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About 2018-10-08T18:41:52+00:00


The UCI Institute and Museum for California Art (UCI IMCA) emerges as one of the premier modern art centers in the United States focusing on California art.

UCI IMCA is the world’s most comprehensive collection of California art, from the mid-19th century to the present. It will continue to grow as new works are added. It is dedicated to the display and study of, and research into, all genres of California artwork. UCI IMCA is the central home of a unique and growing permanent collection, with dedicated space for evolving presentations from the Museum’s collection, as well as travelling exhibitions and installations of all genres of California art. UCI IMCA consists of:

The Museum, which will house a succession of exhibitions selected from the collection and beyond. It will have both plein air and contemporary/modern art on display at all times. Outreach to area schools and other groups will be a regular feature.

The Institute, which will comprise a number of research centers, academic programs, and study centers, including:

  • The UCI IMCA Library, volumes on art history, theory, and criticism, and an extensive collection of auction catalogs, all catalogued, curated, and housed in the Institute
  • The Artist/Speaker Series, established by UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman to define and articulate connections between UCI campus research activities and the global community. The Series is collaborative and multi-disciplinary, combining various disciplines and areas of study—and working to invent new research areas through its work.
  • The Center for Museum Studies, affiliated with the Claire Trevor School of the Arts and the School of Humanities, participating in the curation of exhibitions in the Museum, coordinated the three other gallery exhibition sites on the UCI campus and at selected venues off campus. The Center for Museum Studies provides one focus for research by visiting scholars and artists as well as for public presentations, colloquia, and conferences.
  • The UCI Art Conservation Center, our in-house center for the exploration and study of the materiality of art objects, and for the conservation and preservation of artworks in and beyond the UCI collections.
  • The Institute of California Art Visiting Artists Program, bringing artists to UCI IMCA, providing studio space and support for established and emerging artists working in the traditions of California art. Artists will interact with the campus and the local population.
  • The California Art Research Center, providing facilities for visiting scholars and researchers to work with the collections and to present publicly in a series of colloquia, conferences, and public talks throughout the year.

The History of UCI IMCA

Inside an unmarked Los Angeles warehouse, a woman wearing disposable purple gloves uses a $300 specialized flashlight to pore over every inch of a crayon portrait. Framed by towering racks of artwork, she’s inspecting and inventorying a long-hidden stash of 3,200 paintings and statues bequeathed to UCI by Orange County developer Gerald Buck.

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Get a sneak peak at the motivation and vision for UCI IMCA.

Stephen Barker
Executive Director, UCI IMCA

Contact UCI IMCA