Santa Barbara Museum of Art Welcomes Visitors Back to the Galleries

By Giving List Staff   |   May 6, 2021

SBMA Galleries Reopen to the Public on May 11 

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) is pleased to welcome visitors back into the galleries on May 11, in accordance with the State of California and Santa Barbara County COVID-19 protocols. 

In order to ensure social distancing in the galleries, SBMA is recommending all visitors to make reservations through the online ticketing system at, with admission being free for the foreseeable future. 


SBMA will return to normal operating hours of Tuesday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm and Thursday, 11 am – 8 pm. The Museum Store’s hours are currently Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5pm. 

What to expect during your visit:  

SBMA has instituted visitor procedures to ensure the safety of Museum Staff, Members, and general public. In addition to limiting the number of individuals in the Museum at one time and frequent cleaning of the facilities, all visitors over the age of two will be required to wear masks. To learn more about the ways in which the Museum is ensuring the safety of all visitors by complying with local and federal regulations relating to COVID-19, please visit the visitor procedure guidelines page at

What is on view? 

As visitors return to the galleries, they will be greeted with the following inspiring exhibitions/installations:   

Highlights of the Permanent Collection

This ongoing installation highlights some of the most celebrated works of art from SBMA’s permanent collection, as well as several of the most exciting gifts and acquisitions in the areas of modern and contemporary art, photography, and the arts of Asia. 

Small-Format American Paintings from the Permanent Collection 

This selection of small format paintings is a reminder of the breadth of the Museum’s holdings of American art from the 18th to the mid-20th century. Oil and brush conjure the illusion of near and far persuasively, from the close perspective of still life, to the life-size proportions of bust portraiture, to sublime expanses of land and sky. Whether within hand’s reach or at an immeasurable distance, both types of visual experience are captured within the confines of a canvas no more than 15 inches in diameter. 

Highlights of American Art

This installation features a selection of eighteen paintings and six sculptures that tell the story of the major achievements of American art from the first half of the last century—from the urban Realism of Robert Henri and the Ashcan School, to the Symbolist inflected landscapes of Arthur Davies or Marsden Hartley, to the daring abstraction of Stuart Davis or Arthur Dove. Critically overlooked women artists are also included, to counterbalance the predominance of men in the canon, including the sculptors Malvina Hoffman and Alice Carr de Creeft. African American and pioneering queer artist Richmond Barthé is represented by two sculptures, including one on loan from a generous collector, while the Japanese-born artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi (often categorized as American, but denied citizenship because of the xenophobia rampant between the two World Wars) is represented by a large and important painting that is a declaration of his artistic sources.


Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Phone: (805) 884-6427
Assistant Director of External Affairs: 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.

Drawing Santa Barbara Together

“Our community is drawn together in many ways; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is one. An important part of the museum’s permanent collection comes from the legacies of local families. Now, thanks to the outpouring of support for the renovation, the generosity of the community at large will be imprinted in the museum. The collection will be safeguarded for future generations, to be shared with everyone. Come visit!”
– Pat Aoyama, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Board of Trustees Chair

Find Like-Minded People in a Beautiful Place

For the museum’s director of external affairs, Karen Kawaguchi, the call to action is simple:
“Please join us.”
“We want you to be a part of this community of the arts,” Kawaguchi says. “Become a member and find like-minded people enjoying art in our beautiful museum.”
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has a robust selection of online resources available for art makers, art educators, and art enthusiasts. Entry to the museum is free for Santa Barbara County students (K-college), teachers (K-12), and military personnel. Please visit the website for more information.

Board of Trustees

Patricia Aoyama, Chair
Nicholas Mutton, Vice Chair
Bruce Worster, Secretary
Ken Anderson
Gwen Baker
Patricia Blake
Lynn Cunningham Brown
John Mike Cohen
Joan Davidson
Richard De Schutter
Kathleen Feldstein
Timothy O. Fisher
Connie Frank
Martha Gabbert
John Gardner
David Gersh
Christine Vanderbilt Holland
David Jackson
Junie Prewitt Jinkins
Norman A. Kurland
Judith Little
Kandy Luria-Budgor
Carol MacCorkle
Douglas Norberg
Diane Sullivan
Clay Tedeschi
Jeanne Towles
Sarah Vedder
Michael G. Wilson
Barry Winick