Last updated: 11/9/2012
Ukiah, California
Street Address
431 South Main Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
Mailing Address
431 South Main Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
W-Su 10-4:30
Wednesday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Sunday12 PM - 4 PM
Closed major holidays.
Free to all on the first Friday of each month
General Admission: $4
Seniors: $3
Members: free
Students (): $3
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Sherrie Smith, Director
phone: 707-467-2836
Karen Holmes, Registrar and Carpenter Family Historian
phone: 707-467-5752
Marvin Schenck, Curator
phone: 707-467-2836
Kristen Marrow, Receptionist and Docent Coordinator
phone: 707-467-2836
Diana Thomas, Gift Store Manager
phone: 707-467-5756
Louise Yale, Membership Secretary
phone: 707-467-2836

The Grace Hudson Museum and Sun House in Ukiah, California, is an art, history and anthropology museum focusing on the lifeworks of artist Grace Carpenter Hudson (1865-1937) and her ethnologist husband, Dr. John W. Hudson (1857-1936). Changing interdisciplinary exhibitions and public programs feature Western American art, California Indian cultures, histories of California's diverse North Coast region, and the work of contemporary regional artists.

Since its inauguration in 1986, the Grace Hudson Museum and Sun House has become an increasingly important cultural and educational resource for Northern California. The Museum's collections consist of more than 30,000 interrelated objects, with significant holdings of Pomo Indian artifacts (particularly basketry) ethnographic field notes, unpublished manuscripts, historic photographs and the world's largest collection of Grace Hudson paintings. The Museum's exhibitions and public programs are thematically shaped by, and linked to, its collections with their focus on Western art, history and anthropology. The Museum also houses a gift store with jewelry, items for children, local artists' work, books, and clothing. The Museum sits on the four acre Hudson-Carpenter Park.


The Grace Hudson Museum and the Sun House preserve, document, research and interpret the Hudson-Carpenter collections for public benefit, with emphasis on the life work of artist Grace Carpenter Hudson (1865-1937) and her husband, ethnologist Dr. John W. Hudson (1857-1936). The Hudson-Carpenter family's contributions to the understanding and development of the artistic, historical and cultural heritage of California's North Coast during the late 19th and early 20th century guide and inform the Museum's activities. A living cultural resource for the entire community, the Museum continues the Hudson-Carpenter family legacy by producing related programs, publications and exhibitions that provide quality educational experiences in the arts and humanities for all visitors.


In 1910, artist Grace Carpenter Hudson and her ethnologist husband John Hudson, M.D., began plans for the construction of a home in Ukiah, California, that would accommodate their respective interests. They engaged architect and photographer George L. Wilcox to design a two-story American Craftsman-style redwood bungalow to their detailed specifications. Construction began in 1911, and around New Year's Eve the Hudsons settled into their 3,400 square-foot custom built dwelling. They christened it the "Sun House," after the Hopi Indian sun deity representing fertility and growth.

The house served not only as their residence, but as Grace's studio, and the base for John's study of California Native American cultures, especially that of the local Pomo Indian peoples. The Hudsons, who had no children, occupied the Sun House for the rest of their lives. After John's death in 1936, and Grace's the following year, the Sun House passed on to Grace's nephew, Mark Carpenter, and his wife Melissa.

The Carpenters, also childless, occupied the house for over thirty years. Melissa drew up a will in agreement with the City of Ukiah, stipulating that upon her death, the house and grounds would be operated as an art and history museum in remembrance of Grace and John Hudson and their lifeworks. The City of Ukiah acquired legal title to the Sun House in 1975, the year of Melissa's death. In 1986, following the fundraising efforts of the Sun House Guild, (a support group comprised primarily of Ukiah area residents), and in partnership with the City of Ukiah, an 8,400 square-foot museum was constructed in back of the Sun House.

This new space, christened the "Grace Hudson Museum," allowed the Hudsons' enormous and varied collections to be stored more properly and displayed to greater advantage. A subsequent Guild fundraising campaign, in the spring of 2001, facilitated the addition of 2,400 square feet of gallery space, in part to display the Museum's ever-expanding collection of Grace Hudson paintings, and Indian basketry. Number 926 on the list of California historical landmarks, and on the National Register of Historic Places, the Sun House continues to receive recognition as one of the most significant artifacts in the Museum's collections.

In the fall of 2000, it was selected as one of the founding participant sites in the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Most recently, in the fall of 2011, the California State Parks and Recreation Department's Nature Education Facilities Program awarded a $3 million grant to the City of Ukiah to create an outdoor educational component for the Museum by restructuring the Carpenter-Hudson park that surrounds the Museum and Sun House. This exciting project will utilize the Museum's grounds as interpretive spaces, landscaped entirely with native Mendocino County plants. The park will be used to teach visitors about Pomo Indian land management traditions and values, and how these can inform contemporary sustainable practices.

