The Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) was founded in 1950 as a municipal art center for the city of Long Beach. Since its inception, the Museum has been housed in the historic 1911 Elizabeth Milbank Anderson House. In 1957, the Anderson House was designated as the Long Beach Museum of Art, at which time the Museum began acquiring a permanent collection.
In 1977, the Museum was honored with accreditation by the American Association of Museums, which it has since maintained. Since 1986, the Long Beach Museum of Art Foundation has managed the Museum, governed by a Board of Trustees. In 2000, the Museum completed a restoration of the historic residence and constructed a new two-story exhibition pavilion (in 2015 the pavilion was renamed the Hartman Pavilion). Since then, the Museum has offered diverse and compelling exhibitions, which has resulted in increased visitors and program attendance.
The Museum’s permanent collection is diverse with more than 3,200 works encompassing 300 years of American and European art in all media. Highlights from the collection include furniture by Charles and Ray Eames, ceramics by Beatrice Wood, and sculptures by Claire Falkenstein, George Rickney and Peter Voulokos; Early 20th Century European Modernist paintings by Vasily Kandinsky, Alexej Jawlensky and others from the Milton Wichner Collection; and contemporary artists such as James Jean, Sherrie Wolf, and Sandow Birk whose paintings have recently been added to the collection.
Since 1951, exhibitions presented by the Museum have been varied with shows ranging from individual artists to specific types of art. Some of the notable highlights include: The Artful Teapot: 20th Century Expressions from the Kamm Collection; Architecture for Dogs; Frank E. Cummings III: Jeweled Harmony in Wood; Masterworks: Defining a New Narrative; and Vitality And Verve: Transforming The Urban Landscape.
The Museum also offers a myriad of nearly free educational programs for both children and adults including KidsVisions, a visual arts curriculum, which serves all 5th grades students from the Long Beach Unified School District.
The Long Beach Museum of Art and the KidsVisions Arts Education Program is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.