Audio Tours



Welcome to the Bowers Museum. Today you're going to see—and hear about—our wonderful collection of objects from around the world. But the story of the Museum begins right here, in Santa Ana, with Charles and Ada Bowers.

In the late nineteenth century, Charles Bowers moved from the Midwest to California and made his fortune growing citrus and developing land. He and his wife, Ada, lived in their Victorian-style home at this location, and were ever grateful for their good fortune. So they set aside money in a trust to build a museum to preserve the rich history of Orange County. After they died, their home was demolished to make room for the museum. Many of the original trees on the property were preserved, and local Spanish mission architecture inspired the Museum's design.

The Museum opened to the public in 1936. Over time, we expanded our original mission and the collection now includes art and artifacts from Orange County as well as Oceanic, Pre-Colombian, Native American, African and Chinese art. You'll see a little of everything on today's tour. You'll be joined by Matthew Robb, curator of the art of the Americas at San Francisco's de Young Museum, John Stern, Executive Director of the Irvine Museum, and tribal art expert Michael Hamson.

If you'd like to hear more about our courtyard and the historic artifacts on display there, please enter the courtyard through the south entrance and look for the audio tour symbol near the maze stone.

Enjoy your visit.

This audio tour is sponsored by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

This is an Acoustiguide production.

Step1-Introduction to Bowers Museum

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