Carnegie Art Museum (Oxnard, California)

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Carnegie Art Museum
Carneige Art Museum 2, Oxnard.jpg
Carnegie Art Museum, September 2008
Established 1986 (1986)

City of Oxnard

Oxnard Public Library
Carnegie Art Museum (Oxnard, California) is located in California
Carnegie Art Museum (Oxnard, California)
Carnegie Art Museum (Oxnard, California) is located in the US
Carnegie Art Museum (Oxnard, California)
Location 424 S. C St., Oxnard, California
Coordinates 34°11′54″N 119°10′48″W / 34.19833°N 119.18000°W / 34.19833; -119.18000Coordinates: 34°11′54″N 119°10′48″W / 34.19833°N 119.18000°W / 34.19833; -119.18000
Built 1907
Architect Franklin P. Burnham
Architectural style Neo-Classical
NRHP Reference # 71000210[1]
Added to NRHP July 27, 1971

The Carnegie Art Museum, formerly known as the Oxnard Public Library and the Carnegie Cultural Arts Center, is a Neo-Classical building and art museum located adjacent to Plaza Park in Oxnard, California, United States. It opened in 1907 as the Oxnard Public Library and was later converted into an art museum.[2] In July 1971, it became the first building in Ventura County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Oxnard Public Library[edit]

The structure, resembling a Greek temple with Doric columns on three sides, was built from 1906-1907 as a Carnegie library.[3] Industrialist Andrew Carnegie initially gave $10,000 toward construction of a public library for the City of Oxnard, but as the plans were to be drawn, the city decided to build a more expensive building that could also house the city's municipal offices and city hall.[4] In July 1906, the city signed a contract with Thomas Carroll for $14,000 to build the dual-use facility. Carnegie agreed to pay half of the additional appropriation in addition to the original $10,000 gift.[4] Oxnard's first mayor, Richard Haydock, selected the Greek Neo-Classical architecture, which was designed by Los Angeles architect, Franklin Burnham.[5]

The building opened on May 15, 1907, and five years later, Oxnard could boast that its library had "the largest circulation of any city of the sixth class in the State."[6] In 1923, a three-story addition was built on the east side of the library.[5] The structure continued to serve as Oxnard's city hall until 1949 and as the Oxnard Public Library until 1963.[2][7]

Other uses and historic designation[edit]

Downtown Oxnard in 1908, Oxnard Public Library on the right

In March 1963, the Oxnard Public Library moved to a new location, and the building was used between 1963 and 1975 by the Oxnard Art Club, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce.[2] In July 1971, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places, becoming the first site so designated in Ventura County. It also served as a facade for the "Dan August" television show starring Burt Reynolds in the early 1970s.[8]

Carnegie Art Museum[edit]

Two of the structure's three neoclassical facades

In 1977, the city received a $133,000 federal grant to restore the building, which re-opened on August 16, 1980 as the Carnegie Cultural Arts Center, which was the home of the Art Club of Oxnard, the Oxnard Historical Society Museum and the audiovisual portion of the Oxnard Public Library.[5] In 1986, the building became the Carnegie Art Museum, owned and operated by the City of Oxnard.[2][5] The museum had 37,000 visitors in 2002.[8] It has hosted exhibitions by Southern California artists, including Michael Dvortcsak, Joyce Trieman, Frank Romero and Gronk.[8][9] The Museum also has a permanent collection of more than 1,500 art and ethnographic objects, including over 600 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs primarily by 20th century California artists such as Arthur Beaumont, Colin Campbell Cooper, Millard Sheets, and Leo Politi.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Carnegie Cultural Center open to public: History of art center reveals integral usefulness to county residents". Los Angeles Times. 1981-05-02. 
  3. ^ Hudak, Tracy (2012-06-08) "My Own Private Museum: A Closer Look at Oxnard's Carnegie Art Museum" KCET Artbound
  4. ^ a b "Carnegie Twice Generous: The Ironmaster Gives Total of Twelve Thousand Dollars for Oxnard Library". Los Angeles Times. 1906-07-29. 
  5. ^ a b c d "A brief history of the Carnegie Art Museum". Carnegie Art Museum. Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. 
  6. ^ "To Celebrate Anniversary: Fifth Annual Birthday of the Oxnard Library Is to be Properly Observed by the Beneficiaries". Los Angeles Times. 1912-05-04. 
  7. ^ Lindell, Karen (2012-10-14) "Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard celebrates 25th anniversary" Ventura County Star
  8. ^ a b c Josef Woodard (2003-01-20). "Ventura County: Little Museum Gets Big Boost from Patrons; The Carnegie in Oxnard is enjoying 39% rise in visitors and, as seen in current show, a host of generous donors". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. ^ Josef Woodard (2002-01-03). "Ventura County Culture: A Place Where Culture Remains Alive and Well". Los Angeles Times. 
  10. ^ "Permanent Collection of the Carnegie Art Museum". Carnegie Art Museum. 

External links[edit]