The Wildling Museum was founded in 1997 by Santa Barbara artist Patti Jacquemain who felt that a museum showcasing beautiful art of wilderness areas could help to educate and inspire new audiences to care about the preservation of our country’s dwindling natural areas.
The museum first opened its doors at the historic Keenan Hartley House in Los Olivos in 2000 and began its a tradition of organizing inspiring art exhibitions and programs. In 2008 the Wildling expanded to a new location on San Marcos Avenue. This larger space exposed us to new audiences and allowed us to expand the size of our shows.
In 2011 the Wildling board and staff began an extensive planning process with the support of SCORE of Santa Barbara counselors and the amazing team at Fielding Graduate University and the input of many stakeholders. This process culminated in the adoption of a new strategic plan with five key goal areas: Financial Sustainability, Strengthen Branding and Marketing, Community Collaboration, Expansion of our Programming and Accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.
In 2012 it was determined that a move to a new facility in Solvang would allow us to address many of these goal areas and that move was accomplished at the end of the year. The new, completely remodeled facility at 1511 B Mission Dr. opened to the public on August 24, 2013. We are excited by the many opportunities the new space offers and are pleased to be part of the Solvang community.