OCMA in the Costa Mesa area, like its predecessor institution, Newport Harbor Art Museum has a reputation for being an innovative museum that engages with artists at crucial points in their careers. Since its inception, OCMA has placed artists and their needs at the heart of its activities. Through innovative, ground-breaking programs and exhibitions, OCMA presents the work and voices of creative thinkers and influential artists.
Our permanent home on the Segerstrom Center for the Arts campus, designed by Thom Mayne, Pritzker Prize-winning architect of Morphosis Studio – will be our permanent home. OCMA will continue to promote the transformative potential of art.
Since its inception, OCMA is a leader in preserving and presenting contemporary art. In 1962, thirteen visionary women gathered to open the museum (then known as the Balboa Pavilion Gallery). They shared a strong conviction that Orange County needed an art venue. A small gallery of art was established in Newport Harbor in 1968, and later the Orange County Museum of Art in 1977. As OCMA’s collection, exhibitions and programs grow, so does its reputation for investing in promising artists and shaping art history.
Thom Mayne, a Pritzker Prize-winning architect, is the founder of influential studio Morphosis as well as co-founder of prestigious Southern California Institute of Architecture. Morphosis has been practicing architecture, urbanism and design for more than 40 years. Morphosis has a staff of over 60 people in Los Angeles, New York City, Shanghai, Seoul and Shanghai. They focus on rigorous research and innovative design, prioritizing performance-driven, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable design.
Since its inception, OCMA has placed artists and viewers at the heart of its activities. OCMA presents the work of creative thinkers and influential artists through groundbreaking exhibitions and programs. OCMA’s new permanent home at the Segerstrom Centre for the Arts campus will allow it to continue its advocacy of the transformative potential of art. OCMA’s programs engage and spark meaningful encounters with art, ideas and people through new commissions, immersive activities and performances, workshops, films series and other exciting community events.
The OCMA’s vibrant visual arts program includes major thematic exhibits, surveys by leading contemporary artists, new orders, and first-ever museum shows.
The museum has more than 4,500 items in its collection, with a focus on art made during the 20th and 21st centuries. While not permanently displayed, the museum’s rotating exhibition program features works from the collection. Highlights of the collection with descriptions and images.