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.”
10 - 5PM (Tue-Sat); 12-5 (Sun); Closed Monday
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