"Progress of Man" in the Balboa Art Club
The 1935 mural “Progress of Man” by Belle Goldschlager Baranceanu in the Balboa Park Club. Photo by John Durant

An online catalog of the hundreds of artworks in San Diego’s growing civic art collection is now available to the public online.

The city’s Commission for Arts and Culture launched the digital resource to increase the visibility of the collection. The website allows citizens to quickly search and sort images by criteria, such as type, council district and location.

“San Diego’s civic art collection is more than a century in the making, and can be found in every council district in the city. It is truly a reflection of our community and its values,” said Jonathon Glus, the new  executive director of the commission. “For the first time ever, with this new digital platform, anyone can discover and rediscover the city’s collection.”

“My Memory on Top of Your Memory” by Shinpei Takeda at the Ocean Beach Comfort Station. Photo by Darren Bradley

The collection holds over 800 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper and prints that are exhibited primarily in the working areas of municipal buildings. There is also art integrated into the architecture of libraries, parks, public safety facilities, civic buildings and other public spaces throughout San Diego.

The civic art collection began unofficially in 1909, when the city accepted the gift of the Broadway Fountain in Horton Plaza Park, designed by architect Irving J. Gill, from local businessman and banker Louis J. Wilde. The city has continued to acquire artwork of historical importance and artistic significance ever since.

The new website showcasing the collection is located at SDCivicArtCollection.com.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.