Information on:

Bowers Museum

2002 North Main Street

Celebrate world cultures through their arts.

Mission :
The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, promotes education and understanding by bringing the world’s great cultural art to people of all ages.

About Us :
One of Southern California's finest museums and Orange County's largest, the Bowers Museum is one of the only museums in the United States devoted to promoting human understanding through art. Its state of the art special exhibition and collection storage facilities enable the Bowers to present world class exhibitions and preserve collections of cultural art for future generations. International partnerships have been developed with the Palace Museum, Beijing, the British Museum, and many others. Its location, close to four major freeways and four miles south of Disneyland, makes the Bowers an ideal destination for visitors to Southern California

History :
The Charles W. Bowers Memorial Museum first opened its doors in 1936 as a city-run museum devoted primarily to the history of Orange County. In the mid-1980's, the City of Santa Ana closed the museum with the understanding that after careful study and a great deal of input from the community, the museum would be reopened as a totally transformed museum, ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In October of 1992, The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art (some six times larger than the original Bowers Museum) opened its doors to a crowd of over 17,000 people. Since this highly successful reopening, the museum has presented over 45 special exhibitions from all over the world, opened six permanent galleries, and watched its membership grow to over 5,000 members. It has been accredited by the American Association of Museums, and been widely acclaimed in many national magazines including U.S. News & World Report.


Matt Collins

Sunday, June 3, 2018
This large museum occupies a landmark mission-style building with a bell tower and an open courtyard along with two large additions completed in 1992 and 2007. Extensive permanent and changing exhibits reflect cultural arts from all over the world. The museum restaurant is called Tangata and has great food! Adult admission is $15. Parking is $6. There is also limited parking on neighborhood streets nearby.

Ramona Lisa Nelson

Monday, May 21, 2018
Welcomed by the attractive structure & wonderful scents of roses & jasmine. The guide for the JFK exhibit was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, Ellen. Also enjoyed the history of the Native Americans. Great old building.

Red Devil

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
This was totally worth the price. You get up close and personal with rare artifacts. They give you so much story in the exhibits that this is not a quick trip. Plan to spend several hours walking around, reading, looking, gawking at everything. The exhibits are EXPANSIVE and inspiring. The docents are super knowledgeable and so willing to help! And the restaurant has really great food - truly something for everything.

Kathy Hebert

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018
My Aunt is a Docent at the Bowers Museum and let my hubby & I know about the new exhibits there. One is about the first expedition to make it to the Antarctic led by Sir Ernest Shackleton back in 1914. The exhibit is very well done, and my attention was held rapt listening to our Docent and seeing all that transpired. There's another beautiful exhibit that features China's Empress Dowager CIXI, with actual items of clothing, pieces of art and gifts she received during her reign. This was extremely informative as well, and being able to look at the pieces in person was a once in a lifetime experience. I'm looking forward to our next visit, which will include a new exhibit for John F Kennedy.

Franklin Young

Sunday, March 11, 2018
Would recommend the Empress Dowager Cixi exhibit especially if you are going to visit the Summer Palace in Beijing (or have already been there). The exhibit makes it clear that the Summer Palace was her home and the artifacts presented tell her story well. She viewed herself as the most powerful woman on earth ahead of Queen Victoria who was her contemporary. You can cover the exhibit in about one hour as it is just one large room. It closes unfortunately on March 11, 2018.

Bowers Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media