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Best Exhibits To Visit This Summer In The North Bay

Museum goers in the Bay area are no doubt familiar with the SFMOMA, the DeYoung and the Legion of the Palace of Honor. But a lot of folks may not know of some of the excellent smaller museums and exhibit spaces that dot the north coast and wine country. Here are a few suggestions for art viewing in the North Bay this summer. Culture vultures, take wing!
Marin MoCa

Summer National Juried Exhibition
Marin Museum Of Contemporary Art

500 Palm Drive
Novato, CA 94949
(415) 506-0137

The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art is run by, artists for artists and is set up to show contemporary work in a museum setting. It is part of the Novato Arts Center where dozens of artists have studios and present an open studio event every Sunday. They also have a changing schedule of exhibitions. This summer, we recommend checking out the Summer National Juried Exhibition, which will be on display June 1 through July 14. There is a reception on opening day, June 1, from 5 to 7 pm

Silverado Museum 2

Robert Louis Stevenson Silverado Museum
1490 Library Lane
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 763-3757

Literary buffs visiting the wine country will want to stop by the Silverado Museum in St. Helena. This little gem features a collection of literary and artistic works related to writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson lovers may have visited his home in Monterey, but many may not know he once spent some time in an abandoned bunkhouse on the slopes of Mt. Helena and wrote about it in "The Silverado Squatters." The Silverado Museum commemorates that visit and includes first editions, autograph manuscripts, personal memorabilia, associated arts and, perhaps best of all, the very desk at which he composed the classic "Treasure Island." If that doesn't spark your imagination, you're hopelessly landlocked, matey.

Bolinas Museum

Bolinas Museum
48 Wharf Road
Bolinas, CA 94924
(415) 868-0330

Bolinas, one of the most beautiful coastal towns imaginable, has always attracted artists, musicians and lovers of free living. It is also the home of the Bolinas Museum. The Museum features a permanent collection of work dating from the 1800s, a gallery showing fine art photography, and changing exhibitions of contemporary art. In celebration of their 30th anniversary, they will be opening an exhibit of landscape paintings featuring prominent California artists of the late 19th and early 20th century on May 4th, showing through June 23.

Related: Best Hidden Museums In North Bay

Napa Valley Museum

Napa Valley Museum
55 Presidents Circle
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 944-0500

The Napa Valley Museum features a variety of exhibitions on art and the history of the Napa Valley. Coming up this spring and summer are two very interesting exhibitions. First will be "Napa Valley Collects," a curated show of pieces pulled from a number of private Napa Valley art collections. This exhibit will feature rarely seen, privately held pieces by artists including Peter Voulkos, Cy Twombley, Pablo Picasso and others. This special event will open in early April and continue through May 26. From June 8 through July 28, the museum will feature sketches and paintings by the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis.

Novato History Museum

Novato History Museum
815 DeLong Ave.
Novato, CA 94945
(415) 897-4320

This Novato History Museum is a tiny but mighty historical museum housed in a one of Novato's oldest home structures, built in 1850. It features a very appealing collection of antiques. The old tools, photographs, furniture and the ambience of the old structure give a real sense of life here overa century ago. Perhaps too small to warrant a special trip, a short visit to this charming museum is well worth the effort when passing through.

Related: Best Art Galleries In North Bay

Charles Kruger is well known in the Bay area as "The Storming Bohemian" ever since he entered the Bay Area cultural scene in the summer of 2009, attending 90 cultural events in 90 days and blogging about it. This project was successful enough to warrant a mention in The New York Times. His coverage of Bay area theatre can be found at

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