About the Museum

Art Illuminates our lives. 


The Saint Mary's College Museum of Art acts on the belief that art illuminates our lives and creates a more humane world. 

  • We affirm our institutional mission to develop the whole person. 
  • We are committed to fostering curiosity and wonder through exhibitions, collections, and programs. 
  • We bridge regional art, interests, and the world.
  • We cultivate cultural discovery, bringing people and art together.


About Us 

Saint Mary’s College of California began collecting art in the early 20th century.  Founded by professor Brother Fidelis Cornelius Braeg in 1934, the collection comprised landscape paintings by artist William Keith (1838–1911). As a professor, Brother Cornelius wrote Old Master of California, the paramount William Keith biography, after spending years working with William Keith's widow Mary McHenry Keith. 

The gallery was expanded in 1977 with a grant from the Hearst Art Foundation and reopened as the Hearst Art Gallery. Through this expansion, the gallery began exhibiting work and objects, including ethnographic materials and Western artists.

In 2011, the Hearst Art Gallery completed an extensive renovation and expansion project. Through the generosity of donors, the museum expanded its exhibition space by forty percent and built a large storage and maintenance facility. Following Brother Cornelius' legacy, this expansion ensures continued excellence in exhibitions and care for the Museum’s permanent collection. The Hearst Art Gallery became the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art through this expansion. The Museum of Art continues to provide quality exhibits while managing a permanent collection of over 5,000 pieces.


New exhibitions open February 14, 2024. 

Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.



Admission: All exhibitions and public programs are FREE and open to the public.  


Schedule group visits and tours through the front desk at 925-631-4379 or by email at museum@stmarys-ca.edu.

Visitor parking at Saint Mary's College is located across the street from the Museum of Art. This parking lot serves McKeon Pavilion, Soda Activity Center, and the Brother Cornelius Art Center. If you have any questions about parking, please check in with the Campus Safety officer station at the front of the campus or call Campus Safety at 925-631-4282. 

The Museum is ADA accessible. 


Directions from Highway 24:

Take the Orinda exit off Highway 24 (10 miles east of the Bay Bridge). Turn south onto Moraga Way and go about 5 miles to end, then turn left onto Moraga Road. At the next light, turn right onto Saint Mary’s Road. Go about one mile farther and turn right into the campus. The Museum is behind the Chapel and across from the Soda Activity Center. Parking is available, most conveniently across the street in the large lot at the Soda Center, in a small lot adjacent to the museum, or in other lots around campus.

Saint Mary’s may be reached by bus from the Orinda or Lafayette BART stations; call (510) 676- 7500 for schedule information.


Contact Us

Our museum staff is available to answer questions and provide appointments for a private consultation. 

Please call the front desk at 925-631-4379

Lauren MacDonald 

Dean, Library and Academic Resources

Executive Director, Museum of Art




John Schneider

Director of Collections & Operations 




Britt Royer





Leo Marchis

Exhibition Designer & Lead Preparator 




Tara Harju

Visitor Services & Membership Manager