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Current Exhibitions

Ray Stanford Strong, Requiem for Maynard Dixon, 1946. Oil on canvas. SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by Robert and Marlene Veloz.
  Ray Strong: Beyond Santa Barbara
Through June 21, 2015

This intimate presentation of paintings and drawings by esteemed artist Ray Strong (1905–2006) highlights distinct moments within the artist’s practice over the course of 45 years. Featuring landscapes and cityscapes produced outside of the Santa Barbara area, the selected works from the Museum’s holdings offer a view of Strong’s travels and his lifelong interest in depicting the environment around him.

Highlights include the commanding landscape Requiem for Maynard Dixon (1946), which was painted near Quartzite, Arizona, in the year that Strong’s mentor Maynard Dixon died. The painting Twilight, Mt. Hood (Near Cherryville, Oregon) (1927), reveals Strong’s interest in the techniques of George Inness, while Lower East Side, New York City, Rainy Day Under the El (1926–27) reflects the influence of Strong’s studies at the Art Students League in New York. Staged within the context of Santa Barbara, this presentation allows visitors to consider the geographical breadth of the artist’s work, offering a captivating window into Strong’s artistic legacy.

Ray Strong: Beyond Santa Barbara is organized in conjunction with The Ray Strong Project, an initiative of Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery. This effort includes a series of events and exhibitions coalescing in June of 2015 at museums and galleries in the Santa Barbara area. This initiative will also produce the first monograph on Ray Strong and an online catalogue raisonné. For additional information, visit

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Study of an Old Man with a Beard, n.d. Pen and ink with brown wash on paper. Lent by the Joseph B. and Ann S. Koepfli Trust.

  Drawings in Dialogue: Italian and Northern European Works on Paper from the Joseph B. and Ann S. Koepfli Trust
Through June 14, 2015

This installation reflects two centuries of artistic dialogue between Italian and Northern European artists. Home to classical Greek and Roman sculpture and architecture, Italy was also a destination for ambitious painters from Northern Europe. Study in Italy’s major art centers has long been a prerequisite for any aspiring artist in the Western tradition. Among the artists featured is leading Flemish landscape painter Matthijs Bril the Younger, whose drawings of ancient ruins and landscapes served as models for other Northern European artists. The presentation also includes works by the foremost mural painter of 18th-century Europe, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo from Venice, whose drawings and etchings resonate with assured, virtuosic strokes.

Natori SHUNSEN, Ichikawa Sadanji II as Narukami Uejin from the series “Portraits of Actors”, ca. 1926. Color woodblock print. SBMA, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Roland A. Way.

  Visions of Modernity: 20th-Century Japanese Woodblock Prints

Visions of Modernity, presented in a series of rotations, explores the creative process of printmaking in the first half of the 20th century in Japan, a period when artists of all disciplines explored new forms of expression as the nation sought to modernize by embracing new ideas and technologies from the West. This rapid adaptation, encouraged by the Japanese government since the Meiji Restoration (1868–1912), led artists in the early 20th century to react with a new sense of individualism and an urgency to express the political, social, economic, and cultural changes in their work. Printmakers, like other visual artists, learned Western artistic conventions such as linear perspective, photographic realism, and the techniques of lithography and etching, which fueled two parallel printmaking movements—Shin-hanga (new prints) and Sōsakuhanga (creative prints).


Edgar Degas, Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts, ca. 1891. Oil on canvas. Michael Armand Hammer and the Armand Hammer Foundation.
  Degas to Chagall: Important Loans from The Armand Hammer Foundation

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is delighted to present a selection of important paintings that are on extended loan by The Armand Hammer Foundation. The mandate of the Foundation is to share an extraordinary collection of works bequeathed by its founder with the public by lending to museums throughout the country.

The paintings on view from The Armand Hammer Foundation represent just a small fraction of the ravishing collection put together by Dr. Armand Hammer (1898-1990), perhaps best known for the extraordinary works of art he donated to his namesake institution, the Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1965 through 1990. These works complement seamlessly our Museum's rich holdings in the areas of French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Artists represented include Pierre Bonnard, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Marc Chagall, Edgar Degas, Henri Fantin-Latour, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, and Auguste Renoir.

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