Museum of California Design

The Museum of California Design is dedicated to exhibiting and documenting California’s extraordinary commercial design history: from cups to cars, from sideboards to surfboards. We are the only museum dedicated exclusively to this purpose and, being a museum without walls, we achieve our goals through traveling exhibitions and public programming.

In addition to our exhibitions and public programs we honor individuals and producers with our Henry Award for outstanding contributions to design in California. The Museum also houses an archive of catalogs, photographs, books, working drawings and audio recordings that illustrate the creation, production and distribution processes that are essential aspects of developing the well-designed products we value in our daily lives.

Other California museums have the word “design” in their names but, unlike the Museum of California Design, their emphasis is either on art or architecture. We alone have the historic perspective necessary to carry out our sole mission -- honoring design created in California for more than a century.

Learn about our mission, our donors and our board of directors at



Bill Stern, executive director of the Museum of California Design, is also an author, curator and lecturer.

His exhibitions include California Pottery: From Missions to Modernism -- at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Autry Museum in Los Angeles -- Starring William Haines at the Pacific Design Center and the Palm Springs Convention Center, California’s Designing Women 1896-1986 at the Autry National Center, Frank Gehry: 40 Years of Product Design 1972 to 2015 at JFChen@1135. and Plastics from Paradise: California Modernizes the American Lifestyle at Palm Springs Modernism 2017. He was Consulting Curator for LACMA’s exhibition California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way.

Among Stern’s many publications are the books California Pottery: From Missions to Modernism and California’s Designing Women 1896-1986 and the essays “Edith Heath: Artist of the Everyday,” in Heath Ceramics: The Complexity of Simplicity, and “War and Peace: Unexpected Dividends” in the catalog of LACMA’s California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way.

He has lectured on California's contribution to American commercial design, collecting and related subjects at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the University of Southern California, the Japansese American National Museum, the Orange County Museum of Art, 49th Annual Symposium of the American Ceramics Circle, Getty Center, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.