What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection

June 7, 2023–July 7, 2024

What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection inaugurates a year-long presentation of the BAMPFA collection, bringing a contemporary perspective to the museum’s global art holdings.

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  • Romare Bearden: Final Study for Berkeley - The City and Its People, 1973; collage on board; 21 1/8 x 32 1/8 in.; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Gift of Dr. and Mrs. David Dragutsky © 2023 Romare Bearden Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

  • Margo Humphrey: Crying ain't gonna help none, baby, 1972; color lithograph; 14 x 14 1/8 in. (composition); University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Purchased with the aid of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the H. W. Anderson Charitable Foundation (Selected by the Committee for the Acquisition of Afro-American Art)

  • Christina Quarles: Small Offerings, 2017; Acrylic on canvas; Overall: 48 x 60 in.; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Purchase made possible through a gift of an anonymous donor

  • Albert Bierstadt: Yosemite Winter Scene, 1872; oil on canvas; 32 1/8 x 48 1/8 in.; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Gift of Henry D. Bacon

  • Michiel Simons: Still Life, c. 1652; Oil on panel; 18 x 29 1/4 in.; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Gift of SB Master

  • Photo: Whit Forrester

  • Photo: Whit Forrester

  • Photo: Whit Forrester

  • Photo: Whit Forrester

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Past Events

  • Sunday, July 7, 2:00 PM

    Closing Day Exhibition Tour: What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection

    On the closing day of What Has Been and What Could Be, a graduate student in art history offers a tour of the exhibition.

  • Sunday, May 19, 3:00 PM; Sunday, June 23, 3:00 PM

    Curator’s Tour: What Has Been and What Could Be with Matthew Villar Miranda

    Curatorial Associate Matthew Villar Miranda leads a tour that explores how artists from the historical margins reveal vital knowledge from often-overlooked and unexpected perspectives.

  • Saturday, May 11, 11:30 AM–1 PM

    Gallery + Studio: Shifting Shapes and Surfaces

    See how shapes, geometry, and surface design have been used by artists in BAMPFA’s collection and make a vibrant abstraction of your own.

    For ages 6–12 with accompanying adult(s)

  • Sunday, April 21, 11:00 AM

    Vision Access Tour: Explore Black Artists in BAMPFA's Collection

    BAMPFA Education staff offers a highly descriptive tour for blind and low-vision visitors. In this tour, we'll discuss a range of media by Black artists in the museum's collection.

  • Sunday, March 17, 3 PM

    Artists’ Talks: Sadie Barnette & David Huffman

    Artists Sadie Barnette and David Huffman speak informally about their own work on view in the galleries and touch on the thematic section of the exhibition in which their work is included.

  • Saturday, February 10, 11:30 AM

    Gallery + Studio: Take Flight!

    Tap into the playful spirit of Niki de Saint-Phalle’s sculpture to imagine and create your own bird-inspired artwork.

    For ages 6–12 with accompanying adult(s)

  • Wednesday, December 6, 7:30 PM

    1972 (Re)Mixtape with Red Fast Luck

    Red Fast Luck (multi-instrumentalists David Boyce and PC Muñoz) present 1972 (Re)Mixtape, radical de-/reconstructions of some of 1972’s greatest songs, with special guest Femi and more!

    Programmed by Sean Carson; Presented in conjunction with the exhibition What Has Been and What Could Be

  • Sunday, December 3, 11:15 AM

    Vision Access Tour: What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection

    BAMPFA Education staff offers a highly descriptive tour of several artworks in the exhibition for blind and low-vision visitors.

  • Sunday, November 19, 3 PM

    Artists’ Talk: Ester Hernandez & Catherine Wagner

    UC Berkeley graduate Ester Hernández talks about her screen prints Sun Mad II and Sun Raid II, which address issues of migration and the overuse of pesticides and their impact on farmworkers, consumers, and the environment. Catherine Wagner discusses her work The Arctic Circle IV, part of a photographic trilogy in three distinct areas: scientific machines (Frankenstein), the Arctic Circle, and the history of science.

  • Sunday, October 15, 3 PM

    Artists’ Talk: Tabitha Soren & Lava Thomas

    Tabitha Soren talks about Truth-out.org/Ferguson, part of a project entitled Surface Tension. With an 8x10 camera, Soren shoots photographs of fingerprints on technological devices, placing in sharp focus what we normally try to look past on our screens. Lava Thomas discusses Ms. Jimmie L. Lowe, a life-size drawing based on a police photograph that is one of a dozen in the artist’s series of portraits honoring Black women who played a leadership role in the 1955–56 Montgomery Bus Boycott and were indicted under Alabama’s anti-boycott laws.

  • Sunday, September 17, 3 PM

    Artists’ Talk: Masako Miki & Stephanie Syjuco

    Berkeley-based Japanese artist Masako Miki discusses Ichiren-bozu (Animated prayer beads blue), a new work in BAMPFA’s collection that reflects her interest in reclaiming the power of myth making. Artist and UC Berkeley professor Stephanie Syjuco talks about her Raiders (Selections from the Asian Art Museum), a collection of flat, laser-cut, life-size images of antique Asian vessels downloaded from the Asian Art Museum’s online databases and adhered to wooden backings, investigating how we participate in the construction of culture.

  • Thursday, September 7, 12 PM

    Curator’s Talk: Anthony Graham on What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection

    BAMPFA Senior Curator Anthony Graham discusses selected works from each thematic section of What Has Been and What Could Be, highlighting artists with ongoing relationships to BAMPFA, the UC Berkeley campus, and the Bay Area.

  • Select Wednesdays, Sundays, and First Free Thursdays

    Exhibition Tour: What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection

    Tours of What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection take place on selected Sundays at 2 PM and Free First Thursdays at 1:15 PM

  • Sunday, June 11, 2 PM

    Julie Rodrigues Widholm on What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection

    BAMPFA Executive Director Julie Rodrigues Widholm, who organized What Has Been and What Could Be, offers a curatorial walkthrough of her new collection-based exhibition, addressing selected works from each thematic section, as well as sharing perspectives on curating from the museum’s collection.