St. Augustine, Florida has a rich artistic history, dating back centuries. From our earliest founding, artist Jacques LeMoyne was sent by the French king to document images of the New World. In the early 1800s, John James Audubon trod the wilds of North Florida classifying and painting the abundant wildlife. At the turn of the century, oil tycoon Henry Flagler enticed artists from New England to paint in his opulent Hotel Ponce de Leon studios for the enjoyment of his wealthy patrons.
The St. Augustine Art Association emerged as part of local art history in 1924 when Nina Hawkins, a young woman editor of The St Augustine Record, gathered wintering artists and writers together to form “The Galleon Club.” Through several fits and starts, the club ultimately identified itself as the St. Augustine Art Association. When the Great Depression gripped the local economy, it was the successful ad campaign (“Like Painting in Europe”) launched by these artists and local businesses that drew flocks of artists to the Oldest City, a pilgrimage that continues today.
St. Augustine is now home to a vast number of art galleries and artists, ranging from amateurs and students to internationally acclaimed top professionals. With its signature Permanent Collection, growing membership and expanding exhibition programs, the St. Augustine Art Association is recognized as the cultural epicenter of the local art community.
The St. Augustine Art Association is dedicated to promoting artistic excellence through exhibitions, educational programs and outreach, to preserving our artistic heritage, fostering a creative and accessible environment and guiding advancement of art in partnership with the community.
95 YEARS OF ART
On January 18, 1924, a handful of visionaries in St. Augustine, Florida, founded an art group that over time grew into a vibrant and influential force for the arts–the St. Augustine Art Association. This video features historian Susan Parker and two distinguished Art Association members, Tom Rahner and Kay Burtin. Their stories highlight the history of the founding of the St. Augustine Art Association. The project was produced for the Association’s 95th Anniversary in 2019, through a grant from The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.
Listen to the Symposium
This symposium brought to life the people and personalities of St. Augustine’s mid-century art colony. The gathering featured local artists, historians and residents whose research, recollections and first-hand knowledge that shed light on the importance of this regional art movement. A figurative art exhibit with newly acquired and restored portraits complimented the discussion.
Thursday, April 7, 2011