[With apologies to SFMike of Civic Center for stealing his style of blogging for these two posts. It felt like the sort of thing he might do if he visited Santa Barbara, though he would have done it much, much better. Go to his blog and you'll see what I mean.]
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is located in a stately two-story building on State Street, the pricey shopping district in town. There are currently two shows running at the museum, the mis-titled Corot in California and the optimistically titled Brett Weston: Out of the Shadows.
The 19th Century landscape French landscape artist Corot never made it to California, but the show is instead a collection of several of his paintings that belong to museums from around the state.
Brett Weston is the son of Edward Weston, famous for photos of nudes and bell peppers. The elder Weston never made a living at photography, while his son did, but the judgment of history goes against the younger man. This is somewhat similar to the situation of Johann Sebastian Bach, an organist and choirmaster all his life, and his son Carl Phillip Emmanuel, who became a successful court musician and wrote God Save The King.
Sometimes history gets it right.
Santa Barbara's museum is small, but it has many lovely pieces from a variety of eras and locations. The Roman statuary here is on display near the entrance.
Much of the most famous works on display are from the 19th and 20th Century French artists such as Monet and Marc Chagall, whose work is seen here.
Much of the work that caught my eye was from modern artists I hadn't heard of before, including this 1943 work by the American artist Kay Sage entitled Second Song.
I also liked this disc of cast polyester by Fred Eversley, which is flat on one side and has what appears to be a parabolic indentation on the other. Besides the aesthetics of it, it reminded me of something Ken Rose told me about how the mirrors even bigger than Mt. Palomar's 200 inch mirror are cast in spinning kilns that naturally create an indentation to one side, which means less glass wasted in the process of making a perfectly smooth parabolic surface.
The second floor was reserved for the museum's collection of Asian art. The collection is much, much smaller than the sprawling Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, but there were some lovely pieces, including this colorful Tibetan sand painting.
I was very glad I visited and recommend it to anyone planning going to Santa Barbara in the future.