Celebrate 5,000 years of human history and creativity on a visit to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. First opened in 1941, the Museum is located in the heart of downtown in a stately building that was once the Santa Barbara Post Office. SBMA’s renowned 27,000-piece permanent collection spans both the centuries and the globe, with works ranging from classical antiquities to modern installations. Explore a fascinating array of 19th-century French, British and American art; 20th-century and contemporary European, North American and Latin American art; Asian art; sculptures; photography; and works on paper.
Whether you want to enjoy a contemplative, socially-distanced stroll through the galleries or participate in a selection of virtual offerings and educational alternatives, SBMA provides visitors with many ways to connect more deeply with the artwork. The Museum continually offers a robust calendar of virtual events, tours and classes via Zoom, educational programs, lectures and free resources for adults, families and kids. Learn more about virtual offerings here.
Hours, Admissions and Tours
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. SBMA offers early access from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. for seniors and at-risk individuals. The Museum is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, the 4th of July, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the galleries and store close at 3 p.m.
Admission is free currently for all visitors to the SBMA, however advance ticketing reservations are highly recommended and guarantee your entry time.
Tips for Your Visit
If you’ll be attending the Museum with children, drop by the Visitors Services Desks to pick up a free Family Guide, which includes games, activities and information to help parents and children explore the galleries together.
SBMA has recently been undergoing renovations to update and improve its facilities, so be sure to check the Museum website before your visit for up-to-date information on possible closures of the galleries and/or cafe, entrance changes and detours.
To take home a memento of your visit, stop by the Museum Store located on the lower level. The store features a variety of items unique to SBMA’s permanent and special exhibitions, as well as art books, jewelry, décor, toys and more. Or purchase items at home via the Museum’s online store here.
Download SBMA’s free smartphone app to inform and enhance your Museum experience. The app includes interactive audio and video content and also provides the latest information on current and future events, products and travel opportunities.