BAM/PFA’s diverse collections of more than 14,000 art objects are characterized by themes of artistic innovation, intellectual exploration, and social commentary, and reflect the central role of education in our mission.
The museum was founded in 1963 following artist and teacher Hans Hofmann’s donation of forty-five paintings and $250,000 to the University; today BAM/PFA’s collection of work by this important Abstract Expressionist artist remains the largest in any museum internationally. Our art collection has evolved with particular strengths in historical and contemporary Asian art; early American painting; mid-twentieth-century, Conceptual, and contemporary international art; and California and Bay Area art. Highlights include important works by Albert Bierstadt, Jonathan Borofsky, Joan Brown, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Jay DeFeo, Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Gauguin, Eva Hesse, Sakaki Hyakusen, Bruce Nauman, Shirin Neshat. Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Peter Paul Rubens, and James McNeill Whistler.
Search the Art Collection online: More than 16,000 records describing our permanent art collection, including more than 400 images. For information about research access to specific objects in the BAM/PFA collections, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.