Profile of the Orange County Museum of Art in California

Orange County Museum of Art, California.
People attend the dinner during the Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy preview dinner held at the Orange County Museum of Art on April 8, 2011 in Newport Beach, California. Photo by Ryan Miller/Getty Images


The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) in Orange County, California was established in 1962.

Currently, the museum's permanent collection mainly focuses on California art, and includes approximately 2,500 works of art, many which date from the early 20th century to today.


The Orange County Museum of Art in California opened in 1962 by a group of women. Originally named the Balboa Pavilion Gallery, it became the Newport Harbor Art Museum in 1968, and a few years later, in 1972, moved to a larger, more accommodating space.

Since its founding, OCMA has maintained its focus on modern and contemporary art. As its collection has grown over the years, the museum required another relocation in 1977 and moved to its current site at San Clemente Drive. After a huge renovation in 1997, the museum was renamed the Orange County Museum of Art.

OCMA is known for its groundbreaking contemporary art exhibitions and surveys of local artists who became internationally renowned, such as the "first surveys of Vija Celmins (1980), Chris Burden (1988), and Tony Cragg (1990)."

In 1984, the museum initiated the California Biennial, which by 2013, became known as the California-Pacific Triennial, an international exhibition of contemporary art from around the Pacific Rim. 


According to the Museum's website, the mission is:

"The Orange County Museum of Art enriches the lives of a diverse and changing community through modern and contemporary art."


The Orange County Museum of Art is located in Newport Beach, one hour south of Los Angeles, in California.

Please refer to the museum's website for directions and further information.

Museum's Conservation Department:

The Orange County Museum of Art in California does not have a conservation department, but may require the services of an art conservator from time to time, in order to preserve and restore the works in the collection.

To learn more about the field of art conservation, please see interviews with conservators.

Famed Artworks in Collection:

The Museum's collection includes artworks by California-based artists such as John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Irwin, Helen Lundeberg, Catherine Opie, Charles Ray, Ed Ruscha, and Bill Viola.

Art movements such as Bay Area Figuration, assemblage, California Light and Space, Pop Art, Minimalism, and installation art are well-represented in the collection.

In addition to California-based art, works of art by leading internationally-known artists such as "Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Lee Bul, Katy Grannan, Joseph Grigely, Glenn Ligon, Christian Marclay, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Marjetica Potrc, David Reed, Daniela Rossell, and Lorna Simpson" are included.

Noteworthy Facts:

Artist's Submissions

Artists are welcome to submit digital portfolios of their work to be considered for future exhibitions. Please see the museum's website for further information.

Employment Information:

The Museum post job listings on its website in the various departments such as administrative, curatorial, collections care, marketing, sales, and security. 

How to Apply for a Job:

Applicants can usually submit their cover letters and resumes via email to the museum, specifying which position they are applying to.

Museum's Contact Info:

Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. Tel: (949) 759-1122.


Orange County Museum of Art's website

Museum Hours:

  • Monday closed
  • Tuesday closed
  • Wednesday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Friday 11:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Saturday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Closed holidays