COLLECTIONS

Barry Berkus and Family Art Collection

Noted Santa Barbara architect, philanthropist, and art collector Barry Berkus generously donated a 43-work collection of over 60 artists framing the evolution of the local contemporary art scene over the past three decades. The gift includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, mixed-media works, prints, collages, ceramics, and digital media art that he and his wife Gail purchased from local and regional artists starting in the 1970s. A portion of the collection is exhibited to the public every other year with the goal of making art familiar and accessible for the community of Santa Barbara County. Includes artists include Dane Goodman, Ginny Brush, Nell Campbell, Wayne McCall, and countless others.

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anne and Walon Green Collection: works by Channing Peake

Channing Peake (1910-1989) was a muralist, colorist, abstractionist, sculptor, and draftsman who moved to California from Marshall, Colorado at an early age. During his formative years in California, Peake attended the California School of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and the Santa Barbara School of Fine Arts. In 1935, he studied at the Art Students League of New York. Throughout his career, Peake traveled and worked in Mexico, Central America, and Europe, and was friends with notable artists Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo, and Françoise Gilot. 

Peake exhibited not only nationally but also internationally in cities such as London, Paris, and Rome. In Santa Barbara, the artist’s Fiesta mural can be found in the terminal at the Santa Barbara Airport. Also, Peake worked with artist Howard Warshaw to create a mural for the Santa Barbara Public Library.

The artist’s work has been represented in several institutions including the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (where he was also a founding member), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Legion of Honor and de Young museums in San Francisco, the Chicago Board of Trade in Chicago, Illinois, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon, and the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York.

In 2012, the collection of Peake paintings in the Collections of the County of Santa Barbara were graciously gifted by Anne and Walon Green as a way to continue the artistic culture, heritage, and legacy that came with the presence of Channing Peake in Santa Barbara County.

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Colin Campbell Cooper Collection

Colin Campbell Cooper, Jr. (1856–1937) was an American Impressionist painter, perhaps most renowned for his architectural paintings, especially of skyscrapers in New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and studied under the great and then-controversial Thomas Eakins. He would later travel extensively across Europe, but Cooper moved to Santa Barbara, California in January 1921. Santa Barbara would be his home base for the rest of his life, though he would spend two years in northern Europe and Tunisia. He went on to become Dean of Painting at the Santa Barbara Community School of Arts.

Make sure to go and see Colin Campbell Cooper’s “City Hall Park, New York” in the new exhibition Let It Snow! Paintings of Winter at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art!

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Ray Strong Collection

Ray Stanford Strong (1905–2006) was an American painter from Corvallis, Oregon. Strong identified as an artist from a young age, painting landscape and murals as well as writing poetry. His landscapes are among the best representations of the California coast and Oregon. As a founding member of the Oak Group, Strong influenced an entire generation of painters in Santa Barbara County.

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