Hilbert Museum of California Art Unveils Major Expansion

February 11, 2024

The Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University, housing one of the world's most extensive collections of California narrative art, will open its doors on February 23. This event follows a series of special previews for students, residents, artists, and global influencers. 

The museum's expansion, a three-year project, has increased its size from 7,500 to 22,000 square feet. It will feature 26 galleries in a new two-building complex, showcasing over 5,000 artworks, alongside a café, a community room, a research library, and an outdoor courtyard with native gardens.

The opening exhibitions highlight California Scene paintings, animation and movie art, Native American art, and American illustration and design, with works by artists like Millard Sheets, Disney's Mary Blair, Norman Rockwell, and Emigdio Vasquez. Special exhibitions will also include various interpretations of Orange County, with rotating displays several times a year.

Chapman University has collaborated with Johnston Marklee architects for the expansion, featuring a floating, open-air structure that highlights Millard Sheets' "Pleasures Along the Beach" mosaic as a focal point. This iconic artwork, moved from Santa Monica and restored, previews the rich California art inside the museum.

The expanded Hilbert Museum and nine new exhibitions will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays starting February 23, 2024, and closed on Sundays and Mondays. 

Admission to the museum is free for all audiences, continuing a promise that Mark and Janet Hilbert made when the original Hilbert Museum debuted in 2016 to keep The Hilbert Collection as accessible to the public as possible. Advance online reservations are recommended.

For continually updated information on Hilbert Museum expansion opening events, exhibitions and celebrations, visit hilbertmuseum.org/museum-expansion/.

Greer's OC
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Since 1993, Greer has been writing about fashion, dining and trends in Orange County, as a popular columnist for the Los Angeles Time Community Newspapers (Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot and HB Independent) and now as founder of Greer’s OC.

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