San francisco art association


Founded in 1871 to promote and cultivate "fine arts in the community," its organizers, including civic-minded non-artist patrons, met at the library of the Mechanics Institute. The first SFAA exhibition was 1872, and painter Juan Buckingham Wandesford served as first president. In 1874, the Association began its involvement with art education and museums by opening the San Francisco School of Design, which, affiliated in 1893 with the University of California and became the California School of Design with its museum being the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art. In 1916, the Association joined with the San Francisco Society of Artists, avant-garde painters, and took over the directorship of the Museum of Modern Art in the Palace of Fine Arts. The teaching academy name then changed in 1917 to the California School of Fine Arts, which in 1926 was housed in the Association headquarters at 800 Chestnut Street. In 1961, the Association and the CSFA merged under the name of the San Francisco Art Institute, a name it has retained. Early artist members of the SFAA included Rowena Meeks Abdy, Harry Best, Albert Bierstadt, Hugo Fisher. Euphemia Fortune, Armin Hansen, William Keith, Jules Tavernier and Raymond Dabb Yelland. Source: Betty Hoag McGlynn, ???The San Francisco Art Association???, Traditional Fine Arts Online:; AskART database

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