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Located at Montereys Custom Plaza, the Museum of Monterey was built in 1931 by Arnelie Elkinton, the curator of Montereys Mexican-era Custom House. This waterfront museum has gone thru a change and has reopening with new exhibits and focus on the current Monterey community and it's rich history. Their film screenings and recent Chicano Art Exhibit with Cheech Marin has kicked off the 2012 season and there will be lots of events coming this season to the museum. The 580 glass prisms of the historic Frenel lens from the Point Sur Lightstation has been part of this collection and the many Ohlone and Indian ruins and artifacts from the region as well. For more information and hours for their events and exhibits, go to their new website at www.museumofmonterey.org
The goal is to be less about objects and more about the conversations the museum holds with the community. Where once it focused solely on the Peninsula’s long relationship with the sea, the Museum is expanding its scope to broaden its view,as well as its appeal, to include: History, Arts, Innovation and Maritime Activities.
In the 1800′s the Monterey Region emerged as California’s governmental, political, military, commercial, social, and cultural center.
The Monterey History and Art Association was incorporated January 19, 1931. Its purpose was to preserve the artifacts of Monterey’s historic and artistic influence. The founding members understood the power of the arts and significance of history. They included Colonel Roger Fitch, artist Miss E. Charlton Fortune, architect W.O. Raiguel, and author Laura Bride Powers, who forged the connection of these essential elements. The Merienda celebrated traditional Monterey and Spanish culture in the Sensory Garden, steps from the shores of Monterey Bay.
The Museum of Monterey, constructed as a maritime and history museum in 1992, continues this creative force of storytelling. The Allen B. Knight collection and significance of maritime history was the catalyst realized by the generosity of Virginia Young Stanton, one of the organization’s seminal visionaries and donors.
Monterey continues as a leader of heritage tourism, culture, and innovation. Today, MHAA with Museum of Monterey tell these stories and stand as a center for active engagement of the creative community and visitors to our region. Our history belongs to all of us, and we invite you to learn of our history and consider the future by simply being present.
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