Fresno Art Museum
Since its inception as a regional arts center in 1948, the Fresno Art Museum has grown into an important museum of contemporary and modern art. The Museum evolved from a group of local artists who formed the Fresno Art League in the late 1940's for the purpose of critiquing and exhibiting their artwork. The Fresno Art League joined forces with others interested in building a place to exhibit and study art, and the original building was constructed on Fresno City property at Radio Park. Originally called the Fresno Art Center and Museum, it changed to the Fresno Art Museum in the late 1980's. The Fresno Art Museum collects, preserves, and exhibits to the public tangible objects valuable to art and history. Exhibitions include a wide range of contemporary as well as modern works by local, national and international artists. With additional emphasis on Mexican art from pre-Columbian times to the present, and with the planned bequest of significant collections of pre-Columbian ceramics and French post-impressionist graphics, the Museum is working to serve as both an educational facility and a repository for important collections from the Central Valley. As the only modern art museum between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Fresno Art Museum is dedicated to serving the population of Central California. To provide the region's 1.6 million residents with a forum for contemporary and modern issues as they relate to art, the Museum presents exhibitions, films, concerts, lectures, docent tours, and symposia to enlighten, provoke, educate, and entertain its visitors. Work with students is a top priority. Approximately 10,000 students are served by the Museum each year. Because we are located in one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the state, we address issues of change and cultural diversity on a daily basis. This is represented in the Museum's exhibitions and collections policy, as well as in the audience that utilizes the Museum. The Museum has an impressive publishing and acquisitions record. Since 1980, over twenty catalogues have been published on such topics as pre-Columbian sculpture; and the work of Robert Cremean, David Smith, Terry Allen, Viola Frey, June Wayne, Milton Avery, Betye Saar, and Darren Waterston. With a collection emphasis on American sculpture, works on paper, art of California, and Mexican art from pre-Columbian times to the present, the Museum has a clear focus and mission. The Fresno Art Museum is an accredited member of the American Association of Museums (since 1973). We are proud to be in the company of the most prestigious museum institutions in the country carrying this important designation.