Gallery Spotlight: Karpeles Manuscript Museum

Karpeles Manuscript Library in Santa Barbara

Name: Karpeles Manuscript Museum

Location: 21 West Anapamu Street

Owner: David Karpeles

Date Opened: 1986

Focus: Santa Barbara resident Dr. David Karpeles divides his private collection of significant historical documents and manuscripts – the largest such collection in the world – among eight museums nationwide, all of which are open to the public, free of charge. The exhibits change every four months and have included political documents like the original Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence, musical documents by Beethoven, Mozart, and Puccini, and scientific manuscripts by Galileo, Einstein, and Darwin. In its Santa Barbara location, the Karpeles Manuscript Museum uses the walls above exhibits to display artwork and photography by artists from the area. Here on the Central Coast, Karpeles showcases documents one would expect to see only in the great metropolises of the world.

Current Exhibition: “Educational Turkish Maps” displays medieval studies of the old and new worlds, complete with colorful illustrations of Vikings, the Great Wall of China, and Egyptian pyramids to denote geographical context, along with beautifully swooping script covering the margins.

Hours and Contact: 7 days a week, 10am-4pm. Call 962-5322.

Ellen O’Connoll is an Independent intern.

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