Nominated for: BEST Museum
Presenting the natural science, history and art of the Golden State. One of Oakland's top attractions, the Oakland Museum of California encompasses an inviting series of landscaped buildings displaying the state's art, history, and natural wonders. The museum is an excellent introduction to a tour of California, and its detailed exhibits can help fill the gaps on a brief visit. Step into the Natural Sciences Gallery to the sound of screeching gulls and travel through the state's myriad ecosystems, from the sand dunes of the Pacific to the coyotes and brush of the Nevada border. Kids love the lifelike wild-animal exhibits, especially the snarling wolverine, big-eyed harbor seal, and trove of hidden creatures. The Gallery of California Art holds an eclectic collection of modern works and early landscapes. Of particular interest are paintings by Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Brown, Elmer Bischoff, and David Park, all members of the Bay Area Figurative School, which flourished here after World War II. Fans of Dorothea Lange won't want to miss the gallery's comprehensive collection of her work. The museum also has a bookstore, a pleasant café, and a sculpture garden with a view of the Oakland and Berkeley hills in the distance.
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