Selective Bedding: Five Jacquard Coverlets

Coverlet, c. 1845Unrecorded American artist; KansasCotton; 82 × 90 in.31045Gift of Daisy F. Brown Woven Stories Coverlets, single-layered bedcoverings, are distinct from quilts but share in a lot of aspects of their creation and use. In the 19th century, coverlets were in many cases one of the few artforms made by American women, who had been denie...

Continue reading
  1786 Hits

Embroidered Worlds: Rebozos of New Spain

Detail of Shawl (Rebozo), early 19th CenturyUnknown Maker; Manila or Mexico City, Viceroyalty of New SpainSilk and sequins; 82 x 30 in.2379Gift of Dona Magdalena Murillo A Small World After All We live today in a global society. The produce we eat, the clothes we wear, and the technology we use on a daily basis all might have been produced or assem...

Continue reading
  5026 Hits

Bats, Cats, and Hats: Qing Dynasty Children's Headwear

Children’s Festival Hat, Qing dynasty (1644-1912)ChinaCotton, silk and fiber; 11 x 10 in.2001.1.47Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Long Shung and Anne Shih Children of Many Hats Medicine and hygiene standards in rural China during the Qing dynasty (1644–1912) meant that many children did not live to see the end of their first 100 days. This tragedy w...

Continue reading
  8467 Hits

Brimming with Dance: Sombreros of the Bowers Museum

Sombreros, c. 1900Unknown Maker; MexicoFelt, cotton, straw, sequins and horsehairF78.44.3a,eBowers Museum Purchase Return of the FifthThough often confused as being a celebration of Mexican independence from Spain, Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) marks the victory of the Mexican army over a much larger colonial force from Napoleonic France. The holiday is ...

Continue reading
  4769 Hits

Raising Flags: The Stars and Stripes of the Bowers

Quilt, c. 1920Maker unknown; United StatesCotton, fabric and flannel; 47 1/4 x 40 1/4 in.32147AGift of the Fredda Barger Estate Murky Territory Aside from the places we have traditionally seen the American flag since it was first introduced in 1777, it seems like every year it appears in more and more unexpected situations. In 2020 one is as likely...

Continue reading
  4064 Hits

Baby Back Cribs: Embroidered Carriers of the Miao

Baby Carrier with Pleated Ties, 20th CenturyMiao culture; Gulong Town, Guizhou Province, China, AsiaCotton and silk; 23 x 30 in.2008.9.71Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Miao Mom Weightlifting Club We should be thankful to the wonderful moms in our lives every day, but Mother’s Day is the one day a year we have chosen to distill that love into the ...

Continue reading
  6319 Hits

Visions of 2020: Eyeglasses of the Bowers Museum

Glasses, 18th to 20th CenturyVarious Manufacturers; North America and EuropeGlass, metal, plastic and tortoiseshell2000.8.13,.39,.80,.95.,113,.170,.176,.225,.244,.251,.284,.537Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Preston To See or Not to See Twenty-Twenty is perfect vision, it’s said that it is hindsight, and mostly importantly it’s the new year. To better...

Continue reading
  7296 Hits

Whatsits and Whatnots: Bowers Permanent Collection Oddballs

Detail of 2003.50.37Gift of William R. Moran  Weird and Just Downright Weird As part of an ongoing project to classify the Bowers Museum’s collections, our Collections team has reached many an oddball object that does not easily fall into standard categories. Many more have outlandish or wonderfully rare names. Today’s post is a celebration of...

Continue reading
  4371 Hits

Shine Bright Like a Star of Bethlehem Quilt

Star of Bethlehem Pattern Quilt, c. 1840Maker unknownCotton; 100 x 100 in.2002.14.86Gift of Mr. William R. Moran Hindsight is This Year With the holiday season now tragically in our rearview, and with us either already returned to our weekly lives or soon to reenter the fray, sometimes it is nice to take one last gander at an aspect of the late ann...

Continue reading
  5646 Hits

Snakes and Stones: Perak Headdresses from Ladakh

Headdress (Perak), late 20th CenturyLadakhi culture; Ladakh Region, Jammu and Kashmir State, IndiaCotton, lambskin, yak hair, turquoise, coral, carnelian and silver; 54 × 20 × 1 3/4 in.2019.7.1Anonymous Gift Crown of the Roof of the World Ladakh is a region of India located in the barren mountainous foothills between the Himalayas and the Karakoram...

Continue reading
  10628 Hits

I Came, I Saw Ikat: Sumbanese Hinggi

Shoulder Cloth (Hinggi), late 20th CenturySumba culture; Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Lesser Sunda Islands, IndonesiaCotton; 96 × 112 in.2016.15.45Anonymous Gift Syncretic Dyeing Art has always been a chorus of different groups reacting to, influencing, inspiring and drawing upon one another’s creations. On the small East Indonesian i...

Continue reading
  5580 Hits

Dharma Wheels and High Heels: Shashi Dhoj Tulachan in Dialogue

Guo Pei's Garden of Soul collection backed by Shashi Dhoj Tulachan's paintings. Fashion 101 Recent visitors to the Bowers Museum will have noticed a few new faces—placid as they may be—in the Freedman Galleria, the long hallway travelling between our main desk and the Bowers Museum’s changing gallery spaces. Of course, these seven new, poised ...

