A Message from the Directors of the Hearst Museum

April 7th, 2020 | Updates

Dear Hearst Museum Friends and Supporters,


Along with many of you, we have been sheltering in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community here in Berkeley. This order has been extended throughout the Bay Area for the duration of April and will likely result in limited operations for the next few months. We’re grateful to our staff, student workers, and volunteers who helped prepare the museum for this temporary closure and have adapted to working remotely. With the support of campus leaders, essential personnel are ensuring that our gallery and collections remain safe and secure until the moment we can welcome you back to the Hearst Museum.


Although our gallery is closed to the public, our staff has created a variety of ways to experience the Hearst from Home. You can also follow the Hearst Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as we develop new ways to share the museum with you. We are collaborating with our colleagues across campus to donate Personal Protective Equipment to where it is needed most throughout the University of California system. In challenging times it is all the more important for us to find ways of building community and connecting cultures.


While physically distant from each other, we have been reflecting on what brings us together and connects us. Our 3.8 million objects tell stories of amazing human resilience in the face of disaster, disease, injustice, and violence. As we confront an April so different than the one we imagined, learning about these past cultural responses is offering us a means of weathering the present and imagining the future world we want to live in together. The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated some of the ways we are all connected across space and generations. Whether you are a visitor, student, researcher, or member of a descendant community, we can’t wait to help you find and share your new stories about inclusion, solidarity, sustainability and hope.


Despite the shift in our operations, we were able to successfully raise over $111K through Big Give, a campus-wide annual fundraiser, and an additional $8K in prizes for the museum. We are also thrilled to announce that the museum recently received two new endowments valued at over $2.3 million. We are certainly challenged by the lack of income due to the temporary closure of the museum, but we are inspired that these new gifts will help secure our financial sustainability, helping us to build our future for many years to come.


Please stay home and enjoy our museum virtually for now. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to our galleries soon, and wish you all health and safety until then.


Thank you,

Caroline Jean Fernald, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Lauren Kroiz, Ph.D.
Faculty Director