Collections are the heart of a teaching museum and the Pomona College Museum of Art is an active collecting museum. The Museum holds over 10,000 artworks from Renaissance panel paintings to contemporary painting and photography. The collections are a teaching resource, emphasizing first-hand conversation with art objects as a tool for increasing visual literacy and investigating the diversity of human experience.
Important holdings include the Kress Collection of 15th- and 16th-century Italian panel paintings; more than 5,000 examples of Pre-Columbian to 20th-century American Indian art and artifacts, including basketry, ceramics and beadwork; and a growing collection of American and European prints, drawings and photographs. Highlights of the works on paper collection include: complete first edition sets of the four series of etchings by Francisco Goya; fine examples of German Expressionists prints; an important collection of contemporary graphic work by June Wayne, the founder of the pioneering Tamarind Lithography Workshop, and from Edward Hamilton Press; and twentieth-century American photography. The Museum also holds the preparatory drawings of two significant murals on the campus by José Clemente Orozco, one of “Los Tres Grandes” of Mexican Muralism, and Rico Lebrun.
The Museum collects in many areas, including contemporary artworks that represent the Project Series exhibitions. The growing contemporary collection complements existing collections and other collecting initiatives focus on works of art with international and intellectual importance that enrich the College community.