S.B. Museum of Art

1130 State St.,
Santa Barbara, CA


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

Guiding Principles
We believe in the power of art to ignite imagination, stimulate thought, and generate personally rewarding experiences.

Quick Facts about SBMA

  • Comprises 27,000 works of art – an art museum of magnitude and quality more commonly found in cities eight times the size of Santa Barbara

  • Spans more than 5,000 years of human creativity
  • Includes classical antiquities rivaled in the West only by the J. Paul Getty Museum

  • Includes masterpieces of French Impressionism. No West Coast museum owns more Monet paintings

  • Presents at its front door Portrait of Mexico Today, 1932, the only intact mural in the United States by David Alfaro Siqueiros, and capstone of the Museum’s distinguished collection of Latin American art
  • Brings world-renowned exhibitions to Santa Barbara
  • Originates exhibitions that travel to museums across the Americas and Europe
  • Welcomes 150,000 visitors to exhibitions and activities each year
  • Provides education programs to over 40,000 people in Santa Barbara County each year, free transportation for school groups and after-school activities, and free California State Standard based education programs for Santa Barbara School district students in grades K-12
  • Receives less than 1% of its budget from government grants and no regular tax dollars
  • Spends approximately 20% of every dollar on education programs


The Santa Barbara Museum of Art opened to the public on June 5, 1941, in a building that was at one time the Santa Barbara Post Office (1914–1932). Chicago architect David Adler simplified the building’s façade and created the Museum’s galleries, most notably Ludington Court which offers a dramatic sense of arrival for museum visitors. The newly renovated Park Wing Entrance and Luria Activities Center open in June 2006.

Over its history the Museum has expanded with the addition of the Stanley R. McCormick Gallery in 1942 and the Sterling and Preston Morton Galleries in 1963. Significant expansions came when the Alice Keck Park Wing opened to the public in 1985 and the Jean and Austin H. Peck, Jr. Wing in 1998. The Ridley-Tree Education Center at McCormick House, a center for art education activities, was established in 1991.

Today, the Museum’s 60,000 square feet include exhibition galleries, a Museum Store, Cafe, a 154-seat auditorium, a library containing 50,000 books and 55,000 slides, a children’s gallery dedicated to participatory interactive programming and an 11,500-square-foot off-site facility, the Ridley-Tree Education Center at McCormick House.

The Museum is overseen by a 30-member Board of Trustees and administered by a staff of over 90 full and part-time employees. SBMA has 4,400 members and more than 325 volunteers serving as Trustees, Docents, members of the Museum’s Women’s Board and leaders of our advisory committees and art interest groups.

Business hours

  • Sundays: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mondays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesdays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Fridays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ongoing events

  • (Every Thursday)

<< Past events at S.B. Museum of Art

Links and Reviews


Larger Map & Directions

Do you see an error or an item which needs attention?
Please let us know. (Note: the email will go to us, not the establishment.)


Independent Discussion Guidelines

event calendar sponsored by: