OMCA's Art Collection
OMCA's art collection—one of the largest and most comprehensive holdings of California art in the world—grew out of the holdings of the Oakland Art Gallery, a museum dating back to 1916. The collection features over 70,000 works from the early 1800s to the present that are by California artists and that represent significant subject matter of the region. Featuring works of all disciplines, the collection includes painting, sculpture, photography, craft and decorative arts, conceptual work, and new media, as well as documentary materials such as artists' tools, maquettes, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and other ephemera.
The collection is particularly strong in California landscape paintings from the 1850s to the 1880s; Gold Rush–era artwork and daguerreotypes; furniture and decorative arts from the Arts and Crafts period, including a large collection of painting, craft and decorative art, and furniture by Arthur and Lucia Mathews; Bay Area Figurative painting and sculpture; California ceramics and jewelry by Margaret De Patta.
Photography collections include Dorothea Lange's personal archive of approximately 25,000 negatives and over 10,000 prints dating from 1919 to 1965, as well as contact sheets, manuscripts, journals, correspondence, and field notes. Other large photographic collections include the Roger Sturtevant Collection, Joanne Leonard and Helen Nester Collections, along with a vast collection of significant California photographers. The Paul Chadbourne Mills Archive of California Art contains documentary materials related to thousands of painters, sculptors, printmakers, craftspeople, and photographers active in California during the past 200 years.