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