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The City Art Collection is managed within the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) Public Art Division. It oversees the acquisition of artwork through donation or gift, loaning artwork, permission to site artwork on city property, and the subsequent and ongoing care of the City Art Collection.

The goal of the City Art Collection is to enhance the climate for artistic creativity, promote understanding and awareness of the visual arts, and heighten the artistic heritage of the City of Los Angeles. The City Art Collection is one of the City’s most valuable assets and aims for the highest measure of quality. Containing more than 1,600 artworks acquired through gifts, purchases, and long-term loans. The collection has grown to include paintings, prints, sculpture; furniture; limited edition prints, and photographs that reflect the diversity of culture within Los Angeles.

Some of the programs within the City Art Collection are the Interdepartmental Loan Program, the External Loan Program, and acquisitions. Through these various programs, the city is able to make a portion of the collection available to city officials, employees, and non–profit organizations as well as outside arts and cultural institutions with proper exhibition facilities and fine arts insurance. The collection serves city agencies through the Inter-departmental Loan Program, allowing city agencies to borrow artwork from the City Art Collection for their work environment. The collection also participates in major museum exhibitions through the External Loan Program, which allows DCA to loan artwork to agencies outside of the City of Los Angeles. Artwork from the Collection are also permanently sited and can be found in parks, libraries, and municipal buildings.

Donations and gifts acquired by the City undergo an extensive application process. In accepting artwork into the City Art Collection, DCA seeks artwork that achieves artistic excellence, diversity and pluralism in relationship to the inventory, and avoids objects that are made in large editions or are massed produced. Moreover, artwork should address interests inherent in the cultural context of Los Angeles and represent the City in an interesting and expanded manner. The collection is especially interested in supporting artists that reside in Los Angeles and would like to exhibit their work in City buildings whenever possible

 

Frequently Asked Questions

    According to the Los Angeles Administrative Code SEC. 22.112.: The Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles is vested with the custody and supervision of all paintings, documents and records in possession of the City of Los Angeles, of historic or artistic value, and it shall be the duty of said Cultural Affairs Department to supervise and preserve the same in a manner to prevent deterioration; provided, however, that none of the provisions of this article shall apply to paintings, documents or records the custody or supervision of which is vested in any board, commission or officer of said City by the provisions of the City Charter. All paintings, documents and records in the custody and under the supervision of the Department of Municipal Arts on the operative date of this chapter, are hereby transferred to the custody and supervision of the Cultural Affairs Department.

    The City Art Collection is a sub-section of the Public Art Division within the Department of Cultural Affairs. It was created to oversee the acquisition of artwork through donation or gift, permission to site artwork on city property, and the subsequent and ongoing care as part of the collection. The goal of the City of Los Angeles’ Art Collection is to enhance the climate for artistic creativity, promote understanding and awareness of the visual arts, and heighten the artistic heritage of the City of Los Angeles.

    Donations and gifts acquired by the City go through an extensive application process. To donate artwork to the City Art Collection, you must fill out an application, which is provided on our website, and send it electronically or via mail to the Department of Cultural Affairs c/o the City Art Collection. Once received, a staff member will contact you and provide further steps in completing your application. When an application is complete, it must be granted final and conceptual approval by our Public Art Committee and Cultural Affairs Commission in order to be formally accepted into the collection.

    In accepting artwork into the City Art Collection, the Department of Cultural Affairs looks for work that achieves artistic excellence, diversity and pluralism in relationship to the inventory, and avoids objects that are made in large editions or are massed produced. Moreover, artwork should address interests inherent in the culture of Los Angeles and represent the City in an interesting and expanded manner. The collection is especially interested in supporting artists that reside in Los Angeles and would like to exhibit their work in City buildings whenever possible.

    Artwork can be borrowed by City agencies, according to protocol, for their work areas. If you are a City employee, please contact us at (213) 202-5555. In addition, we loan artwork to non–profit organizations as well as outside arts and cultural institutions with proper exhibition facilities and fine arts insurance. If you are not part of the City family and are interested in borrowing artwork, you can also reach us at the number listed above.

    Although the Bridge Gallery is governed by the Department of Cultural Affairs, the City Art Collection does not manage the Bridge Gallery. If you want to curate a show, you must contact the staff at Barnsdall Art Park at (323) 644-6275.

    The City Art Collection is currently transitioning to new Collections Management Software. When this transition is complete, a portion of the collection will be available for view online. As we continue to update our records, we will make those records available for online viewing as well.

    The City cannot release the copyright of an artwork in order to film. The copyright is owned by the artist and can only be released by their permission. We are happy to search our records for any relevant contact information to help you obtain permission, but we cannot give you permission in lieu of not being able to contact the artist.

    All artworks belonging to the City are in the stewardship of the Department of Cultural Affairs. As such, we must oversee any conservation efforts. If you are interested in conserving an artwork belonging to the City, please contact us at (213) 202-5555.

  • Gustave Doré, The Neophyte Oil on canvas 96” x 102”, 1880, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

  • Roger Noble Burnham, Aspiration, bronze, black variegated marble, figure height: 4’ 2”, 1930 DeLongpre Park

  • Hugo Ballin, History of Science, oil paint on linen 8’ 11” x 16”, 1934 Griffith Park Observatory

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