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The wooden "San Diego Museum of Man" sign with brass letters sits within a plexiglass case. Underneath it, is a timeline with historic dates for the museum. To the right a blue standing sign reads, "Changing our name to Museum of Us." The whole installation stands before the Museum's "Maya Peoples: Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth" exhibit and three Maya stelae monuments.

About the Exhibit

Formerly known as the San Diego Museum of Man, the Museum of Us is a new identity for a 100-plus-year-old institution, beloved by generations of San Diegans and tourists alike.

So, why did we change? Words have power. Names are no different. Names hold memories, emotions, values, and legacy. After operating as the San Diego Museum of Man for over 40 years, on August 2nd, 2020, the Museum stepped into a new identity that better reflects our work towards equity, inclusion, and decolonization.

Evolve with “Us” on a trip through time in our installation Becoming “Us”. In this installation, visitors learn how the Museum of Us came to be, and what it represents today.

Take a look at the historic “San Diego Museum of Man” sign that welcomed visitors for 40 years. A timeline takes visitors through the many names the Museum has held over the years, and how our mission has evolved. You’ll learn that the Museum of Us is more than just a name change – it's a new name for a new era.

Virtual Exhibit

Can’t make a trip to the Museum of Us? No need to worry! Our Becoming “Us” exhibit is accessible virtually through Google Arts & Culture. Check it out online now.

Exhibit Images


Thank you to our community supporters! We are grateful for the support of every individual who played a role in the evolution of the Museum of Us and its historic name change:

Community Activists throughout time who advocated for a more inclusive name.

Survey, Interactive Installation, & Focus Group Participants whose feedback guided our path forward.

Museum Staff: Past & Present who dedicated their time and energy to this historic change.

Museum Board of Trustees: Past & Present who support the Museum and believe in transformation.

Project Renate, Caroline Gut & Karina Salgado whose talent brought our vision to life.

The Kumeyaay Community whose partnership and insight guides our decolonizing initiatives.

Special thanks to the Janie DeCelles and the Hattie Ettinger Conservation Fund at The San Diego Foundation, whose financial support funded our name change installation, and extensive new signage for our final branding.