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Timken Museum of Art

1500 El Prado, Balboa Park
San Diego, CA

Phone: 619-239-5548

Statement of Purpose

The TIMKEN MUSEUM of ART preserves the Putnam Collection of European and American art for the education and benefit of present and future generations of San Diego area residents and visitors.

The museum celebrates the important role of art as a way of enriching the lives and nurturing the creative spirit in all of us.

The Museum

Highlights & Collections

Come in admission is FREE!

Albert Bierstadt
Cho-looke, The Yosemite Fall

See such a magnificent collection of rare masters in one location. The Putnam Collection includes Rembrandt, Bruegel the Elder, Ruebens, Boucher, David, and others.

The Putnam Collection

Exhibits & Special Events

Jasper Cropsey
Fall Landscape, 1891.


SAN DIEGO-Hidden from public view for nearly a century, an important still life painting by American artist John Frederick Peto was unveiled at the Timken Museum of Art today.

In the Library, a large oil painting depicting a disorderly arrangement of well-worn volumes on a draped table, has been in the possession of a Philadelphia family for four generations, perhaps since its completion, according to John Petersen, executive director of the Timken.

"Painted as the close of the nineteenth century and 'rediscovered' at the beginning of a new millennium, it is a great, practically unknown work and an extraordinary addition to our museum," Petersen said.

The Timken's first acquisition of American work in 13 years, the painting was brought to the museum's attention by Michael Quick. Advisor to the Timken's acquisitions committee and former curator of American art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

"In terms of its scale, impact, seriousness and abstract purity, all preserved in pristine, original condition, In the Library stands as one of the masterpieces by John F. Peto and of American still life painting as a whole," Quick said.

"We've has nothing of this caliber by Peto for two decades, and Peto is one of our specialties," said Martha Fleischman, whose Kennedy Galleries in Manhattan received the painting from its original owners and handled the transaction with the Timken.

"I'm pleased it's going out to the West Coast. It's very appropriate to have a great example of turn-on-century still life for Southern Californians to appreciate," she said.

For many decades, Peto's work was often mistaken for that of another still life painter who achieved a wider following, William Michael Harnett. Scholarly research begun in the 1950's has lifted Peto's name and work from obscurity, and today he is recognized as one of America's most important still life painters of the nineteenth century.

In the Library was acquired by the Timken for an undisclosed amount, with funding made possible through contributors by several local foundations, the Friends of the Timken, the museum's support organization, and a number of individual supporters.

The Timken Museum of Art, located on the Prado in San Diego's Balboa Park, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Last admission is at 4:15 p.m. and admission is always free.

The Putnam Foundation Collection housed at the Timken was begun by the Putnam sisters in 1951. It encompasses the finest examples in European Old Master and early American paintings as well as a collection of Russian Icons.


Admission & Directions:


In the heart of Balboa Park, San Diego, California

Key Personnel:

John A. Petersen, Executive Director

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