Through performances, lectures, workshops, mentoring, and other related activities, we continue to promote John Ruskin's vision of the unity of art and life and the arts as a catalyst for social transformation in the 21st Century. 


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We offer three tiers of membership. As a tax exempt 501c(3) non-profit corporation, your contributions to the Ruskin Art Club are tax deductible.

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The Ruskin Art Club, founded by Mary E. Boyce in 1888, and first incorporated under California state law in 1905, is among the oldest and most influential cultural and arts associations in the Southland. As the first women’s cultural organization in Los Angeles, the Club played a major role in advancing the cause of women in the early decades of the twentieth century. In the late 1980s, in connection with the Club’s centenary, the Board of Directors amended the bylaws to permit men to join the organization.

Inspired initially by Mrs. Boyce’s fine collection of engravings, early Ruskin founders went on to mount the city’s first public art exhibitions in 1890-91; helped establish the University of Southern California’s School of Fine Arts, and were instrumental in the campaign to build a county art museum in Exposition Park, the precursor to today’s LACMA, and in the founding of the Southwest Museum in the Mt. Washington area. (Other early “Ruskinites” include such significant actors in Los Angeles history as Mrs. David Witmer, Mrs. John Randolph Haines, Mrs. Henry Green Brainerd, Mrs. Stephen Hubbel, Mrs. Robert M. Whitney, and the Club’s principal adviser, Dr. Hector Alliot, associate of