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Riverside Art Museum

Built 1929, originally the YWCA
Established 1967
Location Riverside, California
Type Art museum
Director MJ Abraham
Curator Peter Frank
Old YWCA Building
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Riverside Art Museum is located in California
Location: 3425 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, California
Coordinates: 33°58′54.2″N 117°22′13.7″W / 33.981722°N 117.370472°W / 33.981722; -117.370472Coordinates: 33°58′54.2″N 117°22′13.7″W / 33.981722°N 117.370472°W / 33.981722; -117.370472
Built/Founded: 1929
Architect: Morgan, Julia; Nethery Company
Architectural style(s): Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Mediterranean
Governing body: Private
Added to NRHP: January 28, 1982
NRHP Reference#: 82002227[1]

Riverside Art Museum is an art museum in the historic Mission Inn District of Riverside, California. A non-profit organization, its mission is to "to serve the varied communities of the Inland Empire by providing visual art of the finest quality and related educational and interpretive programs."[2]



In 1929, the Riverside Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) selected the corner of 7th (now Mission Inn Avenue) and Lime Streets as the site for its new building. The association's directors hired architect Julia Morgan to design the building over the objections of Frank Miller of the Mission Inn, who wanted an architect who would design the building in the Mission Revival Style architecture.

In 1960, the Riverside Art Center began fundraising to purchase the YWCA building, which had recently come onto the market. On July 5, 1967, the YWCA officially sold the building to the Riverside Arts Center for $250,000.

In 1982, the building was designated a Registered Historic Place and a city historic landmark.

In 1992, a three-phase renovation of the building was undertaken with the financial assistance of the City of Riverside.


The building combines elements of Mediterranean and Classical architecture in an "innovative tri-block design".[3] The first floor originally housed a swimming pool, an open-air atrium, and a gymnasium. The second floor featured bedrooms, offices, and meeting rooms with a small stage. On the roof was a badminton court. A garden, and an outdoor fireplace were added in the late 1930s as a memorial to Ruth Muir, former Secretary (Executive Director), after she was brutally assaulted and murdered at the age of 48, while vacationing in La Jolla.

Today, the building features two large galleries downstairs and two small galleries upstairs. The atrium has been covered with a glass ceiling, and an upstairs restroom has been converted into a library.


The Riverside Art Museum mounts an average of 20 exhibitions per year, some of which are travelling exhibitions, of "art that addresses social issues, diverse themes and a range of media techniques".[2]


The Riverside Art Museum hosts educational programs for both children and adults.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.  
  2. ^ a b "Home". Riverside Art Museum website. Riverside Art Museum. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-13.  
  3. ^ "History". Riverside Art Museum website. Riverside Art Museum. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-13.  


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