LAAA History

The Los Angeles Art Association (LAAA) was founded in 1925 to provide the Los Angeles community with the opportunity to view fine art as well as establish a collection of European and American art "for the people of Los Angeles." At the time of its inception, there were very few public venues in L.A. dedicated to the exhibition of art. LAAA's founders included esteemed civic leaders such as Harry Chandler, Rufus Von Kleinsmid, William May Garland and Edward A. Dickson. Many of the LAAA's founders went on to play key roles in the founding of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Chandler Pavilion as well as Otis Art Institute.

Originally named the Museum Patrons' Association, the organization had over 3,000 members in its inaugural year. One of LAAA's first triumphs was an exhibition on loan from the Louvre, which featured Whistler's portrait of his mother. In 1934, LAAA hosted a landmark "All-California Art Exhibition" at the Biltmore Salon and featured the work of over 1,500 California artists. Many celebrated names have lead LAAA through out its rich history. Lorser Feitelson, internationally renowned artist and host of the 1960's NBC series, "Art in Our Times," served as the LAAA's Director for many years. Helen Wurdemann, then art critic for Art in America, was a strong force in the stabilization of the organization and led LAAA through much of its early career. Under Wurdemann's leadership, the LAAA was able to raise the funds in order to purchase its current gallery space on La Cienega Boulevard. LAAA has a proud roster of celebrated alumni including: Arnold Mesches, Man Ray, Hans Burkhardt, Lorser Feitelson, Jules Engels, Rico Le Brun, Helen Lundeberg, Joe Mugaini, Millard Sheets, June Wayne, Frank Romero and Jirayn Zorthian.

Today, LAAA continues to serve the community and emerging artists with a host of public exhibitions, lectures, programs as well as introducing the people of Los Angeles to new and diverse emerging art.