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.
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.