Spanish Colonial Style: Santa Barbara and The Architecture of James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig

Posted on Oct 16 by Leslie Dinaberg

Spanish Colonial Style, photo by Matt Walla, courtesy Santa Barbara Historical Museum

Spanish Colonial Style, photo by Matt Walla, courtesy Santa Barbara Historical Museum

This retrospective exhibition, the first in 90 years, celebrates the publication of a monograph on the work of two seminal Santa Barbara architects, who happen to be husband and wife.

James Osborne Craig is widely credited with establishing the Spanish Colonial style in Santa Barbara. He left two buildings of such potency—even precocity, given his age—completed posthumously, that one suspects he would have given George Washington Smith ample competition if not for his premature death at the age of 33. One was Casa Santa Cruz, the house for Irene and Bernhard Hoffmann. The other was El Paseo, which set the standard for Santa Barbara’s architectural rebirth in the twenties and continues to be a reference today. His wife Mary McLaughlin Craig, indelibly linked with the houses of Plaza Rubio, followed in his footsteps and established her own identity as an architectural designer for 36 years.Spanish Colonial Style book

Spanish Colonial Style: Santa Barbara and the Architecture of James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig, written by the Craigs’ granddaughter Pamela Skewes-Cox and architectural historian Robert Sweeney, was recently published by Rizzoli, in conjunction with the Museum. The exquisite book includes a stunning collection of contemporary photos by Matt Walla.

Experience the exhibition premiere with a cocktail reception, comments by noted architect and author Marc Appleton, and book signing by the authors, Pamela Skewes-Cox and architectural historian Robert Sweeney.

Opening Reception
October 22, 5:30 p.m.
Experience the exhibition premiere with a cocktail reception, comments by noted architect and author Marc Appleton, and book signing by the authors.  Reservation required.

Lecture
October 23, 11 a.m.
Pamela Skewes-Cox, author Spanish Colonial Style: Santa Barbara and the Architecture of James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig, will give a presentation about the book and the lives of her grandparents.   Reservation required.

First Thursday
November 5, 5-8 p.m.
Join us to view the exhibition after-hours during Downtown Santa Barbara’s art walk.  Wine, music and family-friendly activities.

All events take place at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, 136 E. De la Guerra St., 805/966-1601.

—Leslie Dinaberg

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