The Bowers is buzzing over the excitement generated by the recent exhibition opening of “Lucy’s Legacy: The Hidden Treasure of Ethiopia.It's difficult for me to believe, but I just celebrated my 22nd year as President of the Bowers Museum and I must say that they have been very memorable years. The best, however, have been over the last decade when we really found our niche in the Museum Community and became an international institution with important partners the world overIt’s hard to believe Summer 2013 is already over and we’re getting ready for another season of activities at the Museum. We’ve said good-bye to “Gems of the Medici” just days before opening our forthcoming exhibition from Vatican City. “Gods & Gifts: Vatican Ethnological Collection” promises to be a very intriguing exhibition consisting of over 500 years of gifts to the Popes from all over the world, including from Heads of State. Board Chairwoman Anne Shih, accompanied by five of our Board Members and myself, had the amazing opportunity to visit behind the scenes at the Vatican Museum in the beginning of September. We met the staff that are coming with the collection and saw for ourselves the historic objects that will be coming to the Bowers for our exclusive exhibition.
Then, on Saturday, October 26, Bowers will hold its annual Gala Fundraiser celebrating the opening of a major exhibition of jewelry from the Van Cleef & Arpels collection entitled “A Quest for Beauty: The Art of Van Cleef & Arpels.” For anyone interested in some of the world’s finest jewelry, you don’t want to miss this exhibition!
Looking ahead, we have a fantastic exhibition of Expression in 19th Century European Painting,” opening in November 2013 and “The Lure of Chinatown: Painting California’s Chinese Communities,” opening in April 2014.
In other programming news, the Bowers is proud to be a finalist in a major James Irvine Foundation grant competition for $1.2 million over three years that will allow us to expand our efforts into the Latino and Asian communities. This initiative is an outgrowth of our current Irvine funded “Treasures” program bringing Vietnamese and Latino senior citizens into the Museum for lectures, tours, and hands on art activities. The program has been very well received in its first year, and our Vice President of Education, Nancy Warzer-Brady, and her staff are definitely to be thanked for its great success. The response from the participants has been incredible. I urge anyone interested to come to the Bowers and participate in one of these programs.
See you at the Museum.
Peter C. Keller, Ph.D