Fowler Museum at UCLA
The Fowler Museum at UCLA or more commonly, The Fowler is a museum on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) that explores art and material culture primarily from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and the Americas, past and present. The Fowler enhances understanding and appreciation of the diverse peoples, cultures, and religions of the world through dynamic exhibitions, publications, and public programs, informed by interdisciplinary approaches and the perspectives of the cultures represented. Also featured is the work of international contemporary artists presented within the complex frameworks of politics, culture and social action. The Fowler provides exciting, informative and thought-provoking exhibitions and events for the UCLA community and the people of greater Los Angeles and beyond. Admission is free, making it one of only a handful of museums in Los Angeles that charge no admission.
The Fowler is generally home to three to six art exhibitions and also acts as a venue for lectures on cultural topics, musical performances, art workshops, family programs, festivals and more. The museum was established in 1963, and moved into a new facility on September 30, 1992. The Fowler is located in the northern part of UCLA's Westwood Campus, adjacent to Royce Hall and Glorya Kaufman Hall. Admission to the museum is free.
Beginning in the fall of 2013, the Fowler will observe it's 50th anniversary. Fowler at Fifty will feature a year of special exhibitions and programs.
The museum is operated under the jurisdiction of UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture (UCLA Arts).
The museum was established in 1963 by then UCLA Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy as the Museum and Laboratories of Ethnic Arts and Technology. Its first home was in the basement of Haines Hall on the UCLA campus. The goal of this new museum was to consolidate the various collections of non-Western art and artifacts on campus. In addition to active collecting, the museum initiated research projects, fieldwork, exhibitions and publications.
In 1971 the name was changed to the Museum of Cultural History and by 1975 its collections, in numbers and in quality, ranked it among the top four university museums in the country, a stature it retains to the present day.
A large, state-of-the-art facility called the Fowler Museum of Cultural History opened on September 30, 1992, named in recognition of lead support by the Fowler Foundation and the family of collector and inventor Francis E. Fowler Jr. In 2006 the name of the Museum was formally changed to the Fowler Museum at UCLA.
- Resplendent Dress from Southeastern Europe: A History in Layers
- Ernest Cole Photographer
- Spomenik: Photographs of the Monuments of Former Yugoslavia by Jan Kempenaers
- Fowler in Focus―Mandela for President: South Africa Votes for Democracy
- Reflecting Culture: The Francis E. Fowler, Jr. Collection of Silver
- Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives
The Fowler's collections comprise more than 120,000 art and ethnographic and 4,000,000 archaeological objects representing ancient, traditional, and contemporary cultures of Africa, Native and Latin America, and Asia and the Pacific. From Yoruba beaded arts of Southern Nigeria, to pre-Columbian ceramic vessels of Peru, to elaborate batik textiles of Indonesia and the vibrant papier-mâché sculptures of Mexico, the Fowler's collections offer a comprehensive resource for exhibitions and scholarship central to the Museum's mandate.
The majority of the Museum's holdings have been acquired via the generosity of individuals—researchers, scholars, and dedicated collectors—who have enabled the Fowler to build its world-class collections. The Sir Henry Wellcome Collection of 30,000 objects, assembled early in the last century by Wellcome and given to the Museum in 1965, forms the core of our African and Pacific holdings and represents the single largest gift. More than 15,000 textiles trace the history of cloth over two millennia and across five continents. Objects from the Fowler Family Silver Collection include 400 works representing 16th- through 19th-century Europe and the United States. Among these are vessels from the renowned workshops of Paul de Lamerie, Karl Fabergé, and Paul Revere.
Offered throughout the year, the Fowler's public programs for all ages reflect and complement its dynamic exhibition program, as well as highlight the Museum's world-renowned collection of art from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and the Americas. Most are free.
Conversations and Lectures: Current and ongoing exhibitions provide the starting point for programming that touches upon scholarly as well as general interest topics. The signature series, Fowler OutSpoken, features speakers in a lecture, conversation, or panel format, and provides audiences with access to emerging and established artists, curators, scholars, performers, and other cultural figures.
Concerts and Performances: The Fowler offers exciting events throughout the year showcasing world music and performances by local and international artists. Fowler Out Loud is the museum's one-of-a-kind performance series that takes place on Thursday nights throughout the academic school year and features international music, dance, poetry, theater, and performance art by UCLA students.
Events and Tours: From artist walk throughs to our monthly Culture Fix gallery chats, the Fowler offers numerous opportunities to engage with our exhibitions. In-depth study programs and our signature Fowler on the Town series feature site visits to places of interest in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.
Film Screenings:The Fowler presents film screenings throughout the year—our summertime High Noon Film Series offers documentaries and features that relate to our current exhibitions.
Workshops and Courses: Cooking programs, hands-on demonstrations and classes, and dance and yoga are offered on occasion.
Family Programs: Families–from the youngest members to seniors–are invited to participate in the Museum's entertaining and engaging art-based experiences. Approximately twice per month, kids and kids-at-heart drop-in for art making workshops and world music experiences in the Fowler's courtyard.
In 2001 Marla C. Berns, previously director of the Art Museum at UC Santa Barbara, was named director. In 2007 the Fowler received a gift of $1 million to endow the Museum's director position, and Berns' title became Shirley & Ralph Shapiro Director.