Bakersfield Museum of Art

Located in Bakersfield, California, the Bakersfield Museum of Art works to promote the education and exploration of art. Through their various exhibits, the Bakersfield Museum of Art hopes to engage and inspire each and every one of its visitors.



The Bakersfield Museum of Art was founded in 1956 as the Cunningham Memorial Art Gallery. The Walter Osborn family began the Cunningham Memorial Art Gallery to remember their daughter Marion Osborn Cunningham, who had passed away in 1948. The Cunningham Memorial Art Gallery was built upon land owned by the City of Bakersfield. So, after the building’s construction was completed, the Cunningham Memorial Art Gallery was directed by the City of Bakersfield. The City of Bakersfield appointed a special Art Commission and Bakersfield Art Association volunteers to run the Cunningham Memorial Art Gallery.

In 1990 the Cunningham Memorial Art Gallery had expanded greatly. In order to signify a change in leadership and overall growth, the Cunningham Memorial Art Gallery changed its name to the current name of the Bakersfield Museum of Art. One year after the Museum’s name changed, the American Association of Museum granted the Bakersfield Museum of Art with official accreditation.

In the late 1990s, the Museum was provided with various endowments to enable the expansion of its facilities. In early 2001, the Bakersfield Museum of Art moved into its current location, which has approximately 17,400 square feet of space.

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»Permanent Attractions

Permanent Attractions

The Bakersfield Museum of Art has a comprehensive permanent collection of art that promotes some of California’s most acclaimed and recognized artists.

Works on Paper is the collection that started it all. Most of the featured pieces within Works on Paper are from the late Marion Osborn Cunningham. Like previously discussed, the large donation of art by the Walter Osborn family to preserve and remember their daughter and her artwork is why the Bakersfield Museum of Art was founded. In addition to Marion Osborn Cunningham’s pieces of artwork, various California artists are celebrated within this exhibit.

Paintings showcases a diverse selection of paintings from various California-based artists that date back to the early 19th century.

Photography is one of the smaller attractions within the Bakersfield Museum of Art. In this exhibit, visitors can explore a variety of photographs taken by California-based artists.

Sculpture provides a comprehensive and in-depth look into the historical and cultural significance within sculptures created by artists based in California.

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»Special Attractions

Special Attractions

In addition to their variety of permanent attractions, the Bakersfield Museum of Art regularly hosts traveling exhibits. It’s important to note the special attractions at the Bakersfield Museum of Art are continuously changing. So, check out the Bakersfield Museum of Art’s official website for an updated list of special attractions.

Stephen Douglas: Paint + Process is a glimpse into the traditions and challenge of contemporary art. This exhibit is on display until April 30, 2017.

Marc Trujillo: Urban Ubiquity showcases how Marc Trujillo effortlessly depicts American experiences everyone in the country experiences, regardless of their location. This exhibit will be featured until May 7, 2017.

Bob Kolbrener: Vision of Place celebrates Bob Kolbrener’s expansive career as a photographer. Visitors will be able to examine some of Kolbrener’s most iconic images, as well as a select number of rare photographs from Kolbrener’s collection. This exhibit perfectly captures Kolbrener’s significant and memorable 50 year career. This exhibit will be showcased until August 6, 2017.

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»Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

The Bakersfield Museum of Art offers a variety of educational opportunities for people of all ages. Although the Bakersfield Museum of Art offers educational opportunities for everyone, majority of their educational programs are for children. One of the most popular educational programs for children is the Saturday Studio program.

Saturday Studio occurs every second and fourth Saturday of each month. During this program, children aged six to eight have the opportunity to learn about a specific art form and create their own construction of that art form. Each Saturday Studio is taught by a specially trained on-site instructor.

Aside from educational opportunities offered for children, the Bakersfield Museum of Art offers an extensive educational program for teenagers. This extensive educational program is known as ArtWorks. ArtWorks is available for junior and seniors in high school who are passionate about art and are considering a career within art. During this semester-long program, participants attend weekend meetings that explore various art fundamentals and forms. At the end of the program, participants travel to Los Angeles to tour various art galleries.

For more information about Saturday Studio, ArtWorks, or any of the other educational opportunities at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, check out the Museum’s official website.

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1930 R St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, website, Phone: 661-323-7219

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Bakersfield Museum of Art in Bakersfield, California