Catalina Island Museum

217 Metropole Avenue, Avalon, CA 90704 - United States





Every trip to Catalina Island begins with a visit to the Catalina Island Museum.

Founded in 1953, the Catalina Island Museum is one of the oldest and most popular institutions in Avalon. Home to the largest archive of materials related to the culture and history of Santa Catalina Island, the museum is also the only institution on the island devoted to art, history, music and film.

The jewel of Avalon, the museum’s new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building opened in June 2016.


Permanent and Special Exhibition included with Museum Day admission:

The History of Santa Catalina Island

From the island’s discovery some 8,000 years ago to William Wrigley’s purchase of the island and the rise of Avalon as Hollywood’s favorite vacation spot, Catalina Island has a history that is rich in events and personalities, including the island’s connection to the Chicago Cubs, its role in World War II, travel, communications and much more. Designed specifically to accommodate the hundreds of artifacts and photographs in the Catalina Island Museum’s archive, the William Wrigley Jr. Gallery permanently exhibits Catalina Island’s unique history.

Special Exhibition:

Titanic: Real Artifacts, Real People, Real Stories
The drama of the RMS Titanic's maiden voyage haunts history with its dualities of ambition and failure, opulence and oppression, tragedy and hope. Through artifacts, images and personal belongings, Titanic shares the stories of the individuals from that fateful crossing and offers viewers an opportunity to touch the lives of those who set sail on the "unsinkable" ship.

Inspired by the generosity and passion of William Wrigley Jr., we are offering Free Gum for Everyone! Each member visit or paid admission will receive a free stick of Wrigley's Gum as they exit the museum through the end of the exhibition.

Gayle Garner Roski: Journey to the Titanic
In 2000, Gayle Garner Roski had the opportunity to explore the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean to visit the haunting remains of the RMS Titanic. Aboard the MIR I submersible 12,500 feet below the surface, she became the first artist to paint the notorious ship from life. Journey to the Titanic is the first public display of the watercolors that document her journey to the bottom of the sea, poignantly revealing the power that the Ship of Dreams still holds today.

The late Los Angeles artist Roski used watercolors to share exciting accounts of her exploits in remote locales from around the globe. Her paintings tenderly reveal more than
simple documentation though. “I love watercolors because they have a way of being unpredictable,” she once explained, “and yet they can transform us by taking an instant of time and holding it still, so that we may reflect on it and be moved by it.” Through the pages of her sketchbook diary, Roski descended into the depths to bring the thrill of adventure and the humanity of Titanic back to the surface.

Soot & Water: Gyotaku Records Catalina
Conceived in mid-19th century Japan as a way to record impressive fishing catches, gyotaku prints are sublime tributes to the struggle, and the respect, between man and the denizens of the deep. As one of the few artists practicing the traditional Japanese methods involving sumi and washi (ink and paper), Dwight Hwang's remarkable works reveal a tenderness and reverence for both the fish he is immortalizing and the legacy of the gyotaku craft.
Final weekend to view exhibition.

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