News | Micheal Cherney - Berkeley Eye: Perspectives on the Collection

The University of California, Berkeley began collecting art shortly after its founding in 1868. Bacon Hall Library and Art Museum opened on campus in 1881 and several of the works donated to the University on this occasion form the historic heart of BAMPFA’s collection, making it one of the oldest art museums on the West Coast. Although a number of significant works were purchased, most have been acquired as gifts from generous donors, including many prominent artists.


"Art that activates the senses to stimulate the sixth sense—the mind."


The scope of the collection has always been broad, including works dating back to the Renaissance in the West and—since we began collecting Asian art in 1919—to the Neolithic period in China. Currently, BAMPFA holds approximately 19,000 works of art. Through exhibiting these works, BAMPFA aims to provide new perspectives both onto worlds beyond Berkeley and into the interior worlds of individual viewers.


Berkeley Eye: Perspectives on the Collection focuses on art that activates the senses to stimulate the sixth sense—the mind. The works are presented in eight thematic groupings to be experienced and enjoyed in no particular order, according to the interests of individual viewers: Bible Stories; Nature; Human Nature; Barriers & Walls; Connection & Change; Space, Time, Energy; Black, White, Gray; and Into the Light. The exhibition invites repeat viewings, in part because a number of light-sensitive works will be rotated on November 2.




  • Berkeley Art Museum
  • July 13 – December 11, 2016
August 21, 2016