First Glimpse: Introducing The Buck Collection at the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art

Peter Alexander, "Thrasher," 1992. Oil on canvas, 48 x 84 in. ©2018, Peter Alexander. The Buck Collection at the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art. (Photo: Fredrik Nilsen)


First Glimpse: Introducing The Buck Collection at the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art

Curated by Kevin Appel, Stephen Barker, and Cécile Whiting
On View: September 29, 2018 – January 5, 2019
Opening Reception: September 29, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

IRVINE, Calif. (August 24, 2018) – The UCI Institute and Museum for California Art will host a ‘First Glimpse’ of The Buck Collection – an exquisite but long hidden collection of California art – at the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

“The First Glimpse exhibition will unveil this astonishing collection of California art and shed light on its mysterious collector, Gerald Buck,” said Stephen Barker, Executive Director of the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art. “This is also the first step in a larger project – creating a world-class institution and museum to study and enjoy the rich expanse of California art.”

For more than twenty years, Orange County developer Gerald Buck engaged in an unexpected pastime: building an unparalleled collection of artworks in a wide variety of genres and media. At his death, Mr. Buck passed the collection to UCI with the main desire was that the works be studied and appreciated for their many values. First Glimpse will bring just over fifty of those works out of seclusion—works by California artists from Richard Diebenkorn to Ed Kienholz to Wayne Thiebaud to Mary Corse and Joan Brown.

The exhibition will represent California artists as central in launching new movements, altering historical courses, and following powerful individual vision. Presenting Abstract Classicism, Expressionism, Assemblage, California Funk art, Light and Space work, and those artists that fall outside of definition, the exhibit will detail the area as a crucible of innovation and creativity.  

First Glimpse captures the breadth of Buck’s collecting decisions, offering a first taste of the larger collection that will be revealed over time as a central part of UCI’s emerging Institute and Museum for California Art.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of symposia and talks by living artists in the collection, other artists, and arts scholars and researchers. An accompanying exhibition catalogue with essays by the exhibition curators, Cécile Whiting, Kevin Appel, and Stephen Barker, will be available in early December.

About the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art
The UCI Institute and Museum for California Art (UCI IMCA) is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of California art, thanks to foundational gifts of The Irvine Museum Collection of over 1,200 California Impressionist paintings and The Buck Collection of more than 3,200 works of California modern art. The University is poised to construct a permanent museum and research institute on the UC Irvine campus—fulfilling the vision of campus architect William Pereira’s original 1962 campus blueprint—which will be a global magnet for the exhibition and study of California art and its social and cultural framework. In the meantime, UCI IMCA is hosting exhibitions at the Irvine Museum Collection gallery in Irvine, California and at the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts. For information, please visit:

About UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts
As UCI’s creative laboratory, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts explores and presents the arts as the essence of human experience and expression, through art forms ranging from the most traditional to the radically new. The international faculty works across a wide variety of disciplines, partnering with others across the campus. National-ranked programs in art, dance, drama, and music begin with training but end in original invention. Students come to UCI to learn to be citizen-artists, to sharpen their skills and talents, and to become the molders and leaders of world culture. For more information, please visit

About the University Art Galleries (UAG)
The University Art Galleries are committed to promoting an inter-generational dialogue between 60s/70s neo-avant-garde art and contemporary visual culture. Accordingly, the curatorial mission is to keep an eye on the modernist past while promoting the most innovative aesthetic and political debates of the post-modern present. From this vantage, the projects commissioned provoke intelligent debate on the subject of art in its most expansive poetic definition. For more information,

About the University of California, Irvine
Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

Posted Date: 
Friday, August 24, 2018 - 00:00