The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

Current Exhibitions

To learn more about an exhibition, please click on its title.


Princes of Surf: July 3 – October 25, 2015

3rd Floor Art Forum Gallery We are a city of surf; but the story behind the name doesn’t start with us. It begins with Three Hawaiian princes in 1885. That summer, David Kawananakoa, Edward Keli’iahonui and Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole introduced surfing to the world beyond Hawaii. They rode Santa Cruz waves. Crafted surfboards from our […]


Dear Jerry: May 1 – August 23, 2015

2nd Floor Solari Gallery When you’re a fan, how do you show your love? Fans of The Grateful Dead followed Jerry Garcia around the world like a pied piper. They wrote poems, created intricate fan art and ran an underground economy. An entire subculture exploded around one band and their music. They even have their own […]


Plastic Pledges

Plastic Pledges features four 30″ x 30″ archival pigment prints mounted on aluminum and thirteen plastic jewelry items in shadow boxes by Judith Selby Lange and Richard Lange. This artwork is accompanied by a participatory text-based installation made of fishing nets hanging from the ceiling and paper strips resembling kelp asking the public to pledge […]


TEMPORARILY CLOSED – Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea: A History of Santa Cruz County and its People

Long-term exhibit; History Gallery 2nd Floor. Closed for renovation; opening September 18th What’s next? New stories. Our goal is to tell the rich history of Santa Cruz County through new displays, more interactivity, and diverse voices. We’re exploring how history empowers us to build a stronger community, highlighting community members like you who make a difference. […]


Mary and Harry Blanchard Sculpture Garden

Permanent Exhibit The Mary and Harry Blanchard Sculpture Garden is a new exhibition space designed to showcase outdoor sculpture from the Museum’s permanent collection. The rooftop gallery is also an inviting space in which to view Santa Cruz and the surrounding mountains. The garden presently showcases a large scale granite sculpture by Davenport artist Richard […]