Founding Familias: The Ojai Valley During the Rancho Era
This exhibition looks at the Rancho era through the Hispanic families who settled
the Ojai Valley. Tico, Ayala, Lopez, Arnaz, Vanegas, Reyes, Ortega, their stories have too often been overlooked. Vaquero life is also examined, including Dan Lopez. The award winning cowboy is a living link between ranching then and today. Exhibit ends July 28.
In addition, semi-permanent exhibits highlight the evolution of the valley. Learn about the Chumash culture, artists, local businesses and more. We also have a large sculpture in our front courtyard plus a mosaic and Chumash garden behind the museum. We're the perfect place to start, or expand, your knowledge of the valley.
The museum is housed in the former St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. The beautiful 100 year old building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Three paintings from the City of Ojai's permanent collection are currently on view. You'll see an untitled piece by Alberta Finn (above) along with paintings by Richard Amend and Michael Dvortcsak.
In the hall you'll find three landscapes by local pastel legend Bert Collins. On view through July 28.
Permanently on view is a painting, by Jessie Arms Botke. It was originally part of a mural at the El Roblar Hotel.
Check out our Sespe Wilderness Diorama. It's a favorite with families. How many birds and animals can you find?
Make sure to visit the Chumash Interpretive Garden behind the museum. You'll find many plants important to the local Chumash community. As with any garden, it's constantly changing.
Our rotating gallery changes quarterly. Here's a glimpse at a few of our past exhibitions.