Santa Barbara Historical Museum
136 E. De la Guerra Street
Santa Barbara, CA  93101

(805) 966-1601 (Phone)   |   (805) 966-1603 (Fax)
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Year Founded:
    1932
Description:
   The Museum represents ALL of Santa Barbara's history and should serve as a "first stop" for visitors interested in a beautiful introduction to the city's rich cultural heritage.
    The Museum is headquartered in its 25,000 square-foot adobe building in downtown Santa Barbara. Here are housed the museum galleries featuring the signature exhibition, The Story of Santa Barbara, which traces the evolution of the region from the days of the Chumash into the 21st century. In addition, the Sala Gallery offers changing exhibitions four to five times annually.
    The Museum holds in public trust over 80,000 irreplaceable historic artifacts including paintings, drawings, furniture, saddles, decorative arts, and one of the largest costume collections west of the Mississippi. The Gledhill Library counts over 5,000 books, over 70,000 photographs as well as maps, newspaper volumes, government documents, private papers, and oral histories among its collections.
    The Historical Museum operates two historic house museums: The Hon. Charles Fernald Mansion (c.1865), the exquisite Queen Anne Victorian home of one of the city’s most prominent historical figures and the neighboring Trussell-Winchester Adobe (1854) with its period furnishings. The Museum also owns and has seen to the preservation of the Covarrubias Adobe (1817), one of the oldest buildings in Santa Barbara, and the Historic Adobe (1854), both adjacent to the downtown museum building. The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is almost eighty years old, yet its mission remains much the same. It is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting the material culture of the Santa Barbara region in all its diversity; to educating through lectures, tours, and in the classroom; and to encouraging research, scholarship, and publication on the history of the Santa Barbara community. History can guide and inspire our actions, a tool with which we can build a better tomorrow. It is that belief which informs the Museum’s motto, “Upon the foundation of the past, we build a future worth remembering.”
Museum Category:
    Historical


Business Hours:
    10 - 5PM (Tue-Sat); 12-5 (Sun); Closed Monday
Location Type:
    Museum
Payment Accepted:
    Cash,   Check,   MasterCard,   Visa,  
Languages Spoken:
    English,   Spanish,  
Admission:
    FREE
General Business Classification:
    Museums, Historic Sites, Attractions
    Categories:
    Historical Museum
    Museums/Attractions/Historic

Legal Entity:
    Non-Profit
Number of Employees:
    11 - 25
Average Visit:
    1 hour
Admittance:
    During normal business hours.
Indoor/Outdoor:
    Indoor/Outdoor Location
Parking On-Site?
    Yes  
Handicapped Accessible?
    Yes
Cell Phones & Pagers?
    Some restrictions
Cameras/Recording Equip.?
    Some restrictions
Pets Allowed?
    No
Guided Tours?
    Yes
Gift Certificates?
    Available for Sale
Classes Offered?
    Yes.

www.santabarbaramuseum.com
 Recent Buzzes!!
4/16/14 - First Thursday "Lutah"
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First Thursday - “Lutah” May 1, 5-8 p.m. Free Enjoy a sneak peek of Lutah: A Passion For Architecture, A Life In Design, which was launched into the headlines during the Film Festival. The film, presented by the Lutah Maria Riggs Society and directed by award-winning Kum-Kum Bhavnani, explores the life of a little known architect during the early 20th century in Santa Barbara. While you are here visit the Museum’s latest exhibition, Impressions in Ink-Etchings From The Collection, which showcases prints by Santa Barbara artists: Henry Chapman Ford, Carl Oscar Borg, Reginald Vaughan, and Edward Borein. Wine-tasting provided by Lieff Wines. Always family-friendly
2/6/14 - Save the Date! A Legacy of Medical Innovation -- 2/28
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The Women’s Council of Sansum Clinic and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum cordially invite you to a special release of NOTICIAS and presentation by Sansum Clinic Physician, Dr. Erno Daniel and Historian, Erin Graffy on A Legacy of Medical Innovation on Friday, February 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM. With special unveiling of the bust of Dr. William David Sansum by the Burtness Family. RSVP by February 24 to 805-966-1601 or reception@sbhistorical.org
Presented by ... Santa Barbara Historical Museum
Venue ... Santa Barbara Historical Museum
1/30/14 - Tomorow (Friday)! The Story of the Flying A - Film History in Santa Barbara -- 1/31
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Join us for this nostalgic glimpse of Santa Barbara's contribution to the film industry with a presentation by historian Neal Graffy. From early 1911 to the summer of 1912, the American Film Company's western unit consisted of half-a-dozen actors and a handful of cowboys shooting one-reel westerns around southern California. Known as the Flying A, the company settled in Santa Barbara that summer and grew to become a film industry leader. From historic adobes to magnificent mansions, sandy beaches to mountain peaks, the cameras of the Flying A cranked out hundreds of westerns, dramas, and comedies that were seen world-wide. The film pioneers of the Flying A left a legacy which continues to influence the movies and television shows of today.
Presented by ... Santa Barbara Historical Museum
Venue ... Santa Barbara Historical Museum
10/22/13 - Lockwood de Forest Exhibiti opens on Friday, October 25
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Lockwood de Forest, N.A. (1850-1932) trained within the Hudson River School as a painter, and was accepted into the prestigious National Academy in 1898. An avid traveler and accomplished designer, de Forest produced Indian furnishings with Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York, and in 1915 he settled permanently in Santa Barbara. Here the artist returned to landscape painting with an emphasis on color and light, in his own unique and objective artistic vision of the region’s natural surroundings.
We invite you to explore his work from the Museum’s collection, loans, and an outstanding collection of promised gifts that have not been publicly displayed in their entirety.
Exhibit Duration: October 25, 2013 – March 2, 2014

