Just north of the border, Southern California has long enjoyed a palpable Mexican cultural influence, and Casa Dolores, part of the Center for the Study of the Popular Arts of Mexico, is a prime example of that very relationship.
The Center collects and preserves authentic works, and exhibits modern Mexican art. Beyond observation, the institution cultivates appreciation of Mexican and Mexican-American identity with various educational programs, and workshops.
But before visitors see the noteworthy collection, they’ll see the building itself.Casa Dolores is located in the Pascual Botillier House, which dates back to 1843. A charmingly simple adobe property, it was a family home until the early 2000s. Now converted into the museum that it is today, it is both a Santa Barbara historical landmark and the only remaining two story adobe house left in Santa Barbara.
Inside these quaint quarters, Casa Dolores houses the largest collection of handcrafted Mexican art in the region. thousands of Mexican artifacts representing the country’s favorite mediums, including clay, ceramics, leatherworks, glass and furniture.
Accompanying this impressive collection, Casa Dolores keeps things fresh with rotating exhibits switching out every couple of months or so. Past exhibitions include clay molds of the women of Mexico, a look into Día de los Muertos, and the history of tequila-making.
By balancing fresh content and an eclectic standing collection, Casa Dolores offers a refreshing representation of Mexico, which does justice to the country’s strong place in Santa Barbara culture.
For more information, check out the Casa Dolores website here.