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Laguna Art Museum

307 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, California

Phone: 949-494-8971 --

Statement of Purpose:

American art, with an emphasis on the art of California; American tattooers; San Francisco School of abstract expressionism.

Highlights & Collections:

Founded in 1918 by a small group of painters, who settled along the coast, the Laguna Beach Art Association developed an exhibition space to showcase works being produced by artists in the area. This early emphasis on supporting artists in the region has been an integral part of Laguna Art Museum, the oldest cultural institution in Orange County, throughout its history.

In 1920, the Laguna Beach Art Association was incorporated as a nonprofit organization with artist Edgar Payne as president. The Association soon outgrew the old Town Hall, where its first exhibition was held. After the completion of a successful fund-raising drive, a gallery on the present Museum site opened.

In 1948, a gift from the estate of artist Frank Cuprien served as the catalyst for a fund-raising campaign to enlarge the gallery space. The new addition opened in 1951 with

an exhibition organized by Mrs. William Daniell, a long-time leader in the arts. This selection of paintings by early Laguna Beach artists later became the Museumís permanent Memorial Collection. The Museumís collection has since grown to include many exemplary works by California artists dating from the late 19th Century to the present.

The Museum still occupies the same location in Laguna Beach that has been its home since 1929. An expansion in the mid-1980s increased exhibition and support space.

In keeping with the Museumís goal of collecting and exhibiting American art, with a particular focus on California arts, the name was formally changed to Laguna Art Museum in 1985.

In July of 1996, the Laguna Art Museum and the Newport Harbor Art Museum merged. In April of 1997, after lengthy negotiations between those who opposed the merger and those that promoted it, Laguna Art Museum officially became a stand-alone, non-profit institution. Today, the Museum has over 1,800 members.

The Museum's exhibitions, catalogues, and educational activities over the last decade illustrate an ongoing examination of California art that includes looking at unconven-tional, but regionally important, influences such as film, car and surf cultures. Through collections, publications, and research on the art of California, Laguna Art Museum promotes an understanding of the role of California art and artists in the development of the visual arts nationally and internationally.



Annual Plein Air Invitational

Early July

All levels

Surf Culture

Organized by Laguna Art Museum

Curatorial team: Bolton Colburn, director, Laguna Art Museum; Tyler Stallings, curator of exhibitions, Laguna Art Museum; Craig Steyck, guest curator; and Jacqueline Bryant, curatorial consultant

Founded in 1918, Laguna Art Museum is the oldest cultural institution in Orange County. Permanent collections and exhibitions feature historical, contemporary, and pop-culture-oriented art, with emphasis on the art of California.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach is open daily, with the exception of Wednesdays, including Monday holidays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Museum is free to the public on Tuesdays. For more information on the Museum, please call between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 949-494-8971, extension 0 or visit the Museumís website at


Tu-Su: 11-5.

Admission & Directions:


Key Personnel:

Bolton Colburn, Director

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