How we got started and what we do

The California Heritage Museum promotes the diversity and rich history of California’s heritage through art exhibitions, lectures, publications and community events. Housed in a restored 1894 home, our building was named an Official City Landmark in 1979. 


We have some marvelous photographs on display showing how the house was quite literally 'picked up and moved' from the other end of Santa Monica to this location before being transformed into our museum.


Our permanent exhibition, The Founding Family of Santa Monica displays photographs and documentation of Santa Monica’s earliest years. Did you know there used to be an ostrich farm here in Santa Monica? 


Our evolving exhibitions encompass both historic and contemporary California art and design, and have included: NAVAJO TEXTILES: Wearing Blankets and Rugs; MONTEREY FURNITURE; and ALOHA SPIRIT: Hawaii’s Influence on the California Lifestyle. Adhering to our continuing commitment to community involvement, several of our exhibition topics were conceived directly from the interests of local residents and visitors. We listen to our visitors and have created exhibitions around their suggestions. Two of the most popular were SKATEBOARD: The California Evolution and SAINTS AND SINNERS: California-Mexico Devotional Art

Our last exhibition,  AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS, was an overwhelmingly success, attracting over 10,000 visitors to the museum, and achieving national news, press and online media publicity - check out some of our coverage on Youtube through our website. Our current exhibition, TATTOO; The Shamrock Social Club, presents original artwork of renowned celebrity tattoo artist Mark Mahoney, a founder of the Black & Grey tattoo traditions in California during the 1960’s. You can buy many of the photographs included in the show for shockingly low prices through our online store. 


Generous support from foundations and individual donors has enabled us to provide our tours and programming at no cost for Students, School Groups, Senior-Retirement, and Low Income community members - call, email, or ask us when you come to visit.


Our event calendar can be found through the links on this Home page or on our Website and Facebook. If you join our mailing list, we'll send you information about promotions, discounts, sales, and special events, such as:

ANNUAL TILE & POTTERY SALE - This colorful and vibrant sale includes dealers and artists from all over California with rare, antique, vintage and contemporary tiles, art, pottery and Monterey furniture; 

CLASSIC CAR NIGHT - Spend an evening every month in the company of beautifully restored classic and vintage vehicles - and their impassioned owners; 

FARMERS MARKET - Each week we host a farmers market featuring produce and goods from local farmers and vendors; 

GOURMET FOOD TRUCK NIGHT - Every Tuesday night is an urban culinary adventure of gourmet ‘dining’- bring a floor blanket and hang out for a while; 

OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHTS - Take advantage of our beautiful California weather every month to enjoy movies on our lawn;

ONLINE AUCTIONS - Great art is definitely accessible - our artists promote and sell their work year round through our online auctions, online store and museum shop.

We look forward to seeing you soon!