Spellbinding views – both indoors and out – will grace the future home of the Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art at the University of California, Irvine when it opens along Campus Drive near Jamboree Road – a location UCI officials announced today.
The North Campus site – which is near where the UCI Medical Center-Irvine complex is also being constructed – will offer visitors “sweeping views of the San Joaquin Marsh Reserve to complement Langson IMCA’s remarkable collection of California impressionist and contemporary art and serve as a vibrant hub for discovery, exchange and engagement,” said museum director Kim Kanatani.
Shanaz and Jack Langson made a leadership gift last fall to jump-start plans for the new building. “What makes this development particularly exciting and unique is the proximity to the planned UCI Medical Center–Irvine and surrounding healing gardens,” said Shanaz Langson. “Not only will the institute and museum serve as a plein air and contemporary art magnet for UCI and the greater California art community, it will also provide a research venue for the North Campus arts and health complex, and promote healing through art.”
When completed over the next several years, the center will house and display Langson IMCA’s growing trove of seminal California art, which includes more than 4,500 pieces from The Irvine Museum Collection and The Buck Collection, as well as more recent donations and acquisitions. The works are currently presented in rotating exhibitions at Langson IMCA’s interim museum (which will reopen in early June) at 18881 Von Karman Ave., in Irvine, and various pop-up sites and campus galleries.
Now that the museum’s future location is decided, UCI officials expect to hire a consultant this year to do preliminary planning and cost estimates. An architect will then be selected, probably in mid-2023, and construction could begin in late 2024 or early 2025, subject to approval from the UC Board of Regents.
In the meantime, fundraising efforts – including multiple naming opportunities inside the building – will continue, as will Langson IMCA’s public programs and educational partnerships with 19 local school districts.
“The new museum and institute will be an exceptional resource for art lovers and scholars,” said James Irvine Swinden, who for over three decades shepherded The Irvine Museum Collection of impressionist paintings acquired by his mother, the late Joan Irvine Smith, before donating the artwork to UCI for the benefit of the campus and community.
Christina Buck, whose father, Gerald E. Buck, dreamed of sharing his wide-ranging private store of postwar and contemporary California art with a larger audience, said, “I’m happy that the works my dad collected will go on display in such a beautiful setting, near a nature preserve.”
Irvine officials also welcomed the site selection. “It’s a lovely location,” said Mayor Farrah N. Khan. “When finished, it will be a beacon for city residents and all of Orange County.”
Kanatani agreed, saying Langson IMCA’s future home is “intended to serve as a dynamic community crossroads and a physical manifestation of the cultural, social and natural environments reflected in the art of California and the artists who captured their varied experiences of the state.”