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“Gem of a museum”

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Ranked #3 of 8 Fun & Games in Berkeley
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Internationally recognized for its art and film programming, BAMPFA is UC Berkeley’s primary visual arts venue with its screenings of some four hundred films and presentations of up to twenty exhibitions annually. BAMPFA’s collection of over 19,000 works of art dates from 3000 BCE to the present day and includes important holdings of Neolithic Chinese ceramics, Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese painting, Old Master works on paper, Italian Baroque painting, early American painting, Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, and Conceptual art. The collection also includes over 17,500 films and videos, including the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan, impressive holdings of Soviet cinema, West Coast avant-garde film, seminal video art, as well as hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film—many of which are digitally scanned and accessible online. BAMPFA is closed as it moves into its new state-of-the-art building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The new BAMPFA opens to the public in late January 2016.
Arlington, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Gem of a museum”
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Museum was a perfect setting for the current Barry McGee exhibit. I loved the minimalism, poured concrete backdrop. Really was a great experience.

Visited September 2012
Thank Alice L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“A great place for art and film lovers”
Reviewed March 8, 2012

I always visit the museum when in Berkeley as there is always something interesting going on. What makes the lace special for me though is PFA. The show hard-to-find films gems (old and new) hardly screened anywhere else. Even London's BFI does not put up such rare retrospectives. My favourite thing though are the Friday night events ( music, performance art, etc), which have a great community atmosphere and are mostly excellent.

Visited March 2012
Thank remopigl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek, California
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“UC Berkeley Art Musem and film archive”
Reviewed March 6, 2012

An intriguing building architecturally, though reported to be inadequately constructed for earthquake stability, with noteworthy modern art and films.

Thank Rick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Altos, California
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“"After the Fire" by Richard Misrach - very powerful photo show”
Reviewed January 5, 2012

I recall the fire in the Oakland Hills in 1991 that destroyed 4000 homes. A few days after the fire Richard Misrach took his large format camera to the site and shot photos of the aftermath. Most of the photos are very large and powerful - a mixture of tragedy and beauty. The show goes only through Feb 5. The same photos are also being shown at the Oakland Art Museum, and the presentation may even be a bit better (darker room with spotlights). BAM is open Wed - Sun 11 - 5.

Visited January 2012
1 Thank pepper003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“A Community Treasure”
Reviewed December 12, 2011

As BAMFA members we feel very fortunate to be able to view some of our favorite films on the larger screen - Ran, by Kurosawa and Touchez Pas au Grisbi Poster by Jacques Becker are some fine examples. Granted, as a couple in our 30s, we are usually the youngest people in the theatre but we don't mind one bit. Some of the films at BAMPFA will never appear again on the larger screen, so we appreciate the opportunity to view it with such a respectful (i.e. quiet) audience.

Visited November 2011
Thank tarinay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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