About

SMCMoA exterior
Art Illuminates our lives. 

Mission

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.

History

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 of landscape paintings by artist William Keith (1838-1911). As a professor, Brother Cornelius wrote Old Master of California, the paramount William Keith biography. 

In 1977, with a grant from the Hearst Foundation, the Hearst Art Gallery opened. The gallery extended the collection and began exhibiting work and objects to include ethnographic materials and additional western artists.

In 2011, the Hearst Art Gallery completed a large renovation and expansion project. Through the generosity of donors, the Museum expanded 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. Through this expansion, the Hearst Art Gallery became the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art. The SMC Museum of Art continues to provide quality exhibits while managing a permanent collection of over 4,500 pieces.

We hope you will join the SMCMoA in making history in the near future. Thank you! 

 

The Saint Mary's College Museum of Art is a proud member of: 

 

AAM             CAM Member           AAMG

 

               

 

Return to Museum homepage