This statue of St. Michael (San Miguel) slaying a devil (or is it just a snake?) is about three feet tall and made of wood, gesso and polychrome.
When the Franciscans abandoned their missions in 1833 after the Mexican congress passed the secularization act, our own Mission Santa Barbara wound up as the repository of much of the artifacts. By that time, Tina Foss explains, our mission had lost some of its importance, and with the others looted, became an unintentional museum of a historical period. Nearly two centuries later, some of these treasures, along with popular pieces, will be open for viewing for a very brief time.
“Sunset Light” is an oil on canvas by well-known plein air artist Benjamin Brown, probably painted in the first quarter of the 20th century.
This statue of St Anthony of Padua is about 24″ in height from the late 17th century, and made from wood, gesso and polychrome. This was the first statue to come to Mission Santa Barbara, arriving April 1, 1790.
This Risen Christ statue is made of wood, but is now devoid of gesso and polychrome (traces evident). Probable date is late 1600s. Recent research indicates an origin in a Jesuit mission or a “Reduccion” in Paraguay.
The second annual Mission Art Tour will give two hours to see artworks that have long been in storage. Of the 56 pieces on display, half come from the Provincial Archive in Oakland and the other half from the mission’s storage and permanent collection. Objects include textiles, statues, paintings and religious artifacts like gold chalices. Many date back to the 17th century, and most need some sort of restoration.