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Since then, the museum's collections, programs, and exhibitions have continued to feature Orange County history, but now reflect the demographics of larger Southern California by celebrating its diverse cultural makeup, with major emphasis on the fine arts of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, and the Pacific Rim.The Bowers Museum was recognized in the July 1993 issue of U. News & World Report as one of nine "must see" museums in the United States.The Bowers Museum and Kidseum are located in Santa Ana four miles south of Disneyland. Bowers, a late 19th-century Orange County citrus grower and land developer, donated the land on which the museum stands to the city of Santa Ana as well as 0,000 to build the museum.The building was completed in 1932 but was not fully operational for almost four years due to the economic downturn of the Great Depression. Bowers Memorial Museum finally opened its doors in 1936 as a city-run museum in a Mission Revival-style building devoted to the history of Orange County."Ceramics of Western Mexico" focuses on Pre-Columbian art from the western Mexican states of Colima, Nayarit, and Jalisco, with a particular focus on West Mexican shaft tombs and the cultures who used this means of burying their dead.A selection of the ceramic figures placed inside shaft tombs to accompany the deceased in the afterlife is on display.The museum has a free family festival on the first Sunday of each month and offers free general admission to Santa Ana residents, with proof of residency, each Sunday.
"California Bounty: Image and Identity, 1850-1930" examines California's visual history, shaped by a unique mixture of Mexican and Anglo traditions as well as the state's position on the Pacific Rim.
Included are larger-than-life masks, finely crafted feast bowls, objects associated with the secretive Sepik River men's house, shell and feather currency, magic figures and tools of the shaman, objects related to seagoing trade routes, personal adornments, and weapons of warfare. It is drawn from the Bowers Museum's permanent holdings, plus a small number of loans from private collections, and curated by the Shanghai Museum.
The Bowers’ collection includes art and artifacts from many of the Pacific Islands. The works portray the evolution of Chinese technology, art, and culture, and showcase examples of bronze vessels, mirrors, polychrome potteries, sculptures, porcelains, paintings, ivory carvings, and robes.
The Bowers organizes and hosts special exhibitions from institutions throughout the world, and travels exhibitions nationally and internationally.
The museum has a second campus two blocks south of the main site, Kidseum, a children's museum with a focus on art and archaeology.