In 1986, the San Diego Chinese Historical Society was established in order to preserve and uphold Chinese and Chinese American history and culture. In the 1990’s, the local Chinese community learned that the building that had served as their church and school was slated for demolition. In response, the Historical Society rallied to save the historic mission building. Finally, the City approved plans to relocate the building to the heart of old Chinatown, at the corner of J Street and Third Avenue.
Following relocation and renovation, the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum was finally born in 1996. SDCHM has grown from its humble beginnings to encompass 3 downtown facilities and a Chinese-style garden. Over the past 20 years, the museum has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors, collected thousands of ethnographic artifacts, and hosted hundreds of educational programs and exhibitions. Today, SDCHM remains a platform to celebrate multiculturalism, enrich the community, and showcase San Diego as an international and cultural tourist destination.
The museum’s exhibits share the heritage of San Diego’s Chinese community and the essence of Chinese arts and culture through historic photographs, miniature models, ancient artifacts and explanatory text. Special events also celebrate holidays like the Chinese New Year, the Moon Festival, and Veterans Day.
Current & Upcoming Exhibitions
ONGOING TOURS & LECTURES
Dragons: Exploring the Symbolism Behind China’s Most Revered Creature | until January 26, 2020
- The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is pleased to announce Dragons: Exploring the Symbolism Behind China’s Most Revered Creature, a family-friendly exhibit that celebrates and traces the eponymous creature across centuries of Chinese art and history. These mythical beings can be found adorning countless historical and modern Chinese artifacts from SDCHM’s permanent collection, signifying nobility, power, strength and protection.
- General admission to all exhibits in the Sun Yat Sen Extension is $5, which includes access to the Museum’s main building across the street (404 3rd Ave). All guests under the age of 12 are welcome free of charge.
Hanjialin Bao: Between Black and White | until January 26, 2020
- Hanjialin Bao (b. 1993) is a graphic designer, illustrator, and comic artist from Hohhot, China. Her first solo show in San Diego, Hanjialin Bao: Between Black and White features 12 works from two series, Gui (鬼), 2019-Present, and Liao Zhai Zhi Yi (聊斋志异), 2016. Bao’s kaleidoscopic works embrace both East Asian folk art traditions and American comic aesthetics, and she hopes to introduce the rest of the world to traditional Chinese culture through her unique artistic lens.
- All of Bao’s works are on display in the Hweih Chih and Julia Hsiu Gallery, located in the Museum’s Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Extension (328 J Street, San Diego, CA 92101). Each individual print on display (framed and matted) is on sale for $220 each. General admission to all exhibits in the Sun Yat Sen Extension is $5, which includes access to the Museum’s main building across the street (404 3rd Ave). All guests under the age of 12 are welcome free of charge.
Asian Pacific Historic District Walking Tour | Every second Saturday of the month, 11 – 12:30pm
- Explore Old Chinatown and Japanese and Filipino neighborhoods in San Diego’s old Stingaree red light district. Space is limited and reservations are recommended. Please RSVP by calling the museum 619-338-9888 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The tour is included with museum admission, and is co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific Historic Collaborative.
Monthly Lectures and Talks
- Explore intriguing aspects of Chinese arts, culture, and history in a series of monthly lectures hosted in the Museum’s Chuang Archive & Learning Center at 541 2nd Avenue. For more details on specific lectures, please visit our events calendar at https://www.sdchm.org/events/month/. Museum lectures are free for members and a suggested $5 for non-members.
Visit San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
404 Third Avenue
San Diego , CA 92101
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:30 AM - 4 PM
Sunday: 12 PM - 4 PM
404 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA