Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Hotels

Activities & Museums
Art Show & Museums
Courthouse Murals
Chromatic Gate Art
Farmer's Market

Free Concerts
Gaviota Pass
Highway 101 
Moreton Bay Fig Tree
Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens
Santa Barbara Landmarks
Santa Barbara Mission
Skater's Point  - 2 - 3 - 4

Santa Barbara Hotels

Chromatic Gate Art  in Santa Barbara, California

Chromatic Gate - Across from 633 East Cabrillo Blvd.,  Santa Barbara, CA
 Height: 21 feet;  weight: 12.5 tons


Paul Mills is one of the great art visionaries credited with bringing  Herbert Bayer’s rainbow “Chromatic Gate” to Santa Barbara's East Beach.  Mills and his family lived the daily commitment to art. Instead of taking his family to ball games, they visited art museums on vacations. The family watched crowds sometimes stop to listen to their family patriarch discuss famous works, assuming he was the curator giving a tour, according to Mill's son, who spoke fondly about his father after his death in 2004.


Former Santa Barbara Museum of Art Director Paul Chadbourne Mills (the longest serving directory at the Museum),  brought flags to the breakwater, Stearns Wharf, and the courthouse, and helped mold Santa Barbara Museum into one of the finest galleries in the US for its size and budget. A well designed flag flying in the breeze has an exhilaration about it few other forms of art can achieve, Mills used to say.


Mills came to Santa Barbara in 1970, following 17 years as director of the Oakland Museum. Serving until 1982, the longest tenure of any director in the history of the museum, Mills instituted an inventory system, procured grants and gifts, inaugurated research, education programs, and attained sound financial footing all the while shepherding more than 500 exhibitions.


Alice Keck Park Wing was completed during his tenure in 1983 as Mills welcomed the community, families, special events and festivals to enhance the learning experience and make art a part of each person's life he was able to touch.