The Santa Barbara Museum of Art was established in June 1941 at 1130 State Street, in a building that housed the the Santa Barbara Post Office from 1914 to 1932. The Museum has been expanded to 60,000 sq ft over the years, including exhibition galleries, 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.
As one of the leading art museums on the West Coast, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art serves a diverse audience of approximately 150,000 people annually. The Museum offers a wide variety of educational and interpretive programs.
The Museum strengths in the following areas: Ancient Art, Asian Art (Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Tibetan), French and English 19th and early 20th Century Art, 19th and early 20th Century American Art, International Modernism, Works on Paper, Photography, and Contemporary Art.
The Museum provides 40 art education programs to over 40,000 people annually. These include academic, outreach and after school programs for K-12th grade students, activities and events for families, classes for college students and lifelong learning opportunities for adults and seniors. In addition, the Museum regularly organizes and hosts lectures, symposia, film series, and focused gallery tours for the Museum’s major exhibitions.
Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday, 11am to 5pm. Admission (as of August 2011) is $9 for adults, $6 for ages 65+, $6 for students (with ID) and kids 6 to 17 and free under 6 years. Free to Museum members.