The Museum Collection

Since its founding in 1941, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art has developed a unique identity with 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 collection of marble Roman sculptures reflects the connoisseurship and generosity of one of the Museum's major donors, Wright S. Ludington.

Spanning 5,000 years and consisting of over 2,600 objects in a variety of media, the Asian Art collection showcases works of art from China, Japan, Korea, India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas.

The depth of the Museum’s collection of European art is in its holdings of 19th-century French painting, although there are a handful of fine examples of 18th-century French and British painting, mostly in the genre of portraiture.


Spanning approximately two centuries--from the mid-18th to the mid-20th century--the core of this collection area consists of the original 60 paintings of the Preston Morton Collection given in 1960, now expanded through gifts and purchases to include some 400 paintings and sculptures.

The collection of modern and contemporary art began with a strong foundation through the support of Donald Bear, the Museum's first Director, and pivotal gifts by Wright S.

The collection’s area of particular strength and focus includes: works by California photographers from 1860 on, contemporary photographers from Western Pacific Rim countries (Korea, China, Japan, and Vietnam), artists exploring issues of science-based art, and selected examples by acknowledged m

Comprising more than 23,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and Asian scroll paintings, works on paper represent the largest area of concentration within the Museum's collection.

Ordering and Reproducing Images from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Collection

How to Order

Santa Barbara Art Museum

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Closed Mondays and holidays
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1130 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
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