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Santa Barbara Museum of Art fully reopens after $50m renovation project

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art fully reopens after a $50m renovation project that renewed and expanded its galleries.

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The Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) in California has fully reopened following a renovation project to renew and expand its galleries, led by Kupiec Architects PC and executed by Diani Corporation.

The $50m refurbishment of SBMA’s original 1912 building improves exhibition space and enhances the visitor experience. The museum has also created new galleries dedicated to contemporary art, photography and new media.

“We are thrilled once again to open our historic main entrance on State Street and welcome the community into a re-envisioned SBMA,” said Larry J. Feinberg, SBMA director and CEO.

“We can’t wait to share old favorites from the collection after years in storage and to present new exhibitions and installations that will help visitors understand the collection in a new light.”

SBMA galleries renewed and expanded

santa barbara museum of art

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art boasts a new installation conceived by its deputy director and chief curator Eik Kahng. The new contemporary art gallery’s inaugural installation features a shining mirrored orb by Anish Kapoor.

It also includes works by Laddie John Dill, Tony de los Reyes, Fred Eversley, Kori Newkirk,
Dorothy Hood, Helen Frankenthaler, and Roger Shimomura.

The Ala Story Gallery is devoted to new media, with an inaugural installation called ‘Mediated Nature’ showcasing video works from the museum’s collection.

Refreshed and reconfigured Sterling Morton, Campbell and Gould Galleries are displaying a selection of works from China, Japan and Korea. These are drawn from SBMA’s Asian art collection.

Study Center to expand online collections

santa barbara museum of art

The Von Romberg Gallery and Emmons Gallery have been renovated, while the Ridley-Tree Gallery houses a refreshed installation from the permanent collection.

The SBMA Works on Paper Study Center is a new addition that offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the process of researching and caring for the collection. The Study Center will allow curatorial staff to expand the online collections.

“We are grateful to SBMA’s generous donors and the Santa Barbara community for their support of the museum to make this transformation possible,” Feinberg added.

“We will continue using SBMA’s art and resources to transform and enrich the lives of people in our community and beyond.”

Images: SBMA

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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