MOPA Presents 30x: Three Decades

Release Date: 
December 18, 2012

(San Diego, CA) December 18, 2012 – If you’ve ever been the recipient of a surprise birthday party, you probably would agree that some of the best celebrations are the ones you plan for yourself. In February of 2013, MOPA will be celebrating it’s own 30th birthday in style with an exhibition encapsulating significant acquisitions over the course of the last three decades. On view February 2 through October 13, 2013, 30x: Three Decades gathers 30 important images from MOPA’s permanent collection, each representing a significant year in the Museum’s history.

In 2013, MOPA celebrates 30 years as a museum in Balboa Park dedicated to exhibiting photography, film and video. Prior to MOPA’s founding in 1983, it existed as the “Center for Photographic Arts,” a nonprofit organization created in 1973 that exhibited and promoted photography as an art form. Since its founding, MOPA has presented dynamic world-class photography exhibitions in San Diego and built a world class photography collection. 30x: Three Decades highlights one acquisition from each of MOPA’s 30 years, showcasing a selection of influential figures in the history of photography, including works by Alexander Rodchenko, Loretta Lux, Thomas Struth, Lee Friedlander, Robert Adams, Marian Drew and other prominent photographers.

“Curating this exhibition for our 30th anniversary was a truly inspiring experience. It offered the opportunity to dive into the collection and hand pick some of the incredible works we've acquired over the last three decades,” said Chantel Paul, assistant curator, MOPA. “In 30x, we have highlighted one choice acquisition from each of MOPA's thirty years to represent the breadth and growth of the collection. From William Henry Fox Talbot to Nicholas Nixon, Ruth Bernhard to Richard Misrach, the images in the exhibition show a range of approaches and emotion.”

One items of particular interest in this exhibition is a work by Robert Adams, Southwest from the South Jetty, Clatsop County, Oregon.This meditative series of images depicts the power and beauty of the Pacific Ocean, shot in 1991. While this series is generally reproduced as a series of five images, MOPA owns a rarely seen version of the series comprised of six images created before the artist completed the final edit. Adams’ straightforward images of the sea are compelling and hypnotic, and represent an infrequently exhibited body of work.

As an institution, MOPA’s photography collection focuses on images that examine the rich history of photography, including both technical and artistic innovations since its inception in 1839. The photography collection includes images from the earliest 19th century practitioners to contemporary 21st century works. Learn more about MOPA’s photography collection at

For additional information please visit

Press Opportunities: To request high-resolution images, additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact Kristine Page at 619.238.7559 X203 or via email (

MOPA Information: MOPA is a center for visual learning, passionately dedicated to sharing and exploring the universal language of photography. Learn more at