For years many of the gifts made to the State of California were stored in the California Archives where they were not available to the public. So in 1998, after several years of planning, the California Museum was opened. The broad purpose of the museum was to be a showplace for the history and culture of California.
While Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor, his wife Maria Shriver became very involved in expanding the mission of the museum. An exhibit entitled, "California's Remarkable Women," was established. In the coming years many new exhibits were added to discuss groups that had traditionally been under represented in California such as Japanese Californians who were interned during World War 2.
While not made clear to the visitor by any form of material provided as you enter the museum consists of signature and special exhibits. The eight signature exhibits are ones that are permanently showcased at the museum. These include; The Computer Chip, Hall of Fame, Health Happens Here, Constitution Wall, Legacy Trails, California Indians, Uprooted Japanese Americans During WW2, and California's Remarkable Women, I made a point of visiting each of the permanent exhibits. Some of the exhibits like the Uprooted Japanese Americans and Constitution Wall were well laid out and presented, while others such as Health Happens Here were disappointing. There was also not a great flow in the museum between exhibits.
There was one special exhibits that was in place when I was there. An exhibit entitled, "California Creates Tapigami," was an interesting portrayal of the art of designing through masking tape. Some very unique art forms presenting masking tape were presented and visitors were given a space to create masking tape art of their own.
I visited the museum on a Saturday afternoon in January. The museum was nearly vacant.
The cost of admission is $ 8.00 for adults, $ 7.00 for seniors, and $ 6.00 for youth 6 to 17.
The California Museum has an outstanding web-site. I was very impressed with how well laid out and up to date it was. It was just too bad that the museum itself wasn't as well laid out.
This is an interesting museum on the history and character of California, with a number of displays.