Museum of Sonoma County 2021

Juan El Abeja, 2014 acrylic, repurposed plastic 8 x 2.5 in.

from the museum’s permanent collection



35: Thirty-Five Artists for Thirty-Five Years

Museum of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, CA

December 22, 2020-October 31, 2021

curated by museum director, Jeff Nathanson



The Museum of Sonoma County (MSC) has a large and extensive permanent collection of 18,000 objects and artworks. While selections from the collection are frequently rotated into our exhibitions, many works often wait years to be exhibited. Now, on the occasion of the Museum’s thirty-fifth anniversary, we are pleased to present a sampling of artworks from the collection in this new exhibition.

The Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, was founded in 1985 and began building its collection of historical objects, archival materials, photographs, and original art well before MSC’s official grand opening. The overarching mission during these past thirty-five years has been a focus on Sonoma County and the North Bay. Now, more than three decades later, MSC has built its collection from its humble beginnings to the largest existing comprehensive overview of the history, art, and culture in the region. Artworks make up a significant part of this collection and the building of the art collection is ongoing.

Over the years, the MSC collection has grown to include artworks ranging from works on paper, to photographs, paintings, sculpture, ceramics and crafts, spanning over a century of art-making, from the 19th to the 21st Century. With this in mind, the artworks selected for 35: Thirty-Five Artists for Thirty-Five Years explore a broad range of media and styles. Of particular interest are themes that are recurring in MSC’s collecting practices, such as landscape and the environment, social commentary, mixed media experimentation, and abstraction.

While our collection may reflect a variety of media and styles, we acknowledge and regret that it does not properly celebrate the full range of artists who have lived and worked in this region. With refocused collecting priorities and a keen eye on works by artists of all genders and artists of color, our aim is to ensure that all members of our community will see themselves reflected in our collection.

MSC’s collection has grown because of the support of collectors, artists, and donors, and we are grateful for their generosity. We are proud of the art we have accessioned to date, and are pleased to share this sampling with the public. We hope these excellent works provoke inspiration, conversation, and creativity.



Artists included 

• Adela Akers
• Barnee Alexander
• Chester Arnold
• John Bankston
• Jonathan Barbieri
• Carroll Barnes
• Raymond Barnhart
• Mary Belle Blackstone
• Donna Brookman
• Enrique Chagoya
• Christo and Jeanne-Claude
• Maria de Los Angeles
• Florence Dixon
• Otto Hagel
• Frank O. Hamilton
• Meg Hitchcock
• Elizabeth Hoen
• Robert Hudson

• David Huffman
• Kurt Kemp
• Maurice Lapp
• Pat Lenz
• Hansel Mieth
• Monty Monty
• Ursula Fahner Noonan
• Gloria T. Pomo
• Diane Rosenblum
• John Sappington
• Richard Shaw
• Hassel Smith
• Mario Uribe
• Linda Vallejo
• Marguerite Wildenhain
• Robert Williams
• Jean Yates


This exhibition is presented in virtual form, with the ability to be viewed in-person when the Museum of Sonoma County is permitted to reopen.


Museum of Sonoma County