Opened in 1978, the Mingei (art of the people) conserves and exhibits arts of daily use – by anonymous craftsmen of ancient times, from traditional cultures of past and present and by historical and contemporary designers. The Museum’s Founder, Martha Longenecker, was a professor of art at San Diego State University who studied the art of pottery-making in Japan. As an artist craftsman, she became acquainted with and learned from the founders and leaders of the Mingei Association of Japan, who inspired her to carry the vision of mingei to the U.S.A.
The Mingei is located in the historic House of Charm in Balboa Park on the central square along with the Timken Museum of Art and the San Diego Museum of Art. Exhibits focus on historical and contemporary folk art, craft, and design.