Santa Paula Art Museum to dedicate garden in Memory of Elizabeth Munger Blanchard

September 12, 2012
Santa Paula News

The Santa Paula Art Museum is honored to announce that it will dedicate its newly planted garden to Elizabeth Munger Blanchard at a garden party on Sunday, September 16, 2012 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Admission to the event is free and there will be live music and refreshments. The Museum is honored to soon bear the name of yet another incredible woman who gave so much to Santa Paula and who will be remembered here forever. If you would like an invitation to the event please contact the Museum. 

Elizabeth was born in Bardsdale, California in 1917. At the age of eleven, she and her family relocated to Santa Paula. She attended Santa Paula High School, Class of ‘33. When, later in life, Elizabeth found herself living in a beautiful home not far from her old school, she considered herself very fortunate to have grounds substantial enough for a garden, the majority of which was filled with roses. Roses were her favorite, in part because they provided her with a challenge. When she wasn’t tending to her own, Blanchard could be found pruning the roses at the hospital with her dear friend and current Santa Paula Art Museum docent, Cathy Barringer. 

More remarkable than her green thumb though was Elizabeth’s generosity. For instance, even before construction on the Santa Paula Art Museum had been completed, she promised to fund the future development of its very own garden. However, when the Museum was suddenly found to be in need of further building restoration shortly before its public debut, her donation was given early to cover building costs so that the grand opening could be kept on schedule.  

For two years, the Museum staff, volunteers and board of directors have been waiting on the garden to grow. Landscaping began last May, including Elizabeth’s favorite yellow roses. It is completely fitting that this stunning addition to the Museum façade be named after Elizabeth Munger Blanchard. Her beauty, as Eliot Blanchard - whom she married in 1937 - would certainly have agreed, was unrivaled. 

Reservations for the event are recommended. The Museum is located at 117 North 10th Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060. The Museum’s regular hours are Wednesday - Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM, and Sundays, 12 PM - 4 PM.  More information is available and reservations can be made by calling the Museum at (805) 525-5554, or email

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