Make cultural exploration a part of your trip to Santa Barbara and be sure to check out The Tree of Life Exhibition at Casa Dolores. This exhibit explores the ancient symbol used to depict the origin and evolution of life in virtually all cultures and religions around the world.
Casa Dolores is is housed in The Pascual Botillier House and is devoted to the collection, preservation, study, and exhibition of an extensive variety of objects of the popular arts of Mexico and provides an educational and intriguing glimpse into Mexican Culture.
Casa Dolores, Center for the Study of the Popular Arts of Mexico, is devoted to the collection, preservation, study, and exhibition of an extensive variety of objects of the popular arts of Mexico.
The Center currently houses Linda Cathcart’s collection of over 6,000 objects in a variety of mediums; clay, ceramic, wood, natural fibers, leather, paper, glass and tin. It is the largest collection of hand crafted art from Mexico on the Central Coast.
For several thousand years the spreading branches of the Tree have been used to teach each culture’s beliefs about immortality and fertility.
In Mexico, the Tree of Life can be traced at least as far back as the Mayan culture. In Mayan culture the In Aztec culture, the Tree of Life also played a critically important role in annual rituals honoring Tlaloc, the god of rain. The modern interpretations of the Tree of Life which can be found at the Casa Dolores exhibit are created within the past 75 years, evolved from bronze and silver candelabras and incense burners brought to Mexico by Spanish friars. But metals were rare and expensive, so to adapt the tree design into their own creations, Mexican artisans chose a material that they could easily find, work with and afford—clay.
Casa Dolores is open noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. Getting to Casa Dolores from Hotel Milo is simple it’s only 0.3 miles from the hotel.