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February 11, 2021
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Which OMCA art are you missing most?

Share your love for art this Valentine’s Day with #Hearts for Art

by OMCA

Ready to fall in love with art? The Hearts for Art project was created in 2013 by OMCA and the Columbus Museum of Art. During Valentine’s Day weekend, Museum visitors could pick up a paper heart and place it on the floor in front of the work of art they loved the most.

This year, since we can’t gather together in person, we’re bringing some of our favorite artwork from our galleries, gardens, and campus to you. Tell us which one you love the most in the comments below or on social media. Don’t see your favorite artwork here? Let us know your artwork crush in the comments or tag us at @oaklandmuseumca on social media. 

Shipyard Worker, Dorothea Lange 

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Black and white photo of a female shipyard worker smiling
Dorothea Lange, Shipyard Worker, circa 1943. Photonegative, 2.25 in x 2.25 in. © The Dorothea Lange Collection, the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of Paul S. Taylor.

As the nation prepared for war, Fortune magazine hired Dorothea Lange to document the huge naval production at the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, California. Her photographs of the shipyards emphasized a spirit of patriotic unity. Along with conveying the massive scale of production, Lange’s photographs characteristically captured personal moments between workers.

Check out more of Lange’s work on our Dorothea Lange Digital Archive.

Rainbow Dream, Philip Lindsay Mason

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Painting featuring a rainbow at the top and a Black woman with closed eyes
Phillip Lindsay Mason, Rainbow Dream, 1970. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 33 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of Michael J. Learned. © Phillip Lindsay Mason

Philip Lindsay Mason attended UC Berkeley in the late 1960s. Like others in the Black Arts Movement, Mason used art as a platform to explore the power of self-representation. In 1968 Mason wrote: “My work will be Black because my work springs from the context of my experience. The experience of a Black man and a Black artist.”

Check out more artwork on Black expression in our virtual Black Power exhibition.

Untitled, Ruth Asawa 

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An intricate woven wire copper sculpture on the outside of OMCA
Ruth Asawa, Untitled, 1974. Bronze wire, copper pipe, 1.5 x 12 ft. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of the Oakland Museum Women's Board. © Estate of Ruth Asawa

This untitled 12-foot bronze and copper wire structure was made by sculptor and artist Ruth Asawa in 1974. Asawa fused techniques of fiber art and metal sculpture into dynamic, signature forms. If you’ve visited our campus, you may remember seeing this piece at the  Oak Street entrance of OMCA. 

Check out books about the artist available online at the OMCA Store.

Untitled, Diedrick Brackens 

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A colorful woven fabric inside OMCA's Gallery of California Art
Diedrick Brackens, Untitled, 2014. Hand woven and sewn fabric, nylon, cotton dyed with tea and commercial dyes, 84 x 81 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of Oakland Museum Women's Board. © Diedrick Brackens

Diedrick Brackens is an LA-based textile artist known for his creative and expressive weaving techniques. "I can use the medium (weaving) to talk about my identities as a Black man, gay man in America. I pull on textile traditions from the cultures that are a part of my makeup: European tapestry, strip-woven kente cloth of Ghana, and the quilts of the American south. Through weaving and sewing, I am able to make a fabric that fully integrates all parts of my experience,”  Diedrick Brackens. 

Create your own weaving and share your story in this cardboard weaving activity with OMCA’s Learn at Home.

Big Peace IV, Tony Labat 

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A large yellow peace sign sculpture in OMCA's Gardens
Tony Labat, Big Peace IV, 2008. Painted steel, 30.5 x 120 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California. Purchased with funds from the Edith F. Bondi 1966 gift to the children of Oakland to mark her first 25 years since her escape from tyranny to th

You’ve probably seen this iconic statue overlooking the OMCA Gardens—this bright, yellow sculpture can even be seen from the other side of Lake Merritt! The sculpture was made by Tony Labat, a Cuban-American multimedia and installation artist who has exhibited his work internationally over the last 40 years.

Franc Pierce Hammon Memorial Windows, Mathews Furniture Shop 

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An intricate 3 panel stained glass window showing a colorful countryside scene
Mathews Furniture Shop, Franc Pierce Hammon Memorial Windows, 1925. Leaded stained glass, 12 x 11 ft. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Moore, Mr. Ronald S. Moore, and Miss Jane T. Moore.

This nearly 100-year-old stained glass is a favorite in the back of our Gallery of California Art. “Conceived as a three-panel window within-a-window: a dense blue framing border, decorated with medallions of magnolia blossoms surmounted by an emblematic phoenix, surrounds an imaginary hilltop village landscape that overlooks the sea beneath a luminous golden cloudscape. The floral depictions that include stylized rhododendrons and California poppies as well as the magnolia blossoms suggest that Lucia Mathews may have participated in the design." (The Art of Arthur and Lucia Mathews, p99).

American Nude Series (Woman with Elbow on Raised Knee), Viola Frey

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A large colorful sculpture of a woman sitting with her hand to her chin
Viola Frey, American Nude Series (Woman with Elbow on Raised Knee), 1994. Glazed ceramic, 87 x 51 x 63 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, the Ted and Ruth Nash Collection. © Artists’ Legacy Foundation

This 7-foot sculpture was created by Viola Frey, who was an American artist working in sculpture, painting, and drawing. She was known for her colorful, larger-than-life glazed clay sculptures of men and women, and expanded the traditional boundaries of ceramic sculpture.

Untitled, Larry Bell

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A cubic sculpture with mirrors on all sides causing a mirroring illusion
Larry Bell, Untitled, 1967. Aluminum and silicon monoxide-coated glass, chrome banding, 70 x 36.25 x 36.25 in. The Oakland Museum Carl A. Rietz Collection, courtesy of Concours d'Antiques, the Art Guild of the Oakland Museum of California. © Larry Bell

A fan favorite in the Gallery of California Art, this sculpture consists of a transparent smoky glass cube with metal stripping atop a clear Plexiglas rectangular base. Created by Larry Bell, a contemporary artist and sculptor best known for his glass boxes and large-scaled illusionist sculptures, whose artworks are represented in over 30 museums and public collections around the world.  

Untitled, Bary McGee

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A large red sculpture with colorful cubic patterns  along the surface
Barry McGee, Untitled, 2010. Acrylic, luan plywood, mixed media, 111 x 240 x 48 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California. Art Deaccession Fund Purchase. © Barry McGee

This installation includes a mosaic wall constructed with multiple pieces of Luan wood. The background of the wall is deep red and incorporates blocks of bright geometric patterns, text, and stylized faces. Barry McGee is a well known graffiti artist who was a central figure in the graffiti art scene in San Francisco from the late 1980s and into the 90s. 

The Pavers, Five Young Men, Flower Seller, Walter Gordon Phillips

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Three paintings hanging in the OMCA Gallery of California Art
Walter Gordon Phillips, The Pavers, 1963.; Walter Gordon Phillips, Five Young Men, 1962.; Walter Gordon Phillips, Flower Seller, 1982. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of Richard Chenault. © Estate of Walter Gordon Phillips

Three paintings by San Francisco-born artist Walter Gordon Phillips hang in the Gallery of California Art’s Pluralism/Identity section. He often used scenes from everyday life and photographs or sketches as inspiration for his work. The three paintings in the gallery, Five Young Men, Flower Seller, and The Pavers, display his style of capturing these singular moments.

What art do you heart? Don’t see it in this list? Explore our collections website and check out nearly 2 million items in our collection, and tag us at @oaklandmuseumca to let us know your favorite.