In the summer of 1934, the Los Angeles Chamber of
Commerce Women's Auxiliary celebrated its first Allied Arts
Festival. The Whittier Woman's Club also took part. A
group of artists from the show joined together, drew up a
constitution and elected a board of directors for what
became the Whittier Art Association.
Their aim was to create and maintain a community art
gallery that would offer continuous exhibits of fine arts and
crafts, to stimulate and coordinate the expression of local
artists, and to advance the appreciation of fine art.
After five years of fund raising, the Association moved into
its own gallery. Mr. Fred Pease donated the land on
Painter Avenue and lent money for the building. Architect
William Harrison donated his design for the quaint, period
style building. Raymond Hunicutt supervised the
construction for free and local businesses donated
materials at reduced prices. The Association made every
payment on time, and in 1945 the entire debt was paid off
making the Whittier Art Association one of the few artists'
associations to host its own full time gallery.
In 1959, the gallery was enlarged to include a stage, a
kitchen, rest rooms and a paved parking lot. An Art Guild
was organized to provide financial aid. A membership of 30
to 40 women worked with teas and special events to
maintain the gallery, both inside and out. Their help
enabled the Association to become a totally
self-supporting nonprofit organization.
|The Whittier Art Association believes that art is a necessity, rather than a luxury,
and that it belongs not to an exclusive few, but to everyone.
The Association offers opportunities to amateurs, professional artists,
students of all ages and discriminating art lovers,
as well as to the members themselves.
|Present Gallery includes state of the art gallery lighting throughout,
renovated restrooms, kitchen, Gift Gallery. a contemporary entry
ramp for easy access, and the newly re-landscaped grounds!
CONRAD BUFF II
OCTOBER 9, 1934
Whittier Art Gallery Exhibition
Paintings, Lithographs, Silk Screen prints
1932 SELF PORTRAIT
On exhibit in 1934: Lithograph of
the oil painting "BLACK CANYON"
a 1934 canvas (8' x 5') for the Fine
Arts Collection, Public Building
Services, U.S. General Services
courtesy of LACMA]
Conrad Buff II, born in Switzerland in
1886, came to America and Los Angeles
in 1907. His talent for painting, murals
and printmaking flourished in the
America West. His monumental murals
were a development of his interest in
combining art and architecture. In 1923
he painted a mural for the William Penn
Hotel in Whittier. (Sadly the hotel was
destroyed by fire some time ago)
He and his wife Mary Marsh, also an
artist, were very much involved in the
support of most major art organizations
Their son Conrad Buff III was an architect
as part of the influential firm of
Buff and Hensman.
As we were, circa ealy 1940's
Laying of cornerstone, 1937. Far left, Architect William Harrison.
Second from right, Mabel Haig, Founding Member
This photo was taken June 1, 1961
|Corrine Haig, right,
member and past
Haig, visits the
She is shown with
they are holding is
of the laying of the
cornerstone in 1937
|In April 2012, the Gallery received a landscaping
make-over from a team of 15 volunteers from the Whittier
Area Christian Church, as part of their "Serve Weekend"
Such noted artists as Conrad Buff II, Milford Zornes, Taro Yashima, James Cooper Wright, Millard Sheets, Ralph
Hulett and even Norman Rockwell have exhibited, taught and demonstrated in the association's meetings and shows.
|Copyright 2003- 2013 Whittier Art Association
|HISTORY OF THE WHITTIER ART ASSOCIATION & GALLERY