USC Museums and Libraries
USC MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES
Founded in 1939, the USC Fisher Museum of Art houses a permanent collection of some 1,800 objects and maintains an exhibition schedule designed to introduce the arts to a wide range of audiences—featuring art from Old Masters to contemporary works. The Art and Architecture Library offers more than 75,000 books and journals dedicated to the studies of art history, fine arts, photography, and architecture, as well as a notable collection of rare titles and artists’ books. The Special Collections at the University of Southern California oversees archives, manuscripts, historic photographs, and rare books. It contains more than 200,000 books, over 1,000 archival collections, and more than 2 million photographs. Further afield, the USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California, is one of few U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Click below for addtional information on USC's museums and libraries.
In addition to the art museums and libraries on campus, USC is situated directly across the street from Los Angeles’ Exposition Park, which features important museums, including the Natural History Museum, the California African American Museum and soon to open, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
USC Fisher Museum of Art
The USC Fisher Museum of Art is the first museum established in the city of Los Angeles that was opened as an art museum and remains solely dedicated to the exhibition and collection of fine art.
Founded in 1939 by Elizabeth Holmes Fisher and accredited by the American Association of Museums, the USC Fisher Museum houses a permanent collection of some 1,800 objects including 19thcentury American landscapes; 16thand 17thcentury Northern European paintings; 18thcentury British portraiture; and 19thcentury French Barbizon paintings, we well as 20thcentury works on paper, paintings and sculpture and features exhibitions of local, international, and emerging artists.
The museum’s exhibition schedule provides a lively offering of contemporary and Old Master exhibitions designed to introduce the arts to a wide range of audiences.
Located on the USC campus in the heart of Los Angeles, the museum is part of an extraordinary complex of Exposition Park museums, including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the California Science Center, and the California African American Museum.
Pacific Asia Museum
Established in 1971, the museum is one of few U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands, serving the city of Los Angeles and the Greater Southern California region. The museum’s mission is to further intercultural understanding through the arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.
The museum’s collection to grow to more than 15,000 objects, spanning more than four thousand years and the region extending from Persia to the Pacific Islands. The museum fulfills its mission by organizing and presenting exhibitions, performances, lectures, classes, workshops, and festivals, all drawing on the arts and cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands. These programs provide quality arts programming and education to children and families, ensuring greater access to the arts for area residents and nurturing new audiences.
In its brief history, the museum has organized and presented a number of groundbreaking exhibitions, including the first North American exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art after the Revolution and the first exhibition of Aboriginal art in the United States. Exhibitions originated by the museum have traveled across the country and to Japan. The museum is also committed to scholarship and has produced more than 50 exhibition catalogues.
The Architecture and Fine Arts Library (AFA)
The Architecture & Fine Arts Library (AFA) is located in a modernist setting designed by Becket Associates and Graeme Morland, a faculty member at the School of Architecture, on the ground floor of Watt Hall. It houses more than 75,000 volumes of books and journals dedicated to the studies of art history, fine arts, and architecture, as well as a notable collection of rare titles and artists’ books.
In addition, the AFA Library has a growing collection of videos and dvds in the arts and design fields. The AFA Library’s collection can be searched through the USC Libraries catalog, HOMER. The library also has several architectural and public-art archival collections. It is part of the USC Libraries system, and adheres to the USC Libraries policies on access and borrowing privileges.
USC Special Collections
Located in Doheny Memorial Library | map | website
The Department of Special Collections at USC oversees rare books, manuscripts, archives, and historic photographs. It contains more than 200,000 volumes, more than 1000 archival collections, and more than 2 million photographs.
Special Collections serves as the access point for the Libraries’ holdings of rare books and manuscripts and many of the university’s archival collections. The purpose is to collect, preserve, promote and foster access to primary source material in our these main areas of strength: Southern California regional history; Lion Feuchtwanger and the European exiles of the 20thcentury in Southern California; Shoah Foundation video oral histories; American literature; natural history; Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland; and USC history.