Presented by ... Santa Barbara Historical Museum
Venue ... Santa Barbara Historical Museum
4/1/13 - April 4th - Opening Celebration for De la Tierra - Art of the Adobe
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The exhibit features works from the museum's collection by renowned artists such as Alexander Harmer, Ludmilla Welch, A.M. Podchernikoff, Charles Rollo Peters, and Henry Chapman Ford. The artwork is displayed alongside historic photographs by J. Walter Collinge, N.H. Reed, and others, to illuminate adobe structures from the area in a unique and century-old artist's perspective.
Unlike the standardized Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean look of modern Santa Barbara, our downtown architecture at the turn of the 20th century was an eclectic mix of Victorian, East Coast American, rural Western, and traditional Mexican adobe structures. During that time, the faithful adobe-style of construction fell out of popular favor, and as the century progressed, the majority of our adobes became neglected and were demolished or destroyed by the elements. This exhibit will examine the rustic beauty and time-worn romance of our historic adobes - some of which are preserved today, along with others that have vanished forever .
3/23/12 - The Flying A: Silent Film in Santa Barbara -- through March 31
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The Flying A: Silent Film In Santa Barbara From 1910 to 1912, the American Film Company’s western unit consisted of half-a-dozen actors and a handful of cowboys shooting one-reel westerns around southern California. Known as the Flying A, by 1915 they had built the nation's largest studio in Santa Barbara with some of the industry's top directors, actors, and writers. From historic adobes to magnificent mansions, sandy beaches to mountain peaks, the cameras of the Flying A cranked out hundreds of westerns, dramas, and comedies. The film pioneers of the Flying A left a legacy that continues to influence the movies and television shows of today.
The exhibition features original Flying A artifacts, documents, photographs and a selection of original Flying A silent films (which will play on our Sala Gallery Wall Theatre). This groundbreaking exhibit, on view from January 26 through August 19, 2012, will run through the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and mark the centennial anniversary of the Flying A’s arrival in Santa Barbara. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday from noon to 5:00 pm. Docent led tours are offered on Saturdays & Sundays at 2:00 pm.
Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum.  Website
1/19/12 - New Exhibition: The Flying A: Silent Film in Santa Barbara -- Opens January 25th
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The Flying A will focus on the studio’s influential and prolific operation in Santa Barbara between 1911 and 1921, when nearly one thousand silent films were made by the company before it was disbanded.
The exhibition will feature original Flying A artifacts, documents, photographs and a selection of original Flying A silent films (which will play on our Sala Gallery Wall Theatre). This groundbreaking exhibit, on view from January 25 through August 19, 2012, will run through two very special occasions: the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and marking the centennial anniversary of the Flying A’s incorporation in Santa Barbara.  Email   Website
2/22/11 - Missions of Will Sparks -- February 25 – June 26 -- Santa Barbara Historical Society
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A selection of works by internationally renowned “painter of the missions” Will Sparks (1862-1937) will be on full view during a special exhibition at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum beginning February 25. Missions of Will Sparks will include the complete Alma de Bretteville Spreckels collection of Sparks’ final mission suite with paintings of California, the Southwest and Mexico. Painter, etcher, and muralist, Sparks was known for his mission and nocturnal adobe scenes.   Email   Website
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