Upcoming Exhibitions


Thursday, October 8 – Sunday, November 8, 2020

Due to our temporary closure based on guidance from state and health officials we will be presenting Día de los Muertos: Journey of the Butterflies virtually through photographs and videos.

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) emphasizes remembrance of past lives and is a celebration of the continuity of life. For Día de los Muertos, the monarch butterfly holds the spirits of the departed. Explore and learn more about the tradition that dates back to Mexico’s oldest civilizations through the artwork of local contemporary artists at our annual exhibition showcasing paintings, sculptures, mixed media, photography, and ofrendas (altars).

The Aztecs were a Mesoamerican culture that emerged in the 14th century in what is now central Mexico.  Historically the Aztec people would take offerings to the King and Queen, guardians of the Land of the Dead. Although this ancient tradition has evolved over the past centuries the idea of coming together and bringing offerings to those who have passed remains.

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) signifies how we come together as a family and community to honor our ancestors. Throughout the years the Ontario Museum of History & Art has exhibited several community artists who bring their own narrative and voice to what Día de los Muertos means to them. 

This event is a celebration to honor loved ones who have passed through an altar or ofrenda. Traditionally, families install altars at homes or cemeteries and adorn them with offerings that the departed persons once enjoyed, such as their favorite objects, flowers or treats. This year’s exhibit, “Journey of the Butterflies” is inspired by the story of the monarch butterfly in Michoacán, Mexico. Locals believe the returning of the monarch butterflies are souls of ancestors who are back to visit the living. The monarch is a reminder to us how life continues after death and how loved ones will always be remembered.

Photo credit: Debbie Fuentes, Un Viaje de las Mariposa, date unknown, photo courtesy of the artist.

Built On Water Exhibit  

Coming 2021

Ontario Museum of History & Art (OMHA) is developing a new core exhibition in the coming year, along with related educational programs, and an online component, devoted to an examination of the history, present and future of water conservation in Ontario and the surrounding region.   

The history of water development, distribution and conservation has a huge continuing impact on the City of Ontario and surrounding area of Inland, Southern California, as well as our continued prosperity into the future. By focusing on local and tangible history, and by partnering with other area water-related institutions and collections, the project will greatly increase access and engagement on this vital issue with the public, especially area youth.  

Our goals for this permanent exhibition include illustrating the sources of our water, as well as sharing water conservation practices, and providing resource and educational materials on how water is managed and delivered not only historically but also presently and in the future.