In the meantime, Santa Barbara Museum of Art continues to post online content
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art remains enthusiastic after recently being forced to push back its reopening date due to COVID-19.
The museum had plans to open exclusively for its members Thursday and for the general public on July 23.
However, per Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order, the museum is unable to have even a partial reopening until July 22. The museum doesn’t know when it will reopen for members and for the general public.
Due to that uncertainty, the museum is continuing to feature more pieces of its collection online in a program known as SBMA at Home.
James Glisson, the museum’s contemporary art curator, told the News-Press that SBMA at Home features videos of lectures and highlights from the collection.
In addition to SBMA at Home, the museum is ramping up the amount of exhibits featured on its social media, something it had started to do before the governor’s new order, Mr. Glisson said
When the state order is lifted and the museum finally does reopen, Mr. Glisson said it will feature two new exhibits.
The first is “Important Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection,” which will contain a variety of works.
“When we hopefully reopen later in the month, I’ll be showing six color lithographs by Robin Vaccarino, an L.A. artist, from Freeze Frame — California Suite (1979) as part of the works on paper display.” Mr. Glisson said. “Vaccarino is mostly known for her hard-edge abstractions. With their imagery taken from old postcards of quintessential California subject matter, including tourist sites, bridges and agricultural areas of California, these works are a departure from how she generally worked. These will be shown in the works on paper study center.”
The second new exhibit is “In the Meanwhile, Part I.”
According to the museum’s description, “this exhibition highlights recent acquisitions of works on paper to SBMA’s permanent collection of contemporary art.”
The exhibit features more than 20 works of art, and most are on view at SBMA for the first time.
“These include painted works on paper by emerging artists acquired through the recently established Basil Alkazzi Acquisition Fund,” according to the museum. “Tying these works of art together is a distinct sense of individuality, innovative use of materials and playful ambiguity between traditional artistic genres.”
As museum staff prepare for the reopening, Mr. Glisson said, “In some ways it feels like a double opening,” due to the long-awaited renovation that is soon to be wrapped up and unveiled by early 2021.
The renovation, which formally started in 2016, will feature structural reinforcements to the more than 100-year-old building. Visitors will also notice a variety of new exhibits.
Larry J. Feinberg, the museum CEO and the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Director, told the News-Press the new renovations will be “very fitting” for SBMA’s upcoming 80th anniversary.
He also said that many of the works displayed in the newly renovated exhibits haven’t been seen in decades.
“It’s going to be something of a revelation I think for the community,” Mr. Feinberg said. “More of the museum’s collections and treasurers will be on view than at any time in its history.”
For updates about the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s renovations, reopening plans and online service, visit sbma.net. For more information on how to keep up with SBMA at Home visit https://www.sbma.net/events/videolibrary.