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Fresno Art Museum

The Fresno Art Museum provides a unique opportunity to appreciate art.  Contemporary art, modern art, Mexican and Mexican-American art, and Pre-Columbian sculpture are among the museum’s holdings. The Fresno Art Museum’s exhibitions represent today’s culturally and aesthetically varied community in the San Joaquin Valley. Through noteworthy exhibitions, thought-provoking activities, and meaningful experiences with artists and the creative process, the museum welcomes, inspires, and educates a wide regional audience. The Fresno Art League was founded in the late 1940s by a group of local artists who wanted a place to display and evaluate each other’s work as well as share their excitement for art. The League was able to gain community support for their cause, and the Fresno Arts Center was founded in 1949. The Fresno Arts Center building in Radio Park at First Street and Clinton Avenue was dedicated in 1960, following years of development. The Fresno Arts Center became a popular destination for art exhibitions and educational activities for children and adults, including artist talks, seminars, and art lessons. After an exhaustive review of the organization, finances, staff skills, programming, care, and storage of the permanent collection, and physical facilities, the American Association of Museums (now, American Alliance of Museums) received the Arts Center accreditation in 1973. The Board of Trustees renamed the Center the Fresno Arts Center and Museum in 1985. Following a suggestion from the American Association of Museums made during the re-accreditation process, the name was changed to the Fresno Art Museum in 1988. The Museum has maintained its certification throughout the years, most recently being reaccredited in 2016. Over 3,600 pieces are preserved and protected in the permanent collection of the Fresno Art Museum. Modern and contemporary artworks (paintings, sculptures, prints, photos, and other media) from the 20th and 21st centuries, Pre-Columbian pieces from Mesoamerica and the Andes, and modern and folk art of Mexican provenance are the major emphasis of the permanent collection and exhibitions. Ansel Adams, Ruth Asawa, Salvador Dali, Maynard Dixon, Patty Handley, August Madrigal, Robin Gay McCline, Robert Ogata, Pablo Picasso, Rolland Pickford, Clement Renzi, Diego Rivera, Norman Rockwell, Varaz Samuelian, Anne Schied, Andy Warhol, and Nancy Youdelman are among the artists whose work is included in the permanent collection. Painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, fine crafts (fiber arts, ceramics, jewelry, glass), and cultural artifacts have all been borrowed from private, corporate, and other museum collections for exhibitions at the Museum, which have included painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, fine crafts (fiber arts, ceramics, jewelry, glass), and cultural artifacts. The Museum’s Council of 100 has honored a globally famous woman artist with a Distinguished Woman Artist Award and exhibition every year since 1988. While the Museum is most known for its displays of modern and contemporary art, shows that represent the visual arts traditions of the ethnic communities that contribute to the San Joaquin Valley’s great variety have been a feature of the exhibition program since the beginning. In recent years, the Museum has prioritized cultural and issue-related exhibitions in a variety of media, as well as solo exhibitions for deserving local artists, curated in-house by Museum staff.

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