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CMAA History

A museum with a mission:

The California Museum of Ancient Art (CMAA) was established to gather the first significant collection of ancient art from Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Holy Land in the western United States. The collection will be a focus for people in Southern California, giving them access for the first time to the roots of Western Civilization.

The acclaimed city-wide educational series, "The Wonders of Ancient Civilization," in spring 1986, led to a second series the following year. In May 1987, CMAA joined forces with Pepperdine University to host a major symposium, "The Sumerians," on the first great civilization - attracting a national audience.

Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Dr. Samuel Noah Kramer.
Sumerian Symposium, May 1987


Performance of "Inana" the oldest known play.
Sumerian Symposium, May 1987

In addition, more than one hundred renowned scholars from around the world have lectured under the auspices of the CMAA's International Scholars' Forum and its 15 major theme series.

In November 1988, the "Many Faces of the Ancient Near East" Exhibit was displayed in the Los Angeles area.

Exhibit of Egyptian Artifacts

Exhibit of Egyptian Artifacts

CMAA is a non-profit, public benefit corporation, founded August 9, 1983. It received tax exempt status from both the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board as a 501(c)3 organization in October 1983.

In recognition of these accomplishments and the Museum's growing influence, Mayor Tom Bradley and the Los Angeles City Council proclaimed November 13, 1988, California Museum of Ancient Art Day in Los Angeles.