• Arts at Chapman

    Art Collections

» Art Collections

Art is an integral part of the educational process at Chapman University. We take pride in giving our students, faculty and staff the opportunity to spend their days at Chapman surrounded by beautiful and inspirational works of art as they learn, discover and grow.

We believe that enriching our campus with beautiful works of art results in a powerful cross-pollination of ideas and inspiration.  As Chapman continues to grow in both size and reputation, we strive to remain faithful to the foundations of a liberal education in which seemingly disparate disciplines – like the arts and sciences — are interconnected partners in the pursuit of learning and discovery.

Chapman University is proud to be the home of two wonderful collections of art: the Hilbert Museum of California Art, and the Escalette Permanent Collection of Art. Between the two is a diverse array of works in a wide variety of media. The Hilbert Museum exhibits the vast collection of Mark and Jan Hilbert, which focuses on California Scene Painting from the past century. The Escalette Collection is supported by an endowment established by the late Phyllis and Ross Escalette, and is comprised mostly of contemporary and modern paintings, prints, and sculpture. Rather than being housed in a museum or gallery, The Escalette Collection is displayed throughout the Chapman campus in hallways, public spaces, and study areas. Both collections are free and open to the public to view.

+ - What is the Art Collections Department at Chapman?

The Art Collections Department manages artwork on campus, including its installation, research, storage, and care, as well as organizing exhibitions and community outreach, and overseeing the Student Art Ambassador program. The department also handles donations and loans of artwork within the scope of Chapman's collections.

We are always happy to help with your questions about the art collections!  

To contact the department, email artcollections@chapman.edu

+ - Exhibitions

Current Exhibition

Reni Gower, White/malachite, 2014

Geometric Aljamía: A Cultural Transliteration
On view: August 29, 2016 – January 5, 2017
Doy and Dee Henley Galleria | Argyros Forum | 2nd Floor

Since ancient times, geometric perfection in forms such as the circle, square, or triangle has been thought to convey sacred and universal truths. This exhibition uses geometry as a cross-cultural tool to investigate current and historic connections between the Middle East and the West. Included in the project are contemporary artists and designers from Afghanistan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, and the United States.

 Aljamía is a medieval Spanish word that refers to Romance languages written in Arabic script. In the past, aljamía played a significant role in preserving and disseminating Islam and the Arabic language throughout the Iberian Peninsula and beyond.

 By understanding the arts as a transliteration of one form of thinking to another and addressing the fundamental patterns and geometry embedded in visual art and poetry, this project revisits the ongoing impact of Islamic art, science, and philosophy throughout the world today.

Funding was made possible in part by Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Department of Painting & Printmaking.

Stay tuned for information on all of our past exhibitions!

+ - Meet Our Student Art Ambassadors

Student Art Ambassadors are Chapman University students who act as liaisons between the collection and the student body, host tours and workshops for groups large and small, attend all collection events, and promote the arts at Chapman.

This year, the program expanded to include five very talented students:


From left to right: Jessica Bocinski, double major in Art History and Anthropology ('18); Maya Dengel, Communication Studies major ('20); Manon Wogahn, Art History major ('18); Alyson Brandes, Art History major ('20); Jessica Johnson, double major in Film Studies and Theatre Studies ('18).