Celebrate world cultures through their arts.
The Bowers Museum enriches lives through the world's finest arts and cultures.
Founded in 1936 by the City of Santa Ana through a bequest from Charles and Ada Bowers, the Bowers Museum is one of California's finest and Orange County's largest museums. In 1986, the museum closed its doors for a period of self-study. In response to community needs and input, it reopened in 1992 as a new cultural center, and expanded children's programming in 1994 with the opening of the Kidseum. The museum also recently celebrated the grand opening of the 30,000+ square-foot Dorothy and Donald Kennedy Wing in February 2007. To achieve its mission, the Bowers offers exhibitions, lectures, art classes, travel programs, children's art education programs, and other special community programs.
The Bowers is proud to be honored by the local community and recognized by world-renowned museums and industry professionals as a cultural center that exemplifies excellence in its field. Evidence of program quality and distinctiveness includes:
- The Bowers has been voted "The Best Museum in Orange County" by the readers of The Orange County Register for 25 consecutive years.
- In 2018 the Bowers was voted "The Best Museum in Orange County" by the LA Times, Orange County Register, and OC Weekly.
- The Bowers is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, an honor only 5% of museums receive.
- In the past 15 years the museum has: produced more than 50 special exhibitions, many of which traveled nationally or internationally; published more than 24 exhibition catalogues; and increased its facility size from 7,000 square feet to its current size of 93,000+ square feet.