The Wildling Art Museum will be moving in January from the historic Keenan-Hartley House behind Mattei’s Tavern, which has been its home for the past eight years, to a new building in Los Olivos next to the Corner House Coffee, at 2928 San Marcos Ave.
The building was built by Lowell Lash, and the museum has arranged for a long-term lease for all of the ground floor and 1,000 square feet of the second floor.
Executive Director Penny Knowles said this move represents a great “step up” for the museum because there will be more space for fine art exhibitions, an education center, library and expanded gift shop. In addition, the administrative offices can be housed in the same building.
The new building will provide better protection for the art and more amenities. It will be only one block from the flagpole and the center of town. The museum expects to double its attendance within two years.
“The museum has launched a $1 million “Stepping Up!” campaign to pay for build out and rent for the first five years, plus $300,000 of endowment to be used for future capital needs,” Knowles said. “To date, the museum has raised $650,000, a considerable accomplishment considering the state of the economy.”
The museum will have a soft opening in the middle of January, with an official public opening party on Feb. 8. The initial exhibition will feature California Impressionist paintings from 1900-1930, titled “The Land of Sunshine: Paintings from The Irvine Museum Collection.”
For more information about the new building or the campaign, click here or call 805.688.1082.
Holly Cline is the Wildling Art Museum‘s marketing and public relations director.