Founded in 1983, the Bolinas Museum hosts Marin County’s premier collection of the art and history of coastal Marin, presenting exhibits and hosting events that express the rich, diverse array of local artists and crafters.
Free to the visitors who come from near and far to enjoy the small West Marin charm of Bolinas, the museum features five galleries and a courtyard that display both classic and contemporary works of fine art, photography, sculpture and more. To provide this free experience, the museum hosts special fundraising events throughout the year, most notably the annual Benefit Art Auction and Party each September, which provides nearly half of the museum’s annual operating costs.
This year, like everything else in Marin, the Bolinas Museum’s party plans were canceled in the wake of Covid-19. Instead, the museum’s 28th annual auction and party are moving online for a virtual fundraiser that includes online bidding as well as several other offerings that culminate in a virtual live auction on Saturday, Sept. 12.
The benefit auction is currently online, and visitors to the Bolinas Museum’s website can register to bid now as part of that auction and purchase virtual tickets to the upcoming live-auction night. Registration also enters visitors into the museum’s first-ever “Week of Giving,” featuring daily prize drawings taking place Sept. 6–12.
The “Week of Giving” is the museum’s way of thanking the public for their continued support, and daily prize giveaways will include a limited-edition framed print of Gertrude Southworth’s 1901 Bolinas Beach photograph (pictured), a handmade sail bag from local designer Susan Hoff, organic products from Bolinas’ own Amanda Ross Skin Care, a $250 gift certificate to Bolinas Hardware and more. Everyone who registers to bid, purchases a ticket to the virtual live auction or donates to the online auction is entered into the drawings.
The Bolinas Museum is also raising funds to secure a rare and extraordinary photograph, “Earthrise Seen for the First Time By Human Eyes,” photographed by astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission on Dec. 24, 1968. Renowned photographer and Bolinas resident Michael Light worked with NASA archives to create the large, dramatic black-and-white image of the Earth rising over the Moon as part of his first book and exhibition project, “Full Moon,” in 1999. This photograph was one of many recently featured in the Bolinas Museum’s 2018 exhibition “Cosmic Wonders,” and Light has offered to donate the historic photograph to the museum’s collection if the museum can raise at least $10,000 before Sept. 15.
Every dollar counts, and the museum is asking generous patrons to digitally raise those virtual auction paddles as part of the online fundraising efforts that will allow the museum to continue presenting cultural events and exhibits, as well as maintain its collection of over 3,000 historical photographs, archival materials and items of historical significance from the times of the coast Miwok to present day, and over 250 artworks by coastal Marin artists from the late 1800s onward.