The AD&A Museum is Proud to Announce the Keith and Frances Puccinelli Collection

The Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara is proud to announce the recent gift of the Keith and Frances Puccinelli Collection. This extraordinary donation consists of more than 350 works by extraordinary artist and graphic designer Keith Puccinelli, including drawings, sculptures, ceramics, sketchbooks, designs, and archives. One hundred-fifty objects, which are part of the Puccinelli’s personal collection, add to this gift and highlight the couple’s long standing interest in work by acclaimed contemporary, folk, and regional artists. To support this important gift of art and to honor the legacy of this creative and generous couple, estate trustees established The Frances Garvin and Keith Julius Puccinelli Endowed Fund and The Frances Garvin and Keith Julius Puccinelli Current Use Fund at the AD&A Museum. These funds will sustain the collection, provide for a forthcoming exhibition and catalog, and support ongoing museum programs.

Spearheaded by trustees Nancy Garvin, Meg Linton, and Jessica Puccinelli, this gift is the result of extensive conversations with the Puccinellis, their family, and close friends. As Linton stated, “all the planets aligned to make this wonderful gift possible to commemorate Keith and Fran’s immense contribution to the Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, and Ventura communities. They were pleased to know that students and scholars will have access to all their art for years to come and the endowed funds make it all possible.” To learn more and contribute to the Puccinelli Funds, which preserve and activate the legacy of Keith and Fran, please contact Leslie Gray, Senior Director of Development for the Humanities and Fine Arts at UC Santa Barbara, 805.893.4193 or

A small selection of works from the Puccinelli Collection is on view at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum through April 29. This sampling exemplifies Keith’s talent and demonstrates his and Fran’s expertise in building their own collection. Artists represented in the Puccinelli gift to the Museum include: Hilary Brace, Ginny Brush, Howard FinsterDane Goodman, Nathan Hayden, Ellsworth Kelly, Yoko Ono, Richard Ross, Alison Saar, Nicole Strasburg, Wayne Thiebaud, Dug Uyesaka, and Beatrice Wood. For a complete list of artists gifted in the donation see below. In 2020, the Museum will mount a major exhibition of treasures from the Puccinelli Collection, and it will be documented by an illustrated, scholarly publication.

About the Puccinellis:

Keith Puccinelli (1950-2017) was a long-time Santa Barbara resident who began his artistic career as a successful graphic artist with Puccinelli Design (1983-1995), located in downtown Santa Barbara. Initially moonlighting as a fine artist, Keith gradually began working full time as a fine artist, at the urging of his wife Frances. With work reminiscent of artists Claus Oldenburg, Philip Guston, and Robbie Conal, Keith used humor and tragedy to give viewers a visceral point of access. Unconstrained by media, his works incorporate a spectrum of artistic methods, from drawing and painting, to sculpture, video, assemblage, and installation, all of which blur the line between outsider and fine art, giving his work, as he put it, “Puccinality.”

This playful turn of phrase was coined by the couple during an interview for “Our style may be described as having ‘Puccinality’ (poo-chin-ality), a free-wheeling yet tasteful stew of modern (the geodesic dome/IKEA kitchen) meets contemporary (we have a lot of contemporary art) meets folk (that hand-made thing is big on our list). Juxtaposition and surprise are okay with us,” said the pair. Keith is heralded as one of the most singular and significant artists in Southern California. For more than 40 years, he exhibited artworks in numerous solo and group exhibitions at galleries, museums, and contemporary art spaces. His work is included in numerous private collections, as well as area public collections, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, and the Weatherspoon Museum of Art. In 2010, Focus on the Masters in Ventura, California, documented his artistic life.

Frances Garvin Puccinelli (1951-2016) was an accomplished entrepreneur who established four businesses in Carpinteria, including The Coffee Grinder, SOAP, and The Deli House. But perhaps her best known venture was the Frances Puccinelli Gallery, where she was one of the first individuals to introduce the region to North and Latin American folk art. As a long time local leader, she helped to establish the Carpinteria Avocado Festival, while on the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce. She was a dedicated advocate for small and local business, the arts, and the environment, and was involved with dozens of worthy local nonprofits and causes, including Heal the Ocean, Carpinteria Arts Center, and the GirlsClub. She married Keith in 1984 after a whirlwind courtship. Together, they created an incredible life filled with good friends and cheer, and served as a dynamic, creative force in the region.

Complete list of artists included in the Puccinelli gift to the Museum:

Todd Anderson, Deborah Aschheim, Sandow Birk, Jeff Brouws, Hilary Brace, Ginny Brush, Wendy Burton, Nell Campbell, ChanShatz, Deatra Colbert, Robbie Conal, Bob DeBris, Charles and Ray Eames, Neil Farber, Howard Finster, Julia Ford, Dane Goodman, Colin Fraser Gray, Lily Guild, Jan Gunther, Nathan Hayden, Maxine Hayt, Mary Heebner, Patricia Hedrick, James Harold Jennings, Susan Jørgensen, Ellsworth Kelly, Laura Krifka, Dan Levin, Lothe, Holly Mackay, Hugh Margerum, Wayne McCall, Philippe Mohlitz, Yoko Ono, Barbara Parmet, Benjamin Franklin Perkins, Rafael Perea de la Cabada, Gail Pine, Walter Robinson, Richard Ross, Alison Saar, Alan Sainte James, Marie Schoeff, Judith Scott, Jim Smith, Nicole Strasburg, Joan Tanner, Masami Teraoka, Wayne Thiebaud, Susan Tibbles, Shane Tolbert, Richard Tullis, Dug Uyesaka and Beatrice Wood.





Keith and Fran Puccinelli. Photo by Donna Granata, courtesy of Focus on the Masters Archive.