The Carnegie Art Museum is run by the City of Oxnard. It was originally built by Andrew Carnegie, who donated $12,000 in 1906 towards the construction of the building to be used as a library for the area. Its Neo-Classical (1900-1920) architecture and grand scale preserves the prevailing taste for classical forms during the first decades of the twentieth century. Its strict Greek Temple facade in the Doric Order with interior Ionic columns are graphic documents of a young western town's striving for recognition. Its Greek architecture was in fact the choice of Oxnard's first mayor, Richard Haydock. It was designed by Los Angeles Architect, Franklin Burnham.
The Carnegie collection is Oxnard's municipal art collection which began before the Carnegie Building was used as a fine arts museum. The collection was begun in 1924 when members of the Art Club of Oxnard decided to purchase "Desert Bloom" by California landscape painter Katherine Leighton. Money was raised through popular subscription and a "penny festival."
In addition to its traveling and special exhibits which change every month, the Museum has a permanent collection of over 1,500 art and ethnographic objects. Over 600 are paintings, drawings, prints and photographs primarily by 20th century California artists. Due to limited gallery space, only a small selection from the permanent collection are displayed periodically.
The museum is open Thursday through Sunday and is closed on holidays. Admission is (as of February 2013) $3 for adults. $2 for seniors/students, $1 for kids 6+ and free for kids under 6. For more information, visit www.carnegieam.org or call 805.385.8157. The museum is located at 424 South C Street, Oxnard.