Modern and contemporary art is at the heart of the museum’s identity and its mission.
The modern and contemporary collection contains approximately 3,000 sculptures, paintings and prints, 2,000 fine art photographs, and another 40,000 negatives, contact sheets and other photo-based objects.
This collection, in conjunction with a rich exhibition schedule, is the basis for educational events, interpretive strategies, and other programming opportunities.
Given the international reputation of Palm Springs as a region that developed under the influence of mid-century modernism, art from this period is a priority for the collection, which continues with its historical trajectory into contemporary art.
The collection includes painting and sculpture by artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Duane Hanson, John Chamberlain, Anselm Keifer, and Anthony Gormley. It includes works by historically significant West Coast artists Sam Francis, Robert Arneson, Nathan Oliveira, Mark di Suvero, and Edward Ruscha, among others, as well as contemporary Native American artists. Additional areas of focus include Contemporary and Studio Art Glass by artists including Dale Chihuly, Karen LaMonte, Howard Ben Tré, Lynda Benglis, and William Morris.
In addition, the modern and contemporary collection includes photographs. Acquisitions in this media in recent years reflect a broader focus on the art historical development of European and American photography in the 20th century, with some emphasis on modern and contemporary prints from across the world.