The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay’s free Museum of art and history. The museum was founded adjacent to Mission Santa Clara de Asís on SCU's campus in 1955. It is currently one of three museums in the South Bay to hold accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums. Operated and supported by Santa Clara University, the de Saisset Museum also is privately funded and member-supported.Use our Santa Clara holiday builder app to add De Saisset Museum and other attractions to your Santa Clara vacation plans.
The de Saisset Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets objects of art and history for the educational and cultural enrichment of all people. The museum achieves its mission through an active program of exhibitions, collections, education programs, and publications. As an important resource for SCU, the de Saisset actively collaborates with the larger University community in order to foster the integration of diverse forms of learning.
The de Saisset presents 6 to 10 temporary exhibitions every year. Exhibitions highlight the diversity of our community, address issues of contemporary society, showcase the work of under-recognized or under-appreciated artists, and emphasize the strengths of the permanent collection. The museum also serves as the caretaker of the University's California History Collection, which is on permanent view.
Since its founding, the de Saisset's permanent collection has expanded to include more than 12,000 objects collected in six main areas: California history, Mission-era liturgical vestments, decorative arts, works on paper, painting & sculpture, and new media. The collection includes prints from the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, 19th century, and Modernist periods. The museum has an extensive collection of contemporary works on paper, with a special emphasis on artists from the San Francisco Bay Area.
The de Saisset Museum offers a variety of educational programs including lectures, symposia, workshops, and family days. In addition, the de Saisset provides free docent tours of the California History Collection and Mission Santa Clara.
The de Saisset Museum supports Santa Clara University's goal of educating the whole person through a diverse and accessible range of exhibitions, collections, and educational programs that highlight the art and history of the San Francisco Bay Area and the local Santa Clara Valley. As a center of lifelong learning, the de Saisset Museum facilitates discovery, experience, and inspiration through engaging objects of art and history.
- The Museum will present exhibitions that highlight the diversity of our community (in age, gender, and ethnicity), feature a variety of media, offer a diverse representation of topics and viewpoints, showcase the work of recognized and under-recognized or under-appreciated artists, address issues of contemporary society, and highlight the strengths of our permanent collection.
- The Museum will continue the development, management, and preservation of the permanent collection, thereby creating an artistic and historic legacy for the community.
- The Museum will engage in University departmental collaborations, expanding the environment that fosters the integration of different forms of learning as well as the Jesuit ideals of reasoned and rigorous inquiry.
- The Museum will provide a welcoming and service-oriented atmosphere that encourages participation by diverse audiences.
- The Museum will nurture a sense of pride and ownership among its principals, including the University, advisory board, staff, members, donors, volunteers, and visitors.
De Saisset Museum reviews
A beautiful little building on an attractive campus with a nearby car park. Not a lot of art inside but one of the current exhibits (the InTouch Project) featured a vast collection of felt sculptures.... more
A beautiful little building on an attractive campus with a nearby car park. Not a lot of art inside but one of the current exhibits (the InTouch Project) featured a vast collection of felt sculptures.... more »
Nice Ohlone history in the basement. A bit about the mission. Nothing outstanding. It appears students staff it.
Nice Ohlone history in the basement. A bit about the mission. Nothing outstanding. It appears students staff it. more »
Incredible museum that will captures your imagination about the history of Santa Clara and California as a whole. They have new exhibits from time to time and the feature now is Executive Order 9066. These exhibits will challenge your heart concerning what the US Government did to Japanese living in America during WWII. You will be impressed with the art!!
It’s a small museum. There are four exhibition rooms on the first floor showing some paintings. I found the exhibits in the basement more interesting where some Ohlone history was shown. It’s not a major museum but worth going if you are in the neighborhood. I spent about 20 minutes there. However, I enjoyed seeing the rest of the campus a lot. The church and mission garden were awesome. BTW, it’s free.
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