The museum has owned the mural, which was painted on two large canvases joined together, since the Oaks Hotel donated it as a gift in the early 1990s. The wall that it covered had to be torn down for hotel renovations. In the "Inner Visions" show, the piece's two parts are displayed separately on walls facing one another.
This is the first time that the Irvine Museum is displaying the mural. Before that, it lived for 18 years at the Joan Irvine Smith Hall at UC Irvine. The museum, which is housed in a suite on the ground floor of an office tower, previously was located on the building's 12th floor, but the Botke's mural had to be kept off site because it was too big to fit into the elevators, according to a news release.
During a Wednesday night tour of the show, Jean Stern, the museum's executive director, explained that women had a hard time breaking into careers in the visual arts on the East Coast because the arts scene there was older, more established and male-dominated.