A Breathtaking Reopening

By Giving List Staff   |   October 29, 2021
Installation View of Ludington Court
Installation View of Nigel Cooke, British, (b. 1973), Shipwreck with Spectator I, 2010 Oil on linen backed with sailcloth, 86 5/8” × 76 7/8” Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Gift of Dan Aloni and Sarah Brown, 2018.35

In August 2021, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art celebrated the completion of a six-year $50 million renovation campaign. More than 2,000 people streamed through the museum’s doors to see the new and renovated galleries during the grand reopening weekend. The renovation was essential, addressing critical needs to the main building built in 1912, including seismic retrofitting, the replacement of mechanical, air handling, and climate controls systems, and the replacement of ageing roofs. New galleries for contemporary art, photography and new media enable the museum to display even more of its impressive 25,000-object permanent collection.

Highlights of the permanent collection on view include a reimagined installation of the museum’s monumental Roman marbles, intermixed with African and pre-Columbian antiquities. Galleries dedicated to the museum’s superb Asian collection celebrate the region’s diversely rich aesthetics with selections from China, Japan, Korea, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas. A new Works on Paper Study Center offers members and visitors a behind-the-scenes view into the process of researching and caring for the collection. 

The grand reopening provided a short respite after a long construction period and fundraising for the next stages will continue. Now it’s on to programs, lectures, and exhibitions including, on February 27, 2022, the opening of “Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources,” a highly anticipated exhibition presenting 20 works by Vincent van Gogh along with over 75 works by the artists and authors who inspired him. More information about current and upcoming exhibitions can be found on the museum website.

Art lovers of all ages are invited to join as members to enjoy free admission; discounts on programs, lectures, workshops, and shopping at the Museum Store; as well as access to events that celebrate and honor art for all in the community. Philanthropic support membership as a Museum Circles Patron provides donors with additional opportunities to meet artists, curators, and fellow patrons. 


Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Donate now!

(805) 884-6427
External Affairs Deputy Director: Susan Bradley


The mission of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is to integrate art into the lives of people.

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s Director of Development and/or Executive Director.

I am thrilled to be joining the Santa Barbara Museum of Art with its important mission ‘to integrate art into the lives of people.’ That inspiring charge is a call to engage the different communities of the Santa Barbara region. I look forward to working with the staff and Board to build upon the strong foundation of scholarly exhibitions and robust educational programs established under my predecessor, Larry Feinberg.
Amada Cruz, Eichholz Foundation Director and Chief Executive Officer

What We Need… Program Support

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art provides in-person and online resources for art makers, art educators, and art enthusiasts. Your donation supports educational programs and engagement opportunities for the community; classroom and after-school activities for students; in-person and virtual school field trips; adult studio classes and workshops. The Museum is committed to engaging the community in new and substantial ways through a varied series of lectures and programs, including mission-enhancing literary, musical, and theatrical events. Please visit sbma.net/support or call 805.963.4364 to speak to one of their friendly staff for information on how you can participate.

2023 – 2024 Board of Trustees

Nicholas Mutton, Chair
Richard De Schutter, Vice Chair
Lynn Cunningham Brown, Secretary
Marta Holsman Babson
Susan Drymalski Bowey
Karen Lombardo Brill
Robert Castle
Joan Davidson
J. Raj K. Dhawan
Kathleen Feldstein
Martha Gabbert
Christine Vanderbilt Holland
David Jackson
Norman A. Kurland
Michael C. Linn
Kandy Luria-Budgor
Carol MacCorkle
Christian McGrath
Betsy Newman
Doug Norberg
Jeanne Towles
Martha Townsend
Michael G. Wilson
Barry Winick
Bruce Worster
Laura Selwyn Wyatt