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Location Scouting: Manetti Shrem Museum of Art- UC Davis


I am super excited to share images of the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art with you in this latest location scouting blog post. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I went to UC Davis Arboretum on Christmas morning to photograph a super sweet proposal in the redwood forest. That blog post is coming soon as I am still working on those images.



Since it was Christmas morning, I couldn’t help but drag Henry and Jixer with me so we can do some exploring after the shoot. The sun was shining and the weather was beautiful. We love the Arboretum already but once I saw the Manetti Shem Museum, I knew we had to go there. Of course it wouldn’t be open on Christmas Day but who cares. The outside space is soooooo amazingly beautiful. The lines, angles, colors and textures here are just jaw dropping gorgeous!

Minimal, Clean and Modern
These are the three words that come to mind when I think about this space.

Of course, I had to have Henry takes a photo of me and Jixer in front of this wall.
Couldn’t help but snap this picture for as much as I love lines and angles, I love the organic feel of this curve and how it was used to create movement in the overall structure.


I noticed that they use olive trees in the front. I’m not sure what is the reason behind it but to me, I love the contrast between the large metallic beams up on the ceiling versus the strong but small & plentiful olive leaves down below. It’s beautiful for balance like Ying & Yang.



On the side of the building, there’s a bike rack (super important for a college campus), a beautiful walkway and a garden that’s filled with yellow sunflowers(?) that are blooming still, even in December.



Of course my first reaction was the burst out my 70-200mm lens so that I can capture the lines and the shadow. Henry loves architecture and street photography. So after shooting with him for so long, I can spot that one point perspective from a mile away.

Hi Jixer! What a great model you are.

On a side note, notice how on one side of the walkway, the columns are made of concrete and on the other side, it looks like wood(?). The wood on the left seems to match with the texture of the museum while the concrete columns on the right blend into the parking garage nearby. Having worked at an architecture firm while I was in college, I know that everything is done on purpose. So I am assuming this is the argument for the design.



Lines, lights and shadows.

We were like kids in a candy store, on Christmas Day.
(Can you imagine doing headshots here?
Wahhhhhh!!!! That background is so amazing!!!)


I can’t wait to go back there. I was browsing on Instagram and got super excited for the “Wishing Tree” exhibit. I’m pretty sure I will be back soon to photograph a graduating senior or do engagement photos of a couple who graduated from UC Davis. Or just someone who appreciate the architecture and space here.

Eeeeeeeeeee! I cannot wait!!!!

TELL ME, TELL ME: HAVE YOU BEEN? HAVE YOU BEEN? What did you think of it?

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. As a disclaimer, all opinions and observations are my own as a photographer, not a certified architect.


The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art was designed by SO-IL & Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Please visit their websites for more info on this project.

For hours, directions and exhibits on display at the museum, please check out the Museum’s website for more info.

Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art
254 Old Davis Rd
Davis, CA 95616


Until next time,


Two Twenty Photos
Weddings, Portraits & Commercial Photographer
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