Collections, and the steady process of expanding their scope and understanding, are at the core of museums. Though they vary widely, museum collections share the potential to give enduring voice to human endeavor, and to evolving history and thought. The University of California's art collection began in 1872 - just four years after the University was established - when two generous patrons donated nearly seventy works of art. One of the donors, Henry D. Bacon, also provided funds to establish the University's first art gallery, which opened in 1881. Among Bacon's gifts was Albert Bierstadt's Yosemite Winter Scene (1872). A respected work of contemporary art at the time of its gift, the Bierstadt has become a classic representation of the grandeur and allure of the American West, and a cornerstone of the Berkeley Art Museum's expanding collections. The museum's collections have grown markedly since 1963, when a bequest and gift from the modernist painter Hans Hofmann, who taught at UC Berkeley in the early 1930s, established the most significant museum collection worldwide of the artist's work and spearheaded plans to build the Mario Ciampi-designed art museum. Since the building opened in 1970 the museum has continued to look to the future, actively acquiring contemporary works of art while building richness and depth in historical areas. At present BAMPFA collections consist of approximately 15,000 works of art and 10,000 works of film and video. A new exhibition, Fast Forward, looks at how the museum's art collections have grown in the past five years. Nearly 2000 works of art have been added, the majority of these acquisitions resulting from generous gifts ranging from single works to extensive collections. Many recent acquisitions enrich existing areas of strength, such as Baroque and nineteenth-century works on paper, contemporary art, and particularly Conceptual art. The museum has been extremely fortunate to acquire numerous historical Chinese paintings amassed over a fifty-year period by UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus James Cahill, who actively used these works of art in his teaching. The museum now offers one of the most extensive resources of historical Chinese painting on the West Coast. Various recent acquisitions have also enabled the museum to extend meaningful branches to the collections, such as a gift of over three hundred historical Indian miniatures, or eighty-five important nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century photographs. Fast Forward features approximately one hundred works of art, ranging from rare seventeenth-century northern European prints to contemporary Asian works; from images of distant sites around the world from the first years of photography to Conceptual photographs from the 1970s; from artists' books to video installations; and from artists as familiar as Picasso to emerging artists from around the globe. The exhibition also includes newly acquired works by several artists who have been featured in recent BAMPFA exhibitions such as Peter Shelton, Katy Schimert, and Anne Chu. Acquisitions are at the heart of a dynamic, ever growing and evolving collection. With the continuing support of longtime and new patrons, BAMPFA will continue to build upon its vibrant and engaging collections, with a keen eye to the present and simultaneously to the past, aligned with what is close and familiar while continually expanding its horizons.