The California Museum opened in 1998 through a partnership with
the State of California as a private non-profit institution
focused on California history and culture. Conceived by
California Secretary of State March Fong Eu and developed under
the auspices of the Secretary of State’s office, the Museum was
originally created to be the public showplace for contents of the
the California State Archives.
In 2003, former First Lady Maria Shriver began working with
the Museum to expand its vision and mission. In 2004,
“California’s Remarkable Women” opened as the first of her many
collaborative efforts with the Museum. Since then, the Museum’s
exhibitions have continued to emphasize stories that reflect all
aspects of California’s diverse population and culture, with
an emphasis on the contributions of women and under-represented
In 2006, Shriver and then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
became Honorary Co-Chairs of the Museum and launched the
California Hall of Fame as the Museum’s annual gala and an
official award from the Governor of California.
During their administration, former Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
and First Lady Anne Gust Brown worked with the Museum in the
selection of California Hall of Fame inductees, bringing their
appreciation of California history and the educational mission of
the Museum to their honorary position.
Today, the Museum collaborates with Governor Gavin Newsom and
First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom to present the California
Hall of Fame and on exhibits and programs showcasing the
contributions of California women.