Permanent Collection

About Our Collection

The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) stewards a permanent collection of approximately 2,000 objects. The bulk of the collection has been referred to by New York-based independent curator, Margaret Matthew Berenson, as “’a survey collection’…one that provides its audience a sweeping glimpse of the history of art.” The survey portion of the collection’s greatest strengths are print works (lithographs, serigraphs, intaglio, monotype, relief, photographs, and posters), mixed media works, and paintings and watercolors of California landscapes.

Some notable artists in the survey collection include: Karl Benjamin, Rex Brandt, Millard Sheets, Toulouse Lautrec, Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, Shepard Fairey, and Sister Corita Kent.

The Cheech Marin Collection of the Riverside Art Museum currently consists of almost 500 works including paintings, drawings, prints, mixed-media artworks, sculpture, and photography. Over 70 artists were introduced to the RAM collection through a major gift from Cheech Marin, among them, Carlos Almaraz, Chaz Bojórquez, Pablo Andrés Cristi, Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Gaspar Enríquez, Sonya Fe, Margaret García, Diana Gamboa, CiCi Segura González, Raul Guerrero, Gronk, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Adán Hernández, Leo Limón, Gilbert “Magu” Luján, César A. Martínez, Frank Romero, Ricardo Ruiz, Eloy Torrez, John Valadez, Patssi Valdez, Jaime “Germs“ Zacarias, and Vincent Valdez. Recent acquisitions to RAM that supplement the Cheech Marin Collection include Judithe Hernández, Luis C. Garza, and the Soto Collection, which introduced artists Rupert García, Yolanda López, and Patricia Rodriguez, among others. Artwork from the Cheech Marin Collection will be on view at The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum when it opens on May 8, 2022.

The Riverside Art Museum continues to be the largest visual arts museum serving the Inland Empire and our ability to provide this art historical perspective is invaluable to the region.

“A survey collection’…one that provides its audience a sweeping glimpse of the history of art.”

Margaret Matthew Berenson – New York-based independent curator

Collection Acquisition Policies

In order to manage the care, storage, and quality of a permanent collection, museums establish acquisition committees. The make-up of RAM’s acquisition committee consists of curators, librarians, art collectors, artists, art professors, architects, and entrepreneurs. It is impossible for most museums to collect everything that is offered or is important in the art world; therefore, museums of all sizes must establish collecting guidelines. These guiding principles are taken seriously knowing that there may be exceptions for special acquisition opportunities.

RAM’s goal is to assemble a noteworthy collection of art with an emphasis on the work of established and emerging American artists, particularly California artists and those from the Inland region. This policy is reviewed periodically and is adjusted according to changing missions and funding capabilities. Within these general guidelines, we hope to assemble a collection that will be helpful to the research and reference needs of the many colleges in the region. The museum is currently researching software that will enable RAM to offer a virtual museum online. The RAM collection is also a resource for exhibition loans to other art institutions. Museums have many practical decisions to make when considering acquisitions. Acceptance into the permanent collection is a guarantee of storing, insuring, and preserving the work forever. This is a costly commitment and must not be taken lightly. There are strict regulations to the deaccession of art so this practice is used very judiciously.

RAM will not acquire any works that are not deemed to be in good condition. Furthermore, appropriate storage facilities must be available to house and maintain its quality.

RAM welcomes proposed gifts of art. Proposals are reviewed by the acquisition committee on a quarterly basis to determine if they meet the needs of the museum and are in accord with the collection policies. RAM urges any donor considering a gift of art to consult with his or her tax adviser before making such a contribution.

For more information or to submit an acquisition proposal, click here and go to “Give an art object to RAM”.

OTHER EXHIBITS

MUSEUM MATTERS