Voted as the “Best Museum in Orange County” by the readers of The Orange County Register for 16 consecutive years, the Bowers Museum of Cultural Arts brings elite world culture and history to the people and visitors of Southern California.
The museum not only showcases prestigious collections and exhibitions throughout the year, but also works to foster community and discussion with its various events like special talks, and Thirsty Thursday events which include live music and hands-on art making!
The museum also features a special Kidseum targeted toward children from pre-school to second grade. Children will engage in storytelling, puppet theater, dress up, and drumming circle to immerse in culturally-inspired projects and thus discover.
- Ancient Arts of China: A 5000 Year Legacy: This collection, which is curated by Chinese historian experts, reveals the evolution of Chinese art and culture over the centuries.
- California Bounty: Image and Identity, 1850-1930: The exhibition is the first curatorial interpretation of the museum’s distinguished painting collection since 1994.
- California Legacies: Missions and Ranchos (1768-1848): This collection features displays of California and Orange County history
- Ceramics of Western Mexico: Encounter Pre-Columbian Art from the western Mexican states of Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco.
- First Californians: This installation showcases the Bowers' extensive permanent collection of Native American art and artifacts in stone, shell, plant fiber (through spectacular basketry) and feathers.
- Mystery from the Tomb: The Face Beneath the Mask: This exhibition explores a hidden phenomenon occurring inside of an Egyptian mummy mask, discovered from a photograph first taken
- Sacred Realms: Temple Murals by Shashi Dhoj Tulachan from the Gayle and Edward P. Roski Collection: Shashi Dhoj Tulachan is an extraordinary 69-year-old Buddhist monk and a second generation thangka artist living in a remote village in Nepal. This collection includes nine of his colossal paintings.
- Seen & Unseen: Photographs by Imogen Cunningham: The exhibition allows exclusive access to a rarely seen presentation of Cunningham’s seductive and dynamic photographs.
- Spirits and the Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islands: Find masterpieces and objects from the vast and diverse Pacific Islands in this special exhibition, which is guest curated by Chris Rainier.
- Virgin of Guadalupe: Images in Colonial Mexico: This exhibition explores the extraordinary impact of finding the image of the Virgin through various themes of religious, political and social importance during Mexico’s colonial period.
The Bowers Museum of Cultural Arts is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesdays to Sundays.
Ayres Hotel & Suites Costa Mesa is about a fifteen-minute drive to the Bowers Museum of Cultural Arts.