Commemorate the MAH's 25th anniversary with a celebratory collection of artworks and objects from our permanent collection.

Artboard 1

May 21 - July 25, 2021

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Art Forum
3rd Floor

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Back in the mid-1980s, the Santa Cruz Historical Society (founded in 1954) and the Art Museum of Santa Cruz County (founded in 1981) joined forces to build a museum of art and history on the site of the former county jail.

However, after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake devastated downtown Santa Cruz the team reframed the dream of the McPherson Center of Art & History as an opportunity to turn tragedy into triumph. The pivot resulted in the MAH opening next to the old jail, effectively doubling in size, in 1996.

For the past 25 years ago the MAH has been filled with the creativity, collaboration, and stories of Santa Cruz County. Celebrate this milestone with us as we bring art and artifacts from our permanent collection on display alongside memorabilia and stories from the founding of the MAH.

Header Image: Hotel Acatlan, Second Day lithograph by David Hockney, MAH Permanent Collection.

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History of the MAH

Today, the MAH is a creative hub for Santa Cruz County. Learn more about our 25-year history as a center for the intersection of art, history, and civic life.

Support the MAH

Help fuel a strong and resilient MAH by becoming a MAH Member or making a donation. Your contribution directly supports the future of the museum and connecting our community through art, history, and culture.