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Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive

2626 Bancroft Way/2625 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, California

Phone: 510 642 0808
TTY: 510 642 8734

Statement of Purpose:

To educate and to make accessible art and film resources for the research and enjoyment of visual culture.

The University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive serves the University by making the aesthetic experience a vital part of the life of its community. The BAM/PFA inspires, educates, and brings together the various audiences of the Berkeley campus and the Bay Area and engages national and international audiences through access to its collections and educational resources, and through the presentation of adventurous, scholarly, and culturally diverse exhibitions of art and cinema.

Collects and makes accessible art, film, and related educational resources; presents adventurous/diverse programs. 20th century American and European paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs; asian paintings and prints; Soviet, Japanese, and American avant-garde film and video; collection and special exhibitions.

The University Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (UAM/PFA) is the principal visual arts center of the University of California at Berkeley, and one of the largest university art museums in the world.

As a center for visual culture, the UAM/PFA is more than the sum of its two parts.

It makes available to its audience the scholarly resources of an eminent university, while bringing to students and the public the best and most challenging art and film produced.

The UAM offers six galleries of art from its collections (Asian, pre- Twentieth Century European, and Modern, including a gallery devoted to the work of Hans Hofmann); five galleries of changing exhibitions, including the MATRIX Program of contemporary art; and a sculpture garden.

The PFA has one of the nation's most comprehensive film exhibition programs, featuring works of independent film and video, rare prints of classic cinema, and retrospectives of world cinema. PFA maintains a film and video collection of over 7,000 titles. The PFA Library and Film Study Center is open to the public.

A generous bequest and a gift of paintings by modernist painter Hans Hofmann in 1963 inspired plans to build an art museum on the Berkeley campus. San Francisco architect Mario Ciampi, with design associates Richard Jorasch, Paul Reiter, and Ronald Wagner, won a national competition for the design of the new building. The museum was completed and galleries holding the museum's collections opened in 1970. In 1971 the Pacific Film Archive began its program of film screenings and started building a film collection.


Imagine an art Museum with a collection that includes works by such twentieth-century masters as Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler, Rene Magritte, and Joan Miro - and also presents guest appearances by film luminaries such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Toshiro Mifune, Susan Sontag, and Wayne Wang. Imagine a museum that's dedicated to presenting the experimental, the rare and the rarely seen, the unexpected and the controversial. That gives you the chance to think about what you see - and see what you think. What else would you expect in a community that thrives on diversity and creativity? And from on the the great universities in the world? That's the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and there's nothing like it back home. Unless your home happens to be Berkeley.

The UC Berkeley Art Museum is one of a handful of places in the world equally renowned for exceptional art and film programs, and this reputation is built on the philosophy that a great museum starts with the people it serves. We create our film programs, art exhibitions, and special programs to widen horizons and enrich the way people look at the world.

Art in America magazine says the UAM/PFA WWW site is "...among the most substantial of any American art museum's Internet offerings". Visit our complete online multimedia exhibition catalogs, original film notes on independent and avant-garde cinema.


The museum's growing collection of over 10,000 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper covers the world and the centuries - from old masters Rubens and Hogarth, major 19th-century French painters Gauguin and Renoir, and outstanding 20th-century artists Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder, and Joan Brown - to hanging scrolls and ceramics from China and Japan, early American paintings and California landscapes, dramatic Abstract Expressionist canvases, and intriguing works of conceptual art. The collection's strengths lie especially in its exceptional holdings of work from ancient Asiag, and in its collection of major conceptual works from the past two decades.

Beginning with the founding bequest of 47 paintings from Hans Hofmann, the museum has developed an impressive art collection of nearly 7,000 paintings, sculpture, and works on paper.

Early twentieth-century masters such as Fernand Leger, Rene Magritte, Aristide Maillol, and Joan Miro are represented. The collection also contains works by old masters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Giovanni Savoldo, and Giovanni Caracciolo; important collections of American primitive painting and early California landscapes; and a significant collection of European and American prints and drawings. Among other collection highlights are works by many of the major French painters of the nineteenth century, including Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, and Pierre Auguste Renoir.

The museum is particularly noted for its collection of late twentieth-century art, including works by Alexander Calder, Mark Rothko, Joseph Cornell, Clyfford Still, Helen Frankenthaler, Francis Bacon, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Nancy Spero, David Ireland, Betye Saar, and Nayland Blake.

The museum also houses an outstanding Asian art collection of paintings, drawings, woodblock prints, sculpture, and ceramics, primarily from China, Japan, and India.


Images and Ideas: The Collection in Focus
Western art from the Renaissance to the present in thematic groupings

(Galleries 4, 5, and 6)

An exhibition of works from the schools of painting prevalent during the Edo period (1615 - 1868), from the Kyoto and Osaka painters to the popular actor and courtesan ukiyo-e prints




Key Personnel:

Jaquelynn Bass, Director

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