Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

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The current Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive main building on Bancroft Way, designed by Mario Ciampi.[1]
Pacific Film Archive Theater at the Hearst Annex

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is associated with the University of California, Berkeley. The director is Lawrence Rinder who was appointed in 2008.[2]


The museum was founded in 1963 after a donation was made to the university from artist and teacher Hans Hofmann of forty-five paintings plus $250,000. A competition to design the building was announced in 1964, and the museum opened in 1970.[3] The museum has featured works by Albert Bierstadt, Jonathan Borofsky, Joan Brown, Robert Colescott, Jay DeFeo, Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Gauguin, Juan Gris, Ant Farm, Howard Fried, Paul Kos, Robert Mapplethorpe, Knox Martin, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Sebastião Salgado, and Arvo Györköny. It also offers the The MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art.[4]

The Pacific Film Archive (PFA) was founded by Sheldon Renan[5] and began screening films in 1966 and specializes in international films. The PFA also includes a library[6] which includes an online database of documentation associated with the films.[4]

The museum is a member of the North American Reciprocal Museums program.


The current Berkeley Art Museum building was built in 1970 and designed by Mario Ciampi.[3] The building was deemed seismically unsafe in 1997, and iron braces were added in 2001 to slightly improve its safety. In 1999, the Pacific Film Archive moved to a temporary building across the street.[7]

In 2008, BAM/PFA unveiled plans for a new visual arts center, to be designed by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito and located in downtown Berkeley, across the street from UC Berkeley's main entrance.[1][8][9] However, in 2009, those plans were cancelled. Citing the weak economy and trouble raising the necessary funds, BAM/PFA decided to retrofit and enlarge the former University of California Press printing plant at that site, a 1939 Art Deco building on the California Register of Historic Resources and qualified to be on the National Register of Historic Places.[7][10][11]

Construction began in 2013 and the building is expected to be completed in 2015 and open to the public in 2016.[12]


  1. ^ a b Kino, Carol (2007-03-28). "On College Campuses, A Crop of Galleries". New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Lawrence Rinder Appointed Director of BAM/PFA". 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  3. ^ a b BAM/PFA Mission & History
  4. ^ a b BAM/PFA About
  5. ^ Amazonas, Lee (Spring 2004). "Guerrilla Cinematheque Comes of Age: The Pacific Film Archive". Chronicle of the University of California: 147–159. 
  6. ^ BAM/PFA Library
  7. ^ a b Modenessi, Jennifer (2010-01-29). "UC Printing Plant may become new home of Berkeley Art Museum". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  8. ^ DelVecchio, Rick (2006-09-30). "Tokyo architect to design Cal's new museum". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  9. ^ Ouroussoff, Nicolai (2008-11-24). "A Berkeley Museum Wrapped in Honeycomb". New York Times. 
  10. ^ Lee, Lydia (2010-01-26). "Berkeley's Moderne Art Museum". The Architect's Newspaper. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  11. ^ Bhattacharjee, Riya (2010-01-28). "University Eyes Old UC Printing Plant for New Art Museum". Berkeley Daily Planet. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  12. ^ Rosario, Gladys (2013-02-13), Construction begins on UC Berkeley Art Museum, Daily Californian 

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