In 2013 officials at UC Irvine were surprised to learn that the university had been bequeathed an art collection whose extent and scale was practically unimaginable: 3,200 paintings, sculptures and drawings focused primarily on the art of California.
The works had been amassed by Gerald E. Buck, an Orange County real estate developer who had kept his art collecting quiet. Four years later, UCI announced that Buck’s expansive collection would serve as the centerpiece for a new museum on campus.
Now the rising Institute and Museum for California Art, or IMCA, has named its first director: Kim Kanatani, a Southern California native who has been serving as a deputy director and director of education at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. In that post, she oversaw the museum’s education programs and worked on planning for the long-awaited Abu Dhabi branch of the Guggenheim in the United Arab Emirates.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to develop a world-class art museum that will showcase and celebrate the most significant collections and exhibitions of California art,” she said in a statement.