Museum History Interactive Timeline

1945Neglected museum closes

The museum began to share its building space with various natural science departments and at one time housed David Starr Jordan's collection of fish, one of the most important in the world at that time. The art collection was decimated by loss, sales, and gifts when the poorly secured storage area became a quarry for local collectors and dealers.

In 1945 the museum was officially closed in order to conduct an inventory of the art holdings. The art department took this as an opportunity to divest the museum of works of art lacking aesthetic merit. An enormous accumulation of worthless material was disposed of, but so too were paintings and sculptures from the original family collection judged now to be of higher aesthetic value than was believed in the 1950s.