Montalvo Arts Center, previously known as Villa Montalvo, is a 175-acre estate built in 1912 by James Duval Phelan (1861-1930). Phelan, a three-term progressive mayor of San Francisco, was California’s first popularly-elected U.S. Senator.
Villa Montalvo was Senator Phelan’s favorite home and a center of artistic, political and social life in Northern California. Phelan invited leading writers and artists to Villa Montalvo to work on individual artistic projects. Jack London, Ethel Barrymore, Mary Pickford, Douglass Fairbanks, and Edwin Markham were among Phelan’s guests.
Senator Phelan bequeathed Villa Montalvo “as a public park…to be used as far as possible for the development of art, literature, music, and architecture by promising students.”
Center for the Arts
Montalvo is the one of the most distinguished arts organizations serving Silicon Valley and the extended San Francisco Bay Area as a center for creativity; its arts programs serve nearly 200,000 visitors each year. Today, Montalvo presents outstanding performing arts programs for adults and children; concerts in the Carriage House Theatre, Historic Villa, and the Lilian Fontaine Garden Theatre; exhibitions of exciting up-and-coming artists in Sculpture on the Grounds and the Project Space Gallery; and a wide range of innovative public programming.
View Montalvo’s events calendar.