5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey
When the Museum of Monterey, or “MoM,” was built in 1992, it was called the Monterey Maritime and History Museum. Further back, in 1931, the Monterey History and Art Association which runs the museum was founded. After years staying faithful to its mission of preserving Monterey’s maritime history, on June 4, 2011, after some financial and board member shake-ups, the museum reopened anew and current director Lisa Coscino now steers a course into a more innovative and engaging future. Not that we weren’t digging the historic model of Cannery Row, but art shows and visits by tastemakers like Brandon Boyd and Cheech Marin, plus a contemporary ocean pollution art show and a coming retrospective of the Monterey Pop Festival—not to mention lively parties for openings—just look and feel fresher. The maritime collection remains fascinating and fills the upper floor, and the new cover charge of $10 is an iffy proposition that Monterey Museum of Art is also banking on, but the ground floor of the beautiful building represent a revelation.