On January 9th, SBMM renamed its Collections Facility, the Kieding Collections Chandlery, in honor of one of its founders. Robert Kieding was the long-time owner of the Santa Barbara Chandlery (now West Marine) and one of the primary forces that led to the establishment of SBMM. During its opening years, he served as President and Vice President, as well as serving as President of the Santa Barbara Youth Foundation, Trustee of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, and as a columnist for the Santa Barbara News-Press.
A special thank you to SBMM’s Collections Committee for their work in preparing the Kieding Collections Chandlery for the dedication and our AAM accreditation application: Leslie Power (Chair), Andy Cooper, Dave Denniston*, Tom Elliott, Emily Falke, Randy Franciose, Greg Gorga, John Hill, Lydia Kaestner, Bob Schwemmer, Rita Serotkin, and Mark Wardman.
To celebrate our 20th anniversary, SBMM has planned a busy year and we invite the community to come help us celebrate and share their memories and stories of the Museum. Festivities will begin in January, announcing SBMM’s recognition by the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce as its Nonprofit of the Year for 2020 and its application for accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. In addition to monthly lectures and special film showings and events, SBMM will also be hosting three art exhibits—Fishing with Paper and Ink, traditional Japanese Gyotaku prints; Mermaids, photography by Ralph Clevenger and friends; and maritime paintings by Naval artist Arthur Beaumont. A special evening to honor surfing legends Renny Yater and Shaun Tomson will be held May 29th, and the year’s activities will end with a Founders Dinner and Reception in December.
The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) first opened its doors on July 29, 2000, with the unique mission to present and interpret the rich and diverse maritime history of the Santa Barbara Channel including important environmental issues. Now, SBMM is turning 20 and sailing on to new horizons, expanding and improving its many exhibits and educational activities for all ages. The Museum centers its stories and messages on interactive and hands-on learning that delves into the area’s history and culture. Exhibits include the Point Conception First-Order Fresnel Lens, the historic sport fishing yacht Ranger, and an extensive collection of Dwight Brooks’ fully-functional boat models. Innovative educational programs, in partnership with area schools, include: in-school Science Nights, tours for school groups, and the renowned Marine Sciences, Ocean Connections, and Spirit of Dana Point Tallship Overnight programs, which take children out on the sea, often for the first time. SBMM has dedicated itself to encouraging the curiosity and interest of all ages. Reflecting that dedication, SBMM has been named as one of the top 10 maritime museums in the United States by Marina Life Magazine.