Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Monday, March 05, 2007


What follows is an excerpt from an article in the LA Times about the Santa Ana Museum. If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to the original article.s

Bowers' new space conquest
Chinese art from several millenniums and photographs by Ansel Adams inaugurate a wing at the Santa Ana museum.

By Scarlet Cheng

Special to The Times

February 16, 2007

Seven years ago, Anne Shih was visiting the Shanghai Museum, a stronghold of Chinese art and antiquities, when she tossed out a suggestion to Director Chen Xiejun: What about an exhibition loan to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, where Shih is a board member? All right, she remembers Chen saying, if you can build a new space to house the show, we'll arrange it.

Today, not only is that new space built — 30,000 square feet at a cost of $15 million — but "Treasures From Shanghai: 5000 Years of Chinese Art and Culture" highlights its opening Sunday, the first day of the Chinese new year. A photography exhibition, "Ansel Adams: Classic Images," inaugurates a second gallery in the new wing.

On Main Street in Santa Ana, the Dorothy and Donald Kennedy wing spans half a block in glass, metal accents and a cladding of troweled plaster painted to match the existing architecture. The city opened the original Spanish-style museum in 1936 to feature Orange County history. In 1992, the Bowers reopened after an extensive remodeling that greatly expanded the facility, and it broadened its mission to showing a wide variety of art and artifacts. Bowers President Peter C. Keller pushed for the latest expansion, both to gain more exhibition space and to improve existing facilities. To pay for it, the museum obtained $4 million in state funding, with most of the remainder coming from private sources, including $2 million from benefactors Dorothy and Donald Kennedy. The latter is First American Corp. chairman emeritus and chairman of the Bowers' board of governors.

As of Sunday, museum admission, except for students, seniors and children younger than 5, will become uniformly $17 on weekdays and $19 on weekends — eliminating a general admission fee of $5. The latter was only for viewing a few permanent collections anyway, says Keller. "We're trying to simplify matters," he adds.

The new wing was designed by Robert R. Coffee Architect + Associates of Newport Beach. "We wanted to use materials that were compatible and more or less carried forward what was done in the past," Coffee said during a walk-through of the space last week as workers were still adding display cases and other finishing touches. "There was an effort to give an updated image, that we're moving into a new century and the museum is making a great transition."

No comments: