View the museum’s annual report to learn about our collections, exhibitions, education and public programs, operations, financials, and more.
Anna Hills, Edgar Payne, and other artists formed the Laguna Beach Art Association (LBAA) with a purpose “to advance the knowledge of and interest in Art, and to create a spirit of cooperation and fellowship between the painter and the public.”
Following a successful fundraising drive led by Anna Hills, the LBAA opened a grand, custom-built gallery designed by the well-known Los Angeles architect Myron Hunt. This survives as the Steele Gallery within the present museum building.
With the growth of a permanent collection of donated works and the beginnings of a program of loan exhibitions, the LBAA’s gallery took on some of the characteristics of a museum and became the Laguna Beach Museum of Art.
The museum changed its name to Laguna Art Museum and a physical expansion that completed the building as it now stands added galleries, public spaces, and staff offices.
The museum established Art & Nature, an annual event with special exhibitions, a commissioned outdoor work of art, lectures, panel discussions, films, and family activities on the theme of art’s engagement with the natural world.
The museum celebrates the centennial of the founding of the LBAA and continues to collect and show California art, offer art education programs, and serve the community as a cultural and social center with programs in music, dance, and film as well as the visual arts.
The mission of Laguna Art Museum is to be the premier museum of California art, financially stable and managed according to the highest professional standards—both an artistic destination and a relevant, respected center of culture for Laguna Beach.
Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art. It collects, cares for, and exhibits works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Unlike any other museum in the state, it collects California art and only California art, and ranges across all periods and styles, nineteenth-century to present-day.
Laguna Art Museum believes that the artists of California have created works of the highest quality and significance. An artistic center throughout its history, Laguna Beach is a natural home for the premier museum of California art.
Laguna Art Museum seeks to develop a permanent collection that represents the rich history of California art; stage serious exhibitions of high artistic quality that complement the collection; offer a robust education program for children, students, and adults alike; and serve the community as a cultural and social center.
Meet Our Team
Malcolm Warner joined Laguna Art Museum as Executive Director in January 2012. Previously he was Deputy Director at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; and Curator of European Art at the San Diego Museum of Art.
He was born in Aldershot (UK) and pursued both undergraduate and graduate studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He received his PhD from the Courtauld in 1985. His doctoral dissertation was on the British Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. He remains the leading authority on Millais and, as a long-term project, is preparing a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s works.
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