Dexter Filming Locations: The Museum of Art

DEXTER Filming Locations - hundreds of actual places where the TV show Dexter was filmed.

The location: The Museum of Art

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. An art museum

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. At the Miami Cultural Center.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 5, of Season 6, "The Angel of Death".

    While examining the wings used in the bloody angel murder, Dexter discovers that a small repair was made with a rare glue, and finds that the backing of the wings was made from calfskin.  Both items are used in ancient manuscripts.

    Next, Dexter learns from Debra that the angel victim worked at the Glass House Cafe, at the Miami Cultural Center. Dexter realizes that the Center is full of ancient artifacts needing repair.

    So, he drops by the art museum at the Center, to ask about how to fix a painting.  But when he approaches a docent, instead of referring him to someone who could answer his questions, she instead leads him to a tiny theatre (filled with kids on a field trip) where they are showing a film about ancient art restoration.

    Fortunately for Dexter, Travis is in the film - shown doing a repair.  Dexter recognizes him (because he caught a glimpse of him at the angel murder scene), and realizes that Travis works at the center.

    Later, Dexter looks up his record, and finds it clean.  But he gets Travis's address and breaks into his home, looking for evidence.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An art gallery.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

A. This scene was actually shot at the small Max Gatov Gallery.

That's located on the campus of California State University Long Beach (CSULB), located at 1250 Bellflower Blvd in Long Beach, CA.

Don't confuse this small, U-shaped gallery with the much larger University Art Museum. 

This gallery is north of the Fine Arts 1 (FA1) building. The Fine Art buildings (and the Central Quad) are located at the far south end of the campus, just north of Seventh Street.

This is the same campus where they shot the University of Tallahassee scene, (where Angel & Quinn talked to Professor Gellar's former assistant) - for this same episode.

In fact, this art gallery is only about 50 yards to the north of the spot where Gellar's assistant (Ms. Porter) was sitting on a bench, at the start of that Tallahassee scene. 

To show exactly where it is (and how close it is) in relation to that earlier scene, here's a video, courtesy of Jason Z (a CSULB student), showing the short walk from that "Tallahassee" location to the entrance of the Max Gatov Gallery:

On the show, they wanted the museum to look like a place where ancient art was restored, so they filled it with suits of armor and Renaissance art, which (as you can see below) isn't typical of this gallery.

The small screening room, where Dexter watches the film, doesn't appear to be part of the gallery in real life.  The producers could have created that simple nook just about anywhere (including the studio).

Note: The exterior of the art museum, seen later in Episode 8 ("Sin of Omission") was shot in an entirely different location.

Here's a Bing aerial photo, showing the museum's location . And here is a map link.

Jason shot these photos of the gallery in November 2011.

(Yes, I think we can all agree that this is a very strange art exhibit...)

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A.  In previous seasons, I've usually had to hunt down the locations after viewing the episodes, using clues from the various scenes.  By the 6th season, though, I'd developed a small group of fans, spies & tipsters who kept an eye out for Dexter filming in their neighborhoods, and would let me know in advance when something was about to film there.

    Between those reports, my own personal reconnaissance around town, and a few new resources I discovered, by the time the first episode aired, I already knew most (but not all) of the filming locations, and only needed to watch the episodes and match up the scenes with the correct locations.

    This group of helpful fans includes Kerry, Rick, Ellen, Susan, Jason, Elaine, Joel, Julie, Geoff, Jeff, and others. My thanks to all of them.

    Rick told me that they had filmed a museum scene at this gallery, at CSULB. But as a UCLA alum, the only place I had been on the CSULB campus was their Japanese Garden, so I didn't know where the gallery was.  At first, I thought it was probably the main art gallery.

    Fortunately, Jason Z (a student at CSULB) tracked it down for me, and even sent me the photos and the video you see above.  (He also sent me photos for that Tallahassee scene.)  My thanks to both Jason and Rick.

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