Continue reading
  8052 Hits

Shards of Fabric: Crazy Quilts of the Bowers Museum

Crazy Quilt, c.1900Sarah Ann Hinkley Tucker; Whitehall, WisconsinSilk and velvet; 60 x 75 in.80.35.1Gift of Mrs. Marjorie H. Carr Quilty as Charged One of the earliest, largest, and most-often exhibited collections of Americana at the Bowers is the museum’s collection of quilts, ranging in date from our nation’s independence to the end of the 20th ...

Continue reading
  11825 Hits

Imposition of Exposition Exhibition Export Ware

 Two Meiji-era Japanese exposition objects (2017.6.1a-h and 36756) on view in the Dr. Wan-Lin & Assumpta Kiang Family Foundation Rotunda.Globalization in the 19th and early 20th Centuries in many cases led to the butting of heads on a national scale, but the conflict served as a fantastic motivator for both art and tra...

Continue reading
  5604 Hits

Weaving History: Kente Cloth and Naming Conventions in Ghana

Wrap-Around Garment (Kente), early to mid 20th CenturyAkan or Ewe culture; GhanaCotton and silk; 66 1/2 × 105 in.2016.15.30Anonymous Gift Like words composing complex thoughts, the colors and patterns of Ghana’s kente cloth work together to symbolize intricate ideas. The vibrantly-colored fabric not only tells of Ghana’s history; these textiles hav...

Continue reading
  6940 Hits

On My Honor: The Legacy of the Boy Scouts of America

Weapons for Liberty, 1917Joseph Leyendecker (German-born American, 1874-1951)Paper; 35 x 25 ½ in. 96.41.5Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Weston F. Sprague Most everyone wants to be involved in something greater than themselves, and for many boys and young men in the United States it has historically been the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). On August 1, 1907, Rob...

Continue reading
  5385 Hits

Society through the Looking Glass

Lorgnettes, 18th to early 20thCenturiesProbably France and United StatesMetal, tortoiseshell, lacquer, paint and glass2000.8.37, .39, .123Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Preston  “…the inevitable lorgnette, the enemy of other people’s privacy.”–Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca 2000.8.37 in all three stages of unfolding. Lorgnettes, spectacles held in p...

Continue reading
  4366 Hits

Perfect Rings: Dimbo of Cenderawasih Bay

Glass Earrings (Dimbo), 19th CenturyWaropen culture; Cenderawasih (Geelvink) Bay, Papua Province, Indonesia, MelanesiaGlass2017.8.1-.5Bowers Museum PurchaseThough we may think of it now as an isolated, inaccessible part of the world, New Guinea has always been rich in organic and mineral resources; the peoples of its coasts welcome partners to comm...

Continue reading
  5626 Hits

Fijian Kiakavo Dance Clubs

Dance Clubs (Kiakavo), 19th CenturyFiji, PolynesiaWood, fiber and pigment97.138.13, .17, and 2015.17.10Anonymous Gift and The George Stanley Lodin CollectionTwo late 19th Century  Fijian men hold clubs across their laps for a staged photograph. Bowers Museum CollectionGift of Mr. E. Morgan StanleyFijian Club SceneUp until and in the few d...

Continue reading
  8939 Hits

J.B. Moore: More than One Way to Sell a Rug

Variant on J.B. Moore’s Plate XXX Rug, c. 1920Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New MexicoWool and pigment; 69 1/2 × 54 in.2016.12.4Gift of Dennis Aigner            Variant on J.B. Moore’s Plate XXX Rug, 1910-1920            Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New Mexico  &nbs...

Continue reading
  5439 Hits

Spun Silver: Apron Counterweights of the Dong and Miao

S-Shaped Counterweight, 20th CenturyMiao or Dong culture; Guizhou, Hunan or Guangxi Province, ChinaSilver; 6 1/4 × 10 7/8 in.2015.26.59Anonymous Gift Glance at the Moon Alternate image of 2015.26.59.Silver was used as a currency in China as early as the turn of the common era. It is unclear when exactly the Dong and Miao of southern China bega...

Continue reading
  5810 Hits

Marvel of Design: Sources for Costume Design in Black Panther

Gold Ear Ornaments (Kwottenai), 20th CenturyFulani culture; MaliGold and yarn; 9 x 8 1/2 in. of Bowers Museum Collector's CouncilWakanda ForeverMarvel Studios’ newly released Black Panther (2018)—a film about T’Challa, the superhero monarch of the fictional African nation of Wakanda—features an incredible fusion of traditional Afric...

Continue reading
  6196 Hits

Japanese Wedding Kimono

Wedding Furisode Kimono (Furisode), c. 1900JapaneseSilk and threadF78.62.1Bowers Museum Purchase A woman’s first furisode (a long-sleeved kimono, literally “swinging sleeve”) is given to her at the age of 20 when she is recognized as an adult, allowed to vote, responsible for committing crimes and is officially allowed to smoke and drink. A furisod...

Continue reading
  5355 Hits


2002 North Main Street
Santa Ana, California 92706
TEL: 714.567.3600

Follow Us On

Bowers Hours

Tuesday - Sunday
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed on:
Fourth of July
New Year's Day