The Power of the Bowers’ Photography Collection

Detail of Two Girls Carrying Children, c. 1899Kusakabe Kimbei (Japanese; 1841–1934); JapanPhotographic printF76.41.53Gift of Herb Hansen Interiors Coming Soon This Saturday the Bowers Museum opens its doors to The Power of Photography, an exhibition curated by the expert collector and gallerist Peter Fetterman. The show closely studies the way in w...

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NFTs at the Bowers Museum

Composite made with NFTs (39135)Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence R. Macaray Way of the Future Are NFTs the way of the future? Many of the smartest minds of today feel that NFTs may one day find their place among other cutting-edge developments of their day like Betamax and HD DVD. Given that these burgeoning assets run little risk of disappearing in...

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Black Jazz Performers as Photographed by Leigh Wiener

Detail of Steinway for Duke, March 1961Leigh A. Wiener (American, 1929-1993); Berlin, GermanyGelatin silver print on ektalure paper; 16 × 20 in.87.6.7Gift of Leigh A. Wiener. ©Leigh Wiener / 7410 Inc. All rights reserved Black History Month Many of the most famous American musicians and singers from the 20th and 21st centuries are Black artists. In...

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Four Views of Walpi

Walpi, 1919Edward Borein (American, 1873 - 1945); Walpi, Navajo County, ArizonaDrypoint and etching; 8 × 13 5/8 in.2021.2.1Jim and Jeanne Pieper Collection Ash Hill Terrace Soaring high above the canyon floor of the Hopi Reservation in Arizona, Walpi has been the site of a mesa village since the 10th century. Like many Hopi villages, its perch offe...

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Peak Perfection: Mountains in the Art of the Bowers

Sand and Trees, c. 1950Ralph Love (American, 1907-1992)Oil on canvas; 20 x 24 in.2010.5.1Vernon & Carolyn R. Cunningham Family Trust Saving the Everest for Last Just this week the Bowers Museum opened Everest: Ascent to Glory, an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and curated by the award-winnin...

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The Xth Olympiad Turns Ninety

Field and Seating Area of the Olympic Stadium, 1932Unknown Photographer; Los Angeles, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 4 1/4 x 2 3/4 in.32352A.1Gift of Lonnie Edward Thompson Beijing Olympics 2: Electric Boogaloo The 2022 Winter Olympics are set to open tomorrow, on February 4, 2022, featuring what promises to be yet another incredible display of athl...

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Merry Modjeska: Happy New Year from the Bowers Blog

Detail of Photograph of Madame Modjeska, 1894Photographed by Jan W. Idzikowski; Chicago, IllinoisSepia-tone Photograph on Paper; 6 ½ x 4 ¼ in.30926a.2Gift of Percy and Tony Dickel Auld Lang Signs Madame Helena Modjeska wishes you all a Happy New Year from the Bowers Museum! Here she is above, regally dressed for the occasion. In this photograph, He...

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Fog of Yore: Clouded Scenes of Days Gone By

Morning Mist, mid 20th CenturyJames Patrick (American, 1911 - 1944); CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 14 × 17 1/2 in.2018.6.21Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection Gloom Havens All those early morning commuters in the central Orange County area will know just how foggy it has been in recent days. While individuals may be split on whether being swad...

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Christmas Greenings: A Brief History of the Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Decorations, early to mid 20th CenturyUnknown Maker; EuropeCeramic and fabric; various dimensions75.22Gift Maxine A. Miller Tree for the Price of One The practice of bringing trees and outdoor greens into the household has been practiced for centuries during the winter season. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Vikings, and Druids, for e...

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Two Photographers Outside of Orange, California

Bowers Museum’s Bell Tower, c. 1932Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 11 x 14 in.38107.11Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Borders Same Blog, New Home This week the Bowers Blog is happy to announce a re-release on a new platform! As we continue to improve the way in which we share our collections, we take...

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The Bowers Father-Watchers Handbook

J.M. Wyne with Daughter, c. 1918Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 7 x 5 1/8 in.34843AGift of Mrs. Charles Snow Dad-ubon Society As Father’s Day again rolls around, this year the Bowers Blog attempts to offer a rare bit of insight into some of the more common variants of fathers endemic to North America. Rarely studied f...

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Kernel of Thanksgiving: The Bowers Museum’s Corn-llections

Tustin's Peanut Cornucopia at the Parade of Products, 1905-1906Unknown photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 5 x 7 in.17429Gift of Mrs. Lucy Lockett Cornucopia Those of us who are familiar with the story of the Pilgrims’ arrival in Plymouth know that they would have perished in a harsh winter had it not been for the help of Tisquan...

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Take No Grave Image: Tombstones and Caskets of the Bowers’ Collections

 Gravestone of Charles and Ada Bowers at Fairhaven Memorial, some additional spookiness added for effect. All Hallows’ Eve While the Halloween spirit might be somewhat diminished in a year in which unmasked children coming to your door asking for candy are more frightening than a monster doing the same, it is even more important to take a brea...

