a quick break from our traditional cult film format, this upcoming POP will be made up of three parts:

Seeing the Sound through Roy DeCarava

To me, one of the most incredible qualities of photography is its ability to show you how something sounded or felt through a silent image. And the photographer who can do that reaches his/her viewers in a way that transcends the sense of sight, to a realm where vision becomes the catalyst for so much more.

Berenice Abbott meets Weegee, A Chance Encounter


Art has a way of overlapping ideas, much like life itself. Photography is no exception and has the peculiar habit of showing us familiar things we may have seen through another photographers lens.  It is a curious phenomenon that photo historians have written about, eloquently, for decades.


Museum Month

February is Museum Month in San Diego and there's never been a better time to visit MOPA. Pick up your FREE Macy's Museum Month pass at any participating Macy's location in San Diego, Temecula or Imperial Valley area and receive half off admission to 40 museums around the county, including MOPA. 



Not only do you get a great deal, but it's also a great chance to see two new exhibitions opening this month: 

Creating Authentic Learning Experiences: Expressions of Me on View at San Diego Intl. Airport

Since the mid-nineties, social science researchers have been forming a definition of authentic learning experiences (Newmann and Wehlage, 1993).  Most definitions include concepts such as higher order thinking, meaningful engagement between the student and the material to be learned, and connectedness of the classroom work to a world beyond. In an era of standards and assessment, the search for this type of experience in a public school setting gets more and more challenging.