First Glimpse: Introducing The Buck Collection

"Thrasher" by Peter Alexander. Credit: The Buck Collection.

For more than twenty years, Newport Beach developer Gerald Buck engaged in an unexpected pastime: building an unparalleled collection of artworks in a wide variety of genres and media.

Initially collecting for pleasure, eventually Mr. Buck realized that he had in fact built something unique: more than thirty-two hundred works, most of which were bought, boxed, and stored away. Many of the works in the collection have not been seen since they were purchased and stored, though Mr. Buck lent works to exhibitions across Southern California. As an autodidact regarding artwork, Mr. Buck focused his attention on his own personal study of the works, the artists, the genres, and their cultural significance. Among his chief desires was that the works be studied and appreciated for their many values.

In order to fulfill that commitment, at his death in 2013 Gerald Buck passed the collection to UCI. We are indeed delighted that we have received this great opportunity. UCI will construct a fitting home for the Buck Collection (and others, centrally The Irvine Museum Collection, gifted to UCI in 2016). Over the next several years, UCI will build the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art, the focus for the exhibition of, and research on, California Art. But we are eager to introduce this great collection to the public. Toward this goal, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts will host the first public exhibition of selected works from the Buck Collection. An accompanying exhibition catalogue with essays by the exhibition curators, Cécile Whiting, Kevin Appel, and Stephen Barker, will be available late in the fall.

The exhibition, sponsored by the UCI Office of the Provost and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, will be a unique opportunity to see some of the finest art produced in California.


Stephen Barker
Executive Director, UCI IMCA

Learn more at

First Glimpse: Introducing The Buck Collection at the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art

Curated by Kevin Appel, Stephen Barker, Cécile Whiting

UCI proudly offers a First Glimpse of The Buck Collection, part of the emerging Institute and Museum for California Art. Acquired by Newport Beach developer and eclectic collector Gerald Buck, the 3,300 artworks by California artists span a broad range of genres and media. This exhibition, held at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, reveals just over fifty works of Abstract Classicism, Expressionism, Assemblage, California Funk, Light and Space, and those defying definition. The exhibition presents California as a crucible of creativity and its artists as pioneering new movements, altering historical courses, and following powerful individual vision.

Support for this exhibition is provided through the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.


Contemporary Arts Center Gallery and University Art Gallery
Free admission
Gallery Hours | Tuesday - Saturday | 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Thursdays until 8:00 p.m.
Holiday Closures: November 22 – 23, December 25 – 29, January 1
(949) 824-9854 | |


Kevin Appel, Stephen Barker, Cécile Whiting
Contemporary Arts Center Gallery
University Art Gallery
Exhibition Dates: 
Sep 29, 2018 to Jan 05, 2019
Saturday, September 29, 2018 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Thursdays, (Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 29, Dec. 6, 13), 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Saturdays, (Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, Dec. 1, 8, 15, Jan. 5), 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Take a deeper look at the exhibition on a gallery tour led by an Art History graduate student docent, who will discuss selected highlights in the context of the history of California art and the Buck Collection.
Contemporary Arts Center Gallery


October 11, November 8, December 13, 6:00– 7:00 p.m.
Gain new insight into the exhibition and the history of California art with our series of special guest speakers.
Winifred Smith Hall