UCI Institute & Museum of California Art

After acquiring two significant collections of California Art, the Irvine Museum Collection and The Buck Collection, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) founded the Institute and Museum of California Art in 2017. After receiving a significant contribution for a new building in 2012, the university renamed the institute and museum to honor Jack and Shanaz Langson (Langson IMCA).

Langson IMCA investigates the parameters of “California art” and attempts to disseminate information about artists and their work in ways that are well-informed, welcoming, and equitable. Over 4,500 pieces of art from the late 19th century California Impressionism and plein air painting to Post-War and modern art are currently housed at Langson IMCA. Langson IMCA, with its ever-expanding collection, research institute, exhibitions, and public programming, is dedicated to highlighting artists who have been inspired by the state of California, fostering research that will lead to new scholarly insights, and facilitating meaningful encounters between California Art and its global contexts.

Langson IMCA, a component of a top research university, wants to be a thriving hub for the exploration, exhibition, and appreciation of California Art, the imaginative products shaped by the Golden State’s unique geography, culture, and history. The Langson IMCA furthers UCI’s goal of making the arts an integral part of the campus community and a thriving asset to Irvine and the surrounding area.

Langson IMCA, under the direction of its first Museum Director Kim Kanatani, collaborates with UCI colleagues to serve and engage with a wide range of audiences, including current students, faculty, staff, and alumni; artists, curators, scholars, peer institutions; local and regional residents; K-12 students and teachers in Orange County; tourists and visitors; and more. Langson IMCA teaches visual literacy, art practice, and art history to the region’s kids through partnerships with local school systems and community and cultural organizations, making it a vital resource for object-based arts education.

UCI will be working hard over the next few years to fulfill the wishes of its original architect, William Pereira, who, in 1962, placed an art museum in the center of campus. Langson IMCA currently holds temporary operations at 18881 Von Karman Avenue in Irvine, where it exhibits a variety of exhibitions and programs.

The IMCA has temporarily relocated its collection to the Airport Tower building in the northwest corner of campus. With almost 2,500 square feet of gallery space on the first floor, this museum gives the artworks justice. The museum only has room for one exhibit at a time, and they switch it out every 12 months.

The location and timeline for the campus’s new, spacious art facility are still up in the air. However, because to a benevolent donation, the new building will be known as the Jack & Shanaz Langson Institute & Museum of California Art as of December 2021.

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