Artifact Collections

The collections of the the Grace Hudson Museum and Sun House include over 30,000 interrelated artifacts. These objects include Grace Hudson's paintings and other artworks; John Hudson's Indian basket collection and field notebooks; the photographic work of Grace's father, Aurelius O. Carpenter; the Western women's writings of Grace's mother, Helen McCowen Carpenter; a small number of personal effects belonging to Grace's paternal grandmother, women's rights activist Clarina Nichols; household items and furnishings; 19th century sheet music; and family memorabilia. One of the most significant artifacts in the collections is the Sun House itself, the Hudsons' 1911 Craftsman-style bungalow. It is #926 on the list of California historical landmarks, and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Research Collections

Research appointments may be made by contacting Museum staff.

Educational Programs

Educational programs are tied to individual changing exhibits, and to the permanent collections focusing on Pomo basketry and culture, Grace Carpenter Hudson paintings, and Carpenter/Hudson family history. The Sun House is also available for docent-led tours. The docent program includes quarterly meetings for the docents to learn about recent exhibitions and museum news and history. Gallery tours are given for all exhibit spaces. Lectures frequently accompany the changing exhibits. Fees vary according to exhibit.


The main museum features a changing exhibit gallery, and three other galleries devoted to Grace Hudson's artwork, Pomo basketry and culture, and Carpenter/Hudson family history. A public room is available for programs. The Hudsons' historic home, The Sun House, sits in front of the modern museum building. The museum includes a gift store. The facilities are situated on a four acre park.


The Grace Hudson Museum and Sun House is a public/private partnership between the City of Ukiah and the Museum's support group, The Sun House Guild.


The Museum publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Sunletter. It also publishes occasional catalogs to accompany exhibits.

  • The Sunletter
  • Aurelius O. Carpenter: Photographer of the Mendocino Frontier
  • ADA

    parking, wheelchair access, re

    free parking

    Wheelchair Accessible




    Four galleries are available for school and general tours, as is the historic home, The Sun House. A public room is available for rent through the City of Ukiah. Park grounds are available for picnics, and a demonstration garden of plants used for Pomo basket weaving is available for guided tours.

    North American Reciprocal Museum Program (NARM)

    We belong to the North American Reciprocal Museum Program (NARM), with reciprocal membership privileges at more than 650 participating museums throughout North America.

    Gift Shop

    Online Gift Shop

    Special Event Rental

    Group Tours

    This information, including business hours, addresses and contact information is provided for general reference purposes only. No representation is made or warranty is given as to its content or the reliability thereof. User assumes all risk of use. Stories USA, Inc. and its content suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Please call ahead to verify the dates, the location and directions.
    Richmond, Virginia

    Riggs Ward Design (RWD) is an award-winning experience planning and design studio headquartered in historic Richmond, Virginia. Over the past 24 years, we have provided experience design, strategic master planning, interpretive planning, research, content analysis, and storyline development for museums, universities, corporations, and cultural institutions. RWD’s services also include exhibit ephemera, books, and fundraising campaign materials.

    Saturday, March 5 - Tuesday, March 8, 2022 — Richmond, Virginia
    Virginia Association of Museums Annual Conference 2022
    Richmond, Virginia
    Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
    2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Wednesday, March 16 - Friday, March 18, 2022 — Kingsport, Tennessee
    Tennessee Association of Museums 2022 Annual Conference
    Kingsport, Tennessee
    Tuesday, March 22 - Friday, March 25, 2022 — Waco, Texas
    Texas Association of Museums 2022 - Growing Together: Tackling The Challenges Of Today & Tomorrow
    Waco, Texas
    Thursday, April 7 - Saturday, April 9, 2022 — Point Pleasant, West Virginia
    West Virginia Association of Museums 2022 Conference
    Point Pleasant, West Virginia
    Sunday, April 24 - Tuesday, April 26, 2022 — Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    PA Museums’ 2022 Conference
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    Sunday, May 15 - Saturday, May 28, 2022 — Statesboro, Georgia
    Center of Excellence Tick Workshop 2022
    Statesboro, Georgia
    Monday, May 16 - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
    InterActivity 2022: Play The Long Game -Association of Children's Museums
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Thursday, May 19 - Sunday, May 22, 2022 — Slinger, Wisconsin
    2022 Fire Museum Seminar
    Slinger, Wisconsin
    Sunday, June 19 - Wednesday, June 22, 2022 — Golden, Colorado
    2022 Country School Association of America Conference
    Golden, Colorado
    Thursday, June 23 - Tuesday, June 28, 2022 — Tacoma, Washington
    Tacoma, Washington
    Monday, August 1 - Friday, August 5, 2022 — Owings Mills, Maryland
    Owings Mills, Maryland
    Wednesday, September 14 - Saturday, September 17, 2022 — Buffalo, New York
    American Association for State and Local History 2022 On-site and Virual Conferences
    Buffalo, New York