Santa Cruz

United States

705 Front Street

Phone: 831 429 1964
Fax: 831 429 1954

The Museum Of Art & History, Santa Cruz

The Museum of Art and History (MAH) is all about visual culture and open all year long with four galleries on three floors with exhibits, family activities, tours, education programs, Historical archives, film series and lectures PLUS three historical sites: The Octagon Building, the Evergreen Cemetery and the Davenport Jail.

The Museum of Art and History (MAH) is a 501(c)3 organization established in 1996 by merging the Art Museum of Santa Cruz County and the History Museum of Santa Cruz County. It is supported by membership, private donations, planned gifts, grants and a Santa Cruz County grant which helps to maintain the Historical archives, the Evergreen Cemetery and the Davenport Jail.


Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: A Century by the Sea
April 21, 2007 – September 2, 2007
Sponsored by the Santa Cruz Seaside Company

Sherry Karver: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Series
April 14-July 8, 2007
Art Forum Gallery

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: New Media Projects Part 2
May 22 – July 8, 2007
Lezin Family Gallery

Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea: A History of Santa Cruz County and its People

Long term exhibit

Previous Exhibitions

Santa Cruz County Bank presents:
Reaching Out: Selections from the Permanent Collections of The Museum of Art & History @the McPherson Center
February 5 – April 30, 2007

December 9, 2006 – April 1, 2007
Art Forum Gallery and Lezin Gallery
Sponsored in part by: Barbara Shields and Josephine Little

Exhibitions (1)

Click on the images to enlarge


Forthcoming exhibitions

History of the Decorated Car: Things that Roll Series
September 15 - November 25, 2007
Truth in Advertising (Billboard Alteration Project by TIA)
September 15 - November 25, 2007
Atrium Gallery

Rydell Recipients
September 15 - November 25, 2007
Howard Ikemoto and Julie Connell
September 14 - November 25, 2007


$5 General Admission
$3 Adult Students (18 and older) and Seniors (62 and older)
$2 Children 12-17
Free for Museum members and children under 12

FREE admission days are the first Friday of each month

Opening hours

Tuesdays - Sundays 11am - 5pm
Closed Mondays.
First Friday of every month 11am - 6pm

Getting there

The Museum is located at the McPherson Center 705 Front Street in downtown Santa Cruz (corner of Front and Cooper Streets)

From Highway 17, continue down Ocean Street to Water and turn right. Make a hard left at the Town Clock. Continue on until you see the Museum building with large banner.

From Highway 1 entering Santa Cruz from the South, follow the same directions.

From Highway 1 entering Santa Cruz from the North, turn right at Laurel Street and continue until you turn left at Front Street, the Museum is on the left 3 blocks down.



The Museum of Art & History @ the McPherson Center in downtown Santa Cruz has remodeled the ground floor to include a highly visible visitor services center and store for our museum guests. The visitor services center is run by our Visitor Services Staff who are trained in MAH exhibition and programming information for the public. Don’t forget to visit our new Museum store area on the ground floor. Our new display of merchandise includes history publications, holiday items, giftware, jewelry, MAH logo items and much more.


The Museum of Art & History's Education Department is committed to exploring new and imaginative ways to engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds in learning about the intersection of art and history through multidisciplinary programs. Educational programs center around four areas: public, visitors, schools, teachers and community outreach.

For more information, call the Education Department at (831) 429-1964 ext. 20 or email


The Museum of Art & History School Tour program provides the unique opportunity for students and teachers to see artifacts and art objects firsthand. Our program introduces students and teachers to methods of historical inquiry including, interviewing individuals, and hands-on activities. For students, it is this experience of looking at art/artifacts, handling artifacts, and creating works of art that help to make these subject areas relevant and come alive. Call the Education Department at (831) 429-1964 x 20 to schedule a tour an Artistic Adventures, Santa Cruz Stories, and/or Evergreen Cemetery tour.

School Tours General Information:
Tours are offered Tuesday through Friday beginning at 9:00 am
Tours must be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance
Payment is due 5 days prior to tour date
There is no change for teachers or chaperones. A minimum of one chaperone for every 7 students is required.


Bring the entire family to MAH! We offer programs year-round to provide a fun-filled, dynamic Museum experience for your family.

Family Art Saturdays

Family Art Saturdays are special opportunities for families to learn about and engage with the works of art on exhibition, as well as each other. Programming includes family friendly art-making activities and exhibition tours. This fee based program provides awelcoming place for families to spend time together while experiencing and learning about art.

Please check the Events Calendar for upcoming Family Art Saturdays or call the Education Department at (831)429-1964 x 20 for information.

Family Festivals

Family Festivals are held twice a year (May and October) in conjunction with special exhibitions and celebrate the cultural and artistic traditions of a particular country or region. Children and adults can enjoy music, activities, guided treasure hunts, storytelling performances -all for FREE! Check the Museum calendar throughout the year and be a part of these special family fun celebrations!

History Hike Adventures

Take a hike through history with your family! A new way to explore our permanent history exhibition, Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea: A History of Santa Cruz County and its People, History Hike Adventures focus on artifacts and the cultures that made them. Hands-on activities, reproduced artifacts you can touch, games, stories and more take you back to one of the time periods highlighted in the History Gallery. We currently offer an Ohlone Adventure, where Spirit the Eagle introduces you to the first peoples of our remarkable county. History Hike Adventures are FREE to borrow any time ...+ [ Read all ]


MAH is proud to offer Adult Tours open to the public! The following tours are currently being offered (holidays excluded):

Lunchtime Tours

On the first Friday of the month at 12:00 pm, MAH offers a free docent-lead tour of a current exhibition. Admission to the museum is also free all day on the first Friday of every month.

Evergreen Cemetery Tours

Tours highlighting individuals at Evergreen Cemetery throughout the year (Click for Events Calendar). Popular topics include "Suicides, Murders and Other Gory Stories" and "Tales from the Tomb." We request a $1 donation for each tour participant.

Call the Education Department at (831) 429-1964 x 20 to find out the topic and time of the next Adult Tour!


Join online today, and support art, history and visual culture with your membership at the Museum of Art and History. MAH is privately funded and member supported and relies upon the generosity of the community to help maintain challenging exhibitions and diverse educational programs. Members enjoy a variety of benefits based on the contribution category selected, such as discounts at the Museum Store and on our lectures/film series. Members receive a quarterly calendar and are invited to members only receptions. For more information on membership, donations, or planned giving, please call 831.429.1964 ext. 27 or e-mail us at

Venue hire

The Museum is the ideal setting for private social gatherings, special events, parties, and receptions. Situated in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, the Museum can accommodate up to 300 guests for a stand-up reception, or 75 guests for a seated gala. The rental space includes the ground floor of the Museum complex including a lovely glass-enclosed atrium, an outdoor courtyard, a small service kitchen and preparation area, and an auditorium space for presentations, guest speakers, or awards ceremonies. A private viewing of current exhibitions can also be arranged for your group, at no extra charge.

The Museum is available for use from 5:00 - 11:00 p.m.

The Facility Coordinator is available to discuss your event needs at (831) 429-1964 ext. 30 or via email at