With a breadth of collections that rivals museums in much larger cities, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art even lays claim to owning more Monet paintings than any other museum on the West Coast. The 27,000-object collection and special exhibitions are housed in what used to be the Santa Barbara Post Office, built between 1914–32 and now expanded.
The museum’s collection is far-ranging, from the antiquities of China, India, Greece, Rome, and Egypt, to its particularly strong collection of 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary American painting, photography, and Chinese art. Be sure to take note of the marble Roman sculptures permanently on view in the museum’s entrance court, where a large-scale loutrophoros from 4th-century B.C. Greece is surrounded by a monumental Hermes.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art Information
- Public Transportation: Good
- Handicapped Accessible: Yes
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; Closed Mondays
- Admission: Admission is $9 for adults. $6 admission for students, seniors (65+), and kids aged 6-17. Free admission for members and children under 6. Every Sunday is a “suggested admission” day
- Membership: Memberships begin at $60. Member benefits include unlimited free admission, invitations to members-only exhibition previews, 10% Museum Store discount, Museum’s Fearing Art Library privileges, and free or reduced admission to films, lectures, gallery tours, concerts and other events.