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Orange County Beach Day

Picnic on the Beach, 1880-1899Newport Beach, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 5 3/4 x 6 3/4 in.6964BTerry E. Stephenson Collection Where We Would Rather Be It is the height of summer and though many of us would enjoy a typical beach day spent with friends or family, social distancing and other precautions taken for this year’s pandemic have thrown a w...

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Californian Still Life: Don Juan Forster’s Brandy Still

Brandy Still, c. 1776-1831Southern CaliforniaCopper; 53 x 36 in.2810Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Forster Name Brandy The earliest brandies, used medicinally, appear to date back to 13th century France, but stories hold that the first commercial brandy was created, as many things are, almost completely by accident. In the 16th century a Dutch trader di...

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Illustrated Sports: OC History Edition

Santa Ana Rats, early 20th CenturyB.F. Conaway; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic Print; 8 x 10 in.8484Bowers Museum Collection This One’s for You, Pop It is difficult to make any sort of overarching generalizations about fathers, but all the same most would agree that the fatherly gestalt is a sports fan. Whether it is abruptly yelling at a TV abo...

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Prequel to the Origin Story: A Prehistory of Santa Ana’s Foundation

Don Bernardo Yorba’s House, c. 1910Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana Canyon, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8 x 10 in.8478Terry E. Stephenson Collection Variations of a City In both Forged in Fire Safety: The First Santa Ana Fire Department and A Beginner’s Guide to Santa Ana Street Names the Bowers Blog has previously looked at the early hi...

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A Beginner’s Guide to Santa Ana Street Names

Map of Santa Ana, 1915Clyde D. Butler and Geo L. Bates; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPaper and ink; 20 × 25 5/8 in.17481Bowers Museum Permanent Collection Spurgeons, Surgeons and Spurred Dons For those of us who live in, work in or enjoy any of the myriad offerings of Santa Ana, we have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours traversing the county seat’s...

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Fourth and Fourth: Santa Ana’s 4th Street Independence Day Celebrations

School Children on Float, July 4, 1890Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8 x 5 in.2983Gift of Mr. William McPherson July the Fourth Be with You There is a lot to like about the Fourth of July. Family, friends and neighbors all come together for a day of celebrating this country’s birth with sumptuous barbeque, plentiful ...

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Gone Fishing: Catching Neptune’s Bounty on Father’s Day

Fishing Hook, late 19th to early 20th CenturyIñupiaq culture; Seward Peninsula Area, AlaskaWalrus ivory, lead, iron and cotton thread; 2 1/4 × 4 1/8 in.39352Gift of Winifred P. Morgan Let’s See What’s Biting, Champ Some dads fit all the clichés. They are handy when something needs fixing, quick with a pun but otherwise tactful enough to let mom han...

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Forged in Fire Safety: The First Santa Ana Fire Department

Hook and Ladder Volunteer Firemen of Santa Ana, May 1, 1888Photo by B. F. Conaway; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8.5 x 5 ¼ in. 2821Gift of John Luxembourger Sunny Santa Ana California William H. Spurgeon and his wife spent a few years in the early 1860s living in Los Angeles until she passed away. Heartbroken, he moved back to the East t...

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Saint Ann’s Inn: Santa Ana’s Love Shack

Saint Ann's Inn and Grounds, 1920sEdward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print35558.7Gift of Mr. Eldon G. McNeil Valentine’s Day It’s that day we love to love! Measured in bouquets of flowers, squares of chocolate and cards swarming with weapon-toting winged babies, Valentine’s Day is truly a holiday cherubbed by...

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The Enduring Photographer: Hurley's Last Camera

Folding Pocket Camera No. 3A, 1903-1914Eastman Kodak Co.; Rochester, New YorkMetal, glass, wood, and leather; 9 ½ x 4 ¾ x 1 ¾40633Gift of Mr. Gurdon WattlesExpedition Prep. The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-1917) stands to date as one of the greatest survival tales of all time. Best told in Endurance: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Er...

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The Magnificent Floyd

Floyd E. Stewart Performing Magic, c. 1936Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; Various Dimensions36247.3,.4Gift of Mrs. Weston Walker April Fools bring May LOL’sIt takes a rare skill to fool others, especially in a way which delights and entertains rather than leaves one somehow feeling cheated. The pref...

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Cabinet Card of Tom Morris

Untitled (Tom Morris, Sprinter)B.F. Conaway Studios; Santa Ana, CaliforniaAlbumen Print Cabinet Card; 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 in. 5788 Photograph of Tom Morris, a world famous sprinter during the 1890's. During the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 Morris exceeded all previous sprinting records. He lived for many years in Santa Ana disappearing suddenly and remai...

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Tuesday - Sunday
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Closed on:
Fourth of July
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