Tattoo & Scrimshaw: the Art of the Sailor
Celebrating the long history of nautical tattoos and sailor art, with a blend of historical artifacts, archival photos and contemporary photography.
LIFE OF THE SAILOR – SUPERSTITION AT SEA
The seaman’s life during the Age of Sail (16th to mid-19th century) was hard and often shortened by natural and man-made dangers. Tattoos identified a man as a long-term sailor who earned his living primarily at sea. A complex system of superstitions grew over time that offered comfort and protection in this dangerous environment. Tattoos became a part of these beliefs.
Exhibit is so popular, it has been extended to October 31, 2016
Exhibit Sponsored by George H. Griffiths & Olive J. Griffiths Charitable Foundation, Mimi Michaelis, Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation, and Wood-Claeyssens Foundation
Point Conception Lighthouse Fresnel Lens
The Point Conception first order Fresnel lens has stood watch for nearly 160 years, guiding ships safely around the “Cape Horn of the Pacific.” The Point Conception lens was designed and built in Paris, France in 1854, using a refracted prism system designed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel. The lens was first lit on February 1, 1856. Because of persistent heavy fog at higher elevation, a second lighthouse was built on the lower bluff, and the lens was moved in June, 1882. While the lens saw many vessels meet their ultimate fate in this “graveyard” of the Central Coast, the light also saved and provided safe passage to thousands of vessels over the years.
Wives and Daughters: Keepers of the Light
Over 300 women are known to have served as head lighthouse keepers in the U.S between 1850 and 1920. Learn about their firsthand accounts of life as a keeper, stories that are rare and often unknown.
Tragedy at Honda: Honoring the George Writer Family
Within ten minutes, nine battle-ready destroyers lay impaled and stranded along the treacherous reefs of the “Devil’s Jaw” near Honda Creek. The Honda Point Disaster was the largest peacetime loss in U.S. Naval history.
Tall Ship Education Program
Students explore man’s relationship with the ocean, gain an appreciation for our maritime heritage, and learn the concepts of ‘historical perspectives’ and ‘interpretation’. Through challenging hands-on activities students develop problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, communication, and teamwork skills.
The Lost Posters of Surf Artist Rick Sharp
Surfer Rick Sharp restarted his career in the 1970s with his fantasy based organic surf posters, currently on display at the museum.
Through the display of historic artifacts and images, the story of ranching on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands comes to life. Learn about the personalities, products and environment that made island ranching possible.
Marine Safety Agencies and USCG Black Fin
Protecting our coasts and waterways, this exhibit highlights marine safety agencies in the Santa Barbara Channel, their service to our community and emergency heroes.
Mario M. Castagnola Commercial Fishing
From harpoon fishing to modern fisheries management, the Mario M. Castagnola Commercial Fishing exhibit uses artifacts and images tell the story of Santa Barbara’s historic fishing industries.
Diving Technology and Abalone Diving
Hardhat diving has been part of local history since the late 1800s when abalone became a sought-after delicacy and continues today with urchin fishery and oil extraction. The Fred Kavli Diving Technology exhibit features historic diving helmets, suits and compressors. In October 2009, the Maritime Museum became the West Coast home to the Historical Diving Society.
Discover the rich maritime history of California’s Central Coast, dating back over 10,000 years to the region’s earliest seafarers, the Chumash. The Historic Path features a Chumash tomol, an interactive explorer map, and artifacts that bring the area’s long maritime history to life. EXHIBITS INCLUDE: Chumash Exhibit, Santa Barbara Bank and Trust Explorers Exhibit, Otter and Seal Hunting Exhibit, Hide and Tallow Trade Exhibit, Supply Ships Exhibit, Shore Whaling Exhibit, and George Castagnola Family Santa Barbara Waterfront Exhibit
Goleta’s Cannons features two of the historic cannons found on the Goleta coast on January 23, 1981. The exhibit highlights clues to the cannon’s past, how the community restored these artifacts, and step-by-step instructions for how cannons of that era were fired, including audio of an actual cannon firing. The cannons are on loan from the Goleta Valley Historical Society.
You can scope out the surroundings undetected.
Marilyn S. Tennity Surfing Exhibit
Discover the rich surf history of the Central Coast through this interactive exhibit, which features one-of-a-kind artifacts, oral histories with surfing greats and a surf board you can stand on.
Originally built by brothers Malcolm and Allan Loughead, the F-1 seaplane was constructed in Santa Barbara for the U.S. Navy in World War I. After the war, the brothers used the seaplane for sightseeing trips and aerial filming for Flying A Studios films. Suspended from the museum’s ceiling is a 1/4 scale flying model of the F-1 built by the Santa Barbara Radio Control Modelers Club. Malcolm and Allan’s Company eventually became Lockheed Martin.