Sitting on the University of California Los Angeles campus near Royce Hall, the Fowler Museum at UCLA has earned the reputation of being one of the United States’ respected authorities on the cultures, art, objects and artifacts from Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. This admission-free museum explores the non-western global cultures and arts and how they are woven into the fabrics of politics and social action around the world. The museum houses displays from the ancient, historical, and current worlds.
The museum has housed a wide variety of exhibitions over the years such as the Round Trip: Bicycling Asia Minor, 1891, that shared the tale of two young Americans, William Sachtleben and Thomas Allen, Jr., who rode bicycles around the world from 1890 to 1893; Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates; Textiles of Timor: Island in the Woven Sea. As of the time of this writing, its current exhibitions include Reflecting Culture: The Francis E. Fowler, Jr. Collection of Silver, which contains 251 pieces from the 16th to 19th centuries, and Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, about which The New York Times has written, “Spanning centuries of multicultural creativity, this exhibition is the kind of art experience that might restore your faith in the sad old human comedy.
As part of UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture, the Fowler Museum was founded by then UCLA Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy as the Museum and Laboratories of Ethnic Arts and Technology in 1963. Eight years later, it was renamed the Museum of Cultural History, and just a four short years after which it was recognized as having one the top four such collections found in any university in the United States. It has maintained this recognition to this day.