Janna Ireland: True Story Index

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) and Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) present the solo artist exhibition Janna Ireland: True Story Index, representing a landmark two-institution collaboration, presentation, and catalogue.

Curated by Charles Wylie, SBMA Curator of Photography and New Media, and Frederick Janka, MCASB, this exhibition is a mid-career survey and the largest presentation of Ireland’s photographs and installations to date. The exhibition features newly commissioned works and works from the artist’s collection, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s permanent collection, and private collections.

Janna Ireland’s photographic practice is primarily concerned with the themes of family, home, and the expression of Black identity in American culture. In 2016, she began photographing structures designed by legendary Black architect Paul R. Williams. A collection of 250 of these photographs was published in the major 2020 monograph, Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer’s View. These multiple aspects of Ireland’s work will be featured and interwoven across both venues.

Janna Ireland lives in Los Angeles, where she is an assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Occidental College. A broad selection of Ireland’s work was included in the exhibition Family Album: Dannielle Bowman, Janna Ireland and Contemporary Works from LACMA at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Charles White Elementary School Gallery. Ireland’s photographs are held in the permanent collections of institutions including LACMA, the Nevada Museum of Art, the California African American Museum, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago.

This exhibition was made possible by the generosity of Rachel Kaganoff, Joan Davidson, Jane and Michael G. Wilson through the Dana and Albert R. Broccoli Charitable Foundation, Junie and Eddie Jinkins, Joanne and Gregory Payne, Isabel and Paul Wendt, and SBMA PhotoFutures.

Free* docent-led gallery tours are conducted daily and meet in Ludington Court near the State Street entrance. Tours provide an engaging opportunity to experience and discuss a variety of works in a relaxed, informal setting.

Tour Availability

1 pm
April: 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, 21, 24, 26, 27
May: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 18, 23, 25, 26, 29, 31
June: 1, 2

*free with the price of admission

Family Resource Center

Janna Ireland, Estate, 2019. Chromogenic prints. ©Janna Ireland

Telling Stories

February 10, 2024 – June 2, 2024
Thursdays, 5 – 7 pm
Saturday & Sunday, 12 – 4 pm

The activities in this installation are inspired by the photographs of Janna Ireland on view in the in current exhibition, Janna Ireland: True Story Index. Cut, arrange, paste, draw, pose and photograph to tell your own story.

This free, interactive space for all ages is designed for the hands-on exploration of themes resonating from the Museum’s changing special exhibitions or permanent collection. It is staffed by a Museum Teaching Artist with Family Gallery Guides and a variety of art-making materials.

Exhibition Family Guide

We encourage families to tour the exhibition using the free guides in English or Spanish available in the galleries and at the Visitor Services desks. Afterwards enjoy free art making in the Family Resource Center on Thursdays from 5-7pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 - 4pm.

An Evening of West Coast Jazz with The Ted Nash Trio

Tuesday | March 26, 2024 | 5:30 pm

The work of acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist Janna Ireland, currently on view at the Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, includes her photographic interpretation of the architecture of Paul R. Williams, the renowned 20th-century Black architect who designed many of Southern California’s iconic buildings. A gifted designer across genres, Williams transformed the face of Los Angeles, including chic celebrity spots like the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge, the Ambassador Hotel’s Coconut Grove, and the cool jazz corridors of Central Avenue.

In a nod to those favored night spots and the music of the jazz greats, The Ted Nash Trio performs against a backdrop of images of Williams’ mid-century Los Angeles world and photographs from Ireland’s Regarding Paul R. Williams.

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