UC Irvine announces donation to build new art museum in California – Orange County Register

UC Irvine officials have yet to choose a site for a new museum to house the university’s California art collection, but they are closer to covering the cost of the facility with a donation announced Monday.

The Institute and Museum of California Art, which maintains two collections totaling more than 4,500 works on Golden State themes or state artists, is currently in temporary space.

The eventual new permanent facility will be named after Jack and Shanaz Langson, who are trustees on the UCI Foundation board and have previously donated to the university (a campus library is named after Jack Langson).

At the couple’s request, the amount of their financial support for the project has not been disclosed, UCI spokesman Tom Vasich said. The Langsons could not be reached for comment on Monday, but in a UCI press release, Shanaz Langson said the new institute and museum “will also apply the latest scientific developments to the understanding and preservation of artifacts of art and archives for the benefit of future generations”.

Anne Bergeron, acting deputy director of the museum, said two major art collections were donated to the UCI in 2014 and 2016. So after the second major donation, university officials established the institute and the museum with the intention of building a facility to house them.

But the concept of a UC Irvine art museum long predates the gift of art, Bergeron said — it was part of the campus’ original master plan in 1962.

The arts are at the center of UCI’s $2 billion fundraising campaign to take the university forward into the future, and Chancellor Howard Gilman is particularly interested in the interplay between the creative arts and other disciplines taught at the UCI,” said Bergeron.

“The museum is really envisioned as an experiential learning laboratory designed for both the campus and the regional community,” she said.

Bergeron said it was still too early to talk about what the future museum might look like or what it might cost, but Vasich noted officials were hoping to announce a location in the spring.

Mildred D. Field