Santa Paula Civic Art Collection
In 1937, local banker and artist Douglas Shively convinced the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce to sponsor an art competition which became the annual Santa Paula Art Show. Offering "purchase prizes," the show attracted regionally and nationally recognized artists. For decades, the Chamber of Commerce annually purchased the show's winning artworks and presented them to the city, or they were acquired by local families and presented as memorials to various city institutions. Today, the Santa Paula civic art collection consists of nearly 300 paintings. It includes works by noted early 20th century artists like Jessie Arms and Cornelis Botke, Robert Clunie, Al Dempster, Ralph Holmes, Emil Kosa, Jr., Paul Lauritz, Douglas Shively, and Milford Zornes. The collection reflects both Southern California's distinctive art history and Santa Paula's unique local history.
While ownership of the collection is retained by the City of Santa Paula, the Santa Paula Unified School District, and the Blanchard Community Library, the Santa Paula Art Museum is responsible for the art's preservation, interpretation, and public exhibition.
Santa Paula's significance as a place for art has also been confirmed by the many esteemed artists who have made the city their home. Their stories can be accessed by clicking on the adjacent images.
Early Santa Paula Art Show
Early Santa Paula Artists
Highlights from the Collection
*Click on each image to enlarge