The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has an ongoing program of art acquisition, through gift, donation, or purchase. New acquisitions support and enhance the strengths of the Museum’s permanent collection as well as institutional initiatives, including a focus on emerging artists and Latin American art. Acquisitions are often directly related to the exhibition program – MCASD will commission artists to create new work as part of an exhibition, then acquire that work for the collection. In this way, exhibition research bears fruit for the permanent collection, and MCASD is able to serve as a primary patron of artists – a key element of the Museum’s mission.
An important source of acquisition funds are the two donor groups at MCASD: International Collectors and Contemporary Collectors. Since 1985, the Collectors have contributed over $2,000,000 in funds to purchase works for the collection, many by emerging artists. In addition, there are numerous contributions each year by individuals and foundations, designated specifically for art acquisition.