Santa Barbara Museum of Art : Michelin's recommendations
Housed in an elegant Italian Renaissance-style structure expanded in 1998, the museum reigns as one of the country's outstanding regional art museums. It was founded in 1941 through a collaborative effort between private citizens and the city government. Thirteen galleries showcase 4,500 years of Asian, European and American art.A highlight is muralist David Siqueiros' Portrait of Mexico Today (1932), moved from the interior garden wall of a private residence in 2002. One of three large works painted by the Mexican artist in the US, the socio-political commentary is the only one that survives intact. The main level contains a collection of Greek and Roman sculptures dating from the 4C BC. The famed Lansdowne Hermes (AD 2C) stands in the Ludington Court entrance hall. Also on this floor is French and British art of the 19C to early 20C, including works by Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, and Claude Monet. Paintings by Albert Bierstadt, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Merrit Chase and John Singer Sargent are shown in the galleries of 18-19C American art. The Davidson Gallery has 20C artworks by such artists as Hans Hofmann, Rufino Tamayo and Javier Marin. Emmons Gallery demonstrates the museum's growing emphasis on contemporary California art with rotating thematic and one-artist exhibitions. The upper level houses Asian art and photography.
Opening hours :
- daily except Mon 11am-5pm