Thursday, December 1, 2011
#221: California Heritage Museum
If you've ever been to Santa Monica's Farmers Market on Main Street (#91), you've probably sat on the Heritage Museum's front lawn to scarf down your market munchies. The house-turned-museum was built in 1894 for Roy Jones, the son of Senator John Percival Jones who founded the city of Santa Monica. In 1979 the Roy Jones House was named a City Landmark. Now the museum is dedicated to presenting displays of American art and promoting the passion of collecting.
I really enjoyed seeing the vintage surfboards on display and reading about how they evolved over time. It was a small exhibit though--not as big as the Shortboard exhibit at The California Surf Museum (#199). I also love the location of the museum--right on bustling Main Street. While there, we also checked out jAdis (#220) and ate a wonderful brunch at Amelia's.
I do have a few gripes about the museum. The first is the admission cost. $8 per person feels a bit too steep for such a small museum; we were in and out in about 20 minutes. I also felt stalked by the docent there. I noticed there were no security cameras in the rooms, so a docent followed us into each room, keeping an eye on us. We were the only ones in the museum, so it was really obvious that we were being watched the entire time. Lastly, I was a little disappointed by the Aloha Spirit: Hawaii's Influence on California Lifestyle exhibit. It was basically a living and dining room decorated in a Hawaiian style with tiki mugs and Hawaiian dinner ware. I was hoping for more reading material or signs explaining the significance of things in the room, but there wasn't much.
Overall, though, I think this museum is a worthy stop if you're in the Santa Monica area, especially if you're a surfer or enjoy vintage surfboards.
Have you been to the California Heritage Museum? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!
The California Heritage Museum