The Irvine Museum Collection at the University of California, Irvine was founded in 1993 by the philanthropist and arts patron Joan Irvine Smith. The Museum stewards a notable display of California regional art.
Dedicated to the preservation and display of California art of the Impressionist Period (1890-1930), the museum's collection focuses on the artists who were inspired by the environment that originally made California a "Golden Land".
The collection includes works of art by painters like Joseph Kleitsch, William Wendt, Jessie Botke, Guy Rose, Granville Redmond, and Donna Schuster. While many of these artists were prominent cosmopolitan figures in the art world, trained in Europe or New York, they came to California to live and paint, attracted by the state’s beautiful scenic views and extraordinary light effects.
With the acquisition of The Irvine Museum Collection in 2016 and the addition of The Buck Collection in 2017, the University of California, Irvine has become home to a significant collection of California art. To bring these collections together, the University founded the UCI Institute and Museum of California Art (IMCA) in 2018, with plans to construct a new museum facility on campus within the next few years. The museum will serve as an epicenter for California art and artists and engage diverse publics through innovative exhibitions and programs. The research institute will support collection research and advance interdisciplinary scholarship and learning opportunities for UCI students, faculty and visiting scholars and researchers.