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“STUPENDOUS EXPERIENCE -- SEE LUCY WHILE YOU CAN!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bowers Museum of Cultural Art

Bowers Museum of Cultural Art
2002 N. Main St. at 20th St., Santa Ana, CA
714-567-3600
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Ranked #1 of 11 Attractions in Santa Ana
Type: Art Museums, Children's Museums, History Museums, Cultural
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Owner description: Exhibits specialize in the art of the world's indigenous peoples.
Victoria BC
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“STUPENDOUS EXPERIENCE -- SEE LUCY WHILE YOU CAN!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

My Mom and I *LOVED* this place! I'd never heard of it, yet it was one of relatively few North American institutions lucky enough to host the traveling exhibit "Lucy's Legacy: The Hidden Treasure of Ethiopia" -- featuring the original partial skeleton of a 3.2-million-year-old early hominid from Ethiopia.

In addition to this outstanding exhibit, there were exhibits focused on China, Papua New Guinea, early (i.e., Indigenous) Californians, modern Californian painting, and original sketches and pen & ink drawings by Maurice Sendak -- among others. Absolutely recommend it!

Visited February 2013
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151 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Washington
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
53 attraction reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Special exhibits would raise this rating.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

While there we saw two fantastic special exhibits: pins of Madeline Albright and Faberge's fine gold and enamel ware fashioned for the court of Russia in St. Petersburg. Those raise this small museum to a 4* rating, for sure, but without them, it was okay, but nothing really very special in its permanent fare, except for it's architecture and positioning in Santa Ana.
Also, we attended a private, catered function there after closing hours. The food was fantastic, the setting very nice, and the atmosphere elegant. Thus, if you are considering a nearby event - wedding reception, or other party - this is a great venue.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“A great museum experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

Went here to see the "Cut" costume exhibit but was very pleased to view several other very good exhibits relating to California history, native peoples and the illustrator Maurice Sendak.
We arrived slightly before opening and enjoyed the wondefully manicured grounds and court yard.

Visited February 2013
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Moorpark, California
Top Contributor
408 reviews 408 reviews
239 attraction reviews
Reviews in 113 cities Reviews in 113 cities
193 helpful votes 193 helpful votes
“Bower's Museum "Cut! Costume and Cinema"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

Wow! If you love films and beautiful costumes, don't miss this special exhibit that runs until March 10. The clothes are truly breathtaking from some of my favorite films: The Golden Bowl, Howards End, In Love and War, The White Countess, Gosford Park, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Hamlet, The Prestige, Miss Potter, Portrait of a Lady, Jane Eyre, Little Dorrit, Sense and Sensibility, Phantom of the Opera, Defiance, Sherlock Holmes, The Last King, The New World, Pirates of the Carribean, Casanova, The Duchess, Ever After, and Finding Neverland. The gowns and dresses are truly works of art. Everyone at the exhibit seemed to be enjoying it as much as I was and it's a great day out for "the girls." Have a yummy lunch at their restaurant, Tangata. I recommend the Riggatone with Braised Short Ribs for $19. Parking is $6 but if you eat at the restaurant they'll stamp your ticket and your parking will be refunded. Don't miss the small exhibit of scrimshaw in another section of the museum. It's amazing.

Visited January 2013
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Newport Beach, CA
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Great Museum, Steps from Disneyland and Newport Beach”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

This museum continually has exhibitions that are terrific. My last visit included the exhibition of Madeline Albrights jewelry worn when she was Secretary of State and also an exhibit from London of constumes work in many of the "period" piece movies. Not only did we have the actual clothing, but they had samples of the cloth to feel as you were guided by a docent. I have to say that the docents' at this museum are so knowledgeable and friendly, one could never be bored. A real gem!

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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