Museum undergoing exciting renovations

What’s Ahead: A Museum on the Move

The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum is completing two exciting projects that will greatly enhance care and accessibility to its collection of more than 3.8 million objects. A new gallery is under construction in Kroeber Hall and two state-of-the-art collection storage facilities have been installed, one in Kroeber Hall and one at the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay. The collections move was completed in August 2016 and the Kroeber Hall gallery will open in early 2017. Be sure to follow developments on the museum’s social media channels. In the meantime, here is more information about each project.

The Museum Gallery

A 5,200-square foot Gallery is now under renovation on the south end of Kroeber Hall. The design of its inaugural exhibition is underway and will showcase the breadth and depth of the collection. Objects representing the diversity of the collection will be on display, most for the first time in the museum’s history. The new gallery will be a flexible “laboratory” that reflects the research dynamism of anthropology and related disciplines such as art history, folklore, museum studies, and archaeology. The gallery will rotate objects from the permanent collection into the exhibition throughout the year that engage faculty, students, guest curators, and members of the public in opportunities for teaching, research, and dialogue.

Visitors will enter the museum through an attractive Patio on Kroeber Hall’s south side off Bancroft Way that will be landscaped with drought resistant native California plants. The Courtyard will present a pleasant space for school groups and families to gather before entering the museum, and used for outdoor campus and community events. Inside the lobby, a desk attendant will greet visitors at an information desk with orienting information about the gallery. Visitors will also learn about the museum’s 114-year history and the remarkable philanthropic life of Phoebe Hearst, and read profiles of our generous donors who have shaped this rare collection.

One corner of the gallery will have a 700-square foot multi-purpose Learning Center where students, teachers, alumni, faculty and staff can come together to explore the museum’s collections and more. Cases and cabinets will display the hands-on study collections that are used in lectures and seminars. The Learning Center will also be available for workshops and membership lectures. 

New Collections Storage Facilities

The redesigned and rennovated 23,000-square foot Kroeber Hall facility contains the museum’s osteological collection as well as objects from its California collection. Collections used for teaching and on-going research projects are also kept here. The museum’s 1850-square foot conservation lab, staffed with two full time object conservators, supports the care and preservation of the museum’s collections. The new facility has two project rooms that faculty, students, and guest scholars use for research and teaching. A consultation area provides a quiet, respectful and private space where groups can meet with museum staff, interact with collections, and conduct ceremonies. New security, fire detection and suppression systems have been installed.


Another new collection storage facility is located at the Museum's Regatta Collections Management Facility near Richmond Bay. The facility contains two spaces. The first is a 24,000 square foot space for the museum’s global textile collections as well as collections from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, North America, and Oceania. The second space is a 10,000 square foot space where the museum’s world-renowned basket collection is housed, including 10,000 California baskets. Both spaces are equipped with research, teaching, and consultation facilities for use by campus and community members.