Highlights of the Permanent Collection

In celebration of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s 75th Anniversary in 2016, this installation highlights some of the most celebrated works of art from SBMA’s permanent collection, as well as several of the most exciting gifts and acquisitions in the areas of modern and contemporary art, photography, and the arts of Asia. The small works on paper gallery features favorite photographs of former curator, Karen Sinsheimer, as a tribute to her vision in the building of the permanent collection.

This eclectic group of objects, meant to sample the breadth and diversity of the permanent collection while some of the Museum’s galleries are temporarily closed for renovation, includes favorites such as the sensual life-size bronze Bather Putting Up Her Hair (1932) by Aristide Maillol, the haunting Yuan dynasty Seated Luohan (13th century), whose parted lips give the compelling illusion of speech, and the important, early painting by the famed Bay Area Figuration artist Richard Diebenkorn. Ridley-Tree Gallery also continues to showcase favorites of 19th-century Impressionism, such as the beloved Villas in Bordighera (1884) by Claude Monet, along with the long-term loans from the Armand Hammer Foundation and the collection of Michael Armand Hammer.

Works of art honoring the collecting acumen of Karen Sinsheimer include photographs such as Michael Light’s captivating appropriation of Southern Lunar Hemisphere (1999)—a work that demonstrates the late curator’s fascination with innovative intersections of art and science.

In addition, coming soon is an exciting release of a fully searchable and richly illustrated online database of the Museum’s most celebrated holdings on the new website, as well as a new hardcover highlights guide to the collection, featuring 75 of the most significant acquisitions of the last 25 years.

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