Treasures: Recent Gifts to the Permanent Collection

Take a look at the credit lines in this exhibition, and you will see names that have been forever added to the permanent roster of our history. Without the crucial support of these most recent donors, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum simply could not move forward, and we warmly thank all of our dedicated philanthropists for assisting in the museum's commitment to building a future worth remembering. Finally, we invite you to stroll through the Sala gallery and enjoy our community's newest Treasures: Recent Gifts to the Permanent Collection.

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The Dentzel Menagerie

For many of us, the scramble to select a carousel animal, followed by the thrill of grasping for a brass ring to the sound of a Wurlitzer orchestrion, was an exhilarating and unforgettable childhood experience.

These popular carousel rides were introduced to amusement parks across America by Gustav Dentzel in 1867. Ironically horse-driven at first, Dentzel Carousels were later powered by steam, and then electricity, with some models up to 54 feet in diameter.

All were decorated from the "Dentzel Menagerie," a fanciful group of hand carved animals that represented species from the horse and rabbit to the Hippocampus of Roman mythology. On display here is a wonderful example of an inside-row prancer horse, complete with original paint and glass eyes.

Gustav A. Dentzel Carousel Horse, c.1885
Dentzel Steam & Horsepower Carousel Mfg. Co.
Polychrome on carved basswood with glass
Gift of Helene and Jerry Beaver

Ramona

Ramona
Alexander F. Harmer (American, 1856-1925)
Oil on board
Museum Acquisition Fund
Through the generosity of Astrid and Lawrence Hammett

Ludmilla Pilat Welch

Santa Barbara Bluff
Ludmilla Pilat Welch (American, 1867-1925)
Oil on board
Museum Acquisition Fund
Through the generosity of Astrid and Lawrence Hammett

Reginald Vaughan

Sampan Pulled by Two Oxen
Reginald Vaughan (American, 1870-1958)
Etching
Gift of Robert B. Kieding

Cassone (chest)

Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo (1808-1890) was the last commanding general of Alta California under Mexican rule. Born and raised in Monterey, he founded the settlement of Sonoma as military director of colonization. General Vallejo then distinguished himself during Americanization as a delegate to the California Constitutional Convention in 1849, and as one of the state's first senators in 1850. This bench was once owned by Vallejo, and purchased from his Lachryma Montis estate in Sonoma by the donor in 1950.

Bench and cassone (chest)
Maker unknown (Italian, c.1690)
Walnut, gesso, and polychrome
Gift of Elizabeth Hughey
In memory of J. Benedict Hughey

Mantón with flower motif

The Spanish were introduced to the magnificently embroidered Chinese silk mantones, or shawls, while trading in the Philippines. As these mantones became popular in Spain's royal court and high society, their popularity quickly passed into the Spainish colonies, and in Alta California, the brilliantly colored flower motif became the style of choice. The square mantón was worn folded into a triangle and used as a wrap, both indoors and out, and never as a dancing costume as some would believe. This particular mantón is of special interest, as it was owned by Victoria Cota, Guadalupe Cota-Bisol, and Regina Bisol-Venegas of Santa Barbara.

Mantón with flower motif, c.1880
Chinese silk with embroidered thread
Gift of Judith Venegas Murphy and Lewis Venegas, Jr.
In memory of Regina Venegas

Clarkson Dye

"Many years ago, while I was sketching the interior garden of this Mission, some of the priests watched me while I painted. One of them was a bent old man. He was in a reminiscent mood, and desribed a ceremony in the 1860's when he was visiting the Mission with some of the fraters from Capistrano.

It was night. He told us of the impressive scene as the procession marched, with an Archbishop under the canopy, which was supported by the Mission priests. All carried candles, while some of the acolytes had torches. He could not remember the occasion for this ceremony under the stars, watched in reverent interest by many of the people in the parish. I have tried to reproduce this picture as it was described to me by the old priest." - Clarkson Dye

Santa Barbara Mission - A Ceremony of the Old Days in the Past
Clarkson Dye (American, 1869-1955)
Oil on canvas board
Museum Acquisition Fund
Through the generosity of Astrid and Lawrence Hammett

Angel Espoy

Eucalyptus Flower Fields
Angel Espoy (American, 1879-1963)
Oil on canvas
Museum Acquisition Fund
Through the generosity of Astrid and Lawrence Hammett

Ray Stanford Strong

Mountain Landscape
Ray Stanford Strong (American, 1905-2006)
Oil on masonite
Museum Acquisition Fund
Through the generosity of Astrid and Lawrence Hammett

Richard Schloss

Last Light, Santa Barbara, Part Two, 2011
Richard Schloss (American)
Oil on canvas
Museum Acquisition Fund
Through the generosity of Eleanor Van Cott

Richard Schloss

Last Light, Santa Barbara
Richard Schloss (American)
Oil on canvas
Museum Acquisition Fund
Through the generosity of Eleanor Van Cott

John Marshall Gamble

Spring in the Desert
John Marshall Gamble (American, 1863-1957)
Oil on canvas
Promised gift of Evelyn E. Sullivan

Carl Oscar Borg

Quiet Evening, San Marcos Pass
Carl Oscar Borg (American, 1879-1947)
Oil on canvas
Gift of Sheri and Jack Overall

John Nelson Marble

Oak Park, 1909
John Nelson Marble (American, 1855-1918)
Oil on canvas
Gift of Dorothy and Ashleigh Brilliant
In memory of Helen and Marjorie Low

Captain Charles Porter Low

Early in the morning of January 14th 1848 on his first commanding voyage, a nightmare awoke Captain Charles Porter Low. The captain decided to check the barometer, which had dropped significantly, and he hastily ordered the crew to prepare for a storm. As the sails were reefed and furled just south of the Cape of Good Hope, the Houqua ran directly into a hurricane, and in a matter of minutes, every sail was ripped to shreds, the top gallant masts were snapped, and the bowsprit broken off. A series of thirty foot spoondrift waves then rocked the Houqua against her beam ends, and Low was thrown over the side. On his way into the sea, Low somehow managed to grab hold of a line and pull himself back onto deck, whereupon he ordered the mainmast rigging cut, and the Houqua ultimately saved. After a successful twenty-five year career in command of clipper ships such as the Houqua, the N.B. Palmer, and the Samuel Russell, Captain Charles Porter Low retired to the first home built on Santa Barbara's Mesa in 1873.

Clockwise from top:
The Clipper Ship Samuel Russell at Sea, c.1860
Artist unidentified
Oil on canvas

Sterling Silver water pitcher, c.1862
Ball, Black & Co., New York
Presented to Capt. Charles P. Low of the N.B. Palmer by members of its passage from Hong Kong to New York on August 28th, 1862

Portrait of Captain Charles Porter Low, c. 1880
Artist unidentified
Black and white photo print reproduction

Some Recollections
Captain Charles Porter Low
Boston: Geo. H. Ellis Co., 1905
Inscribed to Helen Low by Capt. Chas Low, January 27, 1906
"At Sea, June 8th, 1870" Letter to Mrs. Charles P. Low from her husband
Letter of thanks from the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company,
To Captain Charles Low for saving the ship Houqua during the hurricane of January 1848, New York, 28th April, 1851

The Hurricane and Captain Low: A Story of Gallantry at Sea
New York: Atlantic Mutual Insurance Co, 1948.
Binoculars with leather case, c.1860
Originally owned by Charles Porter Low

Gifts of Dorothy and Ashleigh Brilliant
In memory of Helen and Marjorie Low

Frances Rich

Portrait Bust of Diego Rivera
Frances Rich (American, 1910-2007)
Terra cotta
Gift of the Frances Rich Estate

Frances Rich

Seated Female Figure, semi-draped [Katherine Hepburn], 1959
Frances Rich (American, 1910-2007)
Bronze
Gift of the Frances Rich Estate

Frances Rich

Life Mask of Katherine Hepburn, 1979
Frances Rich (American, 1910-2007)
Bronze
Gift of the Frances Rich Estate

Frances Rich

Frances Rich (American, 1910-2007) The Hand, Bronze Gift of the Frances Rich Estate

Alexander F. Harmer

Old Cabin, Santa Cruz Cañon, San Marcos Ranch
Alexander F. Harmer (American, 1856-1925)
Oil on board
Promised gift of Keith J. Mautino

Art Case Piano

During the 1920's, the Santa Barbara School of the Arts flourished as one of the major artistic and cultural centers on the West Coast. Artists from all over the world came to the school either to teach or to enroll in classes that included disciplines in art, photography, music, and design. Many of these artists went on to gain international recognition, such as Edward Borein (1872-1945), Carl Oscar Borg (1879-1947), and John Gamble (1863-1957), whose works are all represented in this exhibition. The Steinway piano on display here is quite unique, as it was originally purchased by the School ofthe Arts, and used for instruction until 1939.

Upright Victorian Art Case Piano, 1893
Steinway & Sons, New York
Gift of Dorothy and Ashleigh Brilliant
In memory of Helen and Marjorie Low