Monday, August 16, 2010

Oakland Museum of California

Albert Bierstadt
Yosemite Valley
Oil on canvas
Photo courtesy of the
Oakland Museum

Discreetly located in downtown Oakland is a gem of California culture and art, the Oakland Museum of California. The museum, divided into three levels, tells the history of California and the Bay Area through numerous forms of media and allows for visitors to interact with the displays and leave their own images, writings and experiences along the way.

The history gallery is based around the theme “Coming to California.” Vividly illustrated and extremely detailed, this exhibition gives a broad view of the development California over time: from Native American life in the west, the impact of Spanish colonization, construction of major cities and railways and the impact of the ever changing political climates in California, with a special focus on the Bay Area. The interactive exhibition is fun and interesting for children and adults alike and gives a unique insight into the evolution of California.

Interactive display at the Oakland Museum
Photo courtesy of

The art gallery at the Oakland Museum includes over 70,000 works by California artists, ranging in disciplines and topics with subject matters significant to the California region and ideologies. Large-scale landscape paintings by Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Hill and William Keith, also in the Arader Galleries collection, show the great skill of the artists and refined beauty of the Sierras in the late 1900’s.

The photography collection includes Dorothea Lange’s documentation of the Great Depression across the
US and a dynamic book of Carleton Watkins photographs of Yosemite. Figurative and abstract paintings by local and California artists bring life and color to this diverse collection.

The Oakland Museum is filled with fascinating information about California history, beautifully translated and displayed with an inviting and aesthetic approach, appealing to all of the senses.

1 comment:

scott davidson said...

I had fun choosing this particular painting online that now hangs in my downtown office, from, who sells canvas prints of art masterpieces. While the original is treasured in some art museum in England, my print, of this painting by Edward Burne-Jones is very much appreciated by my staff and clients. The print quality is really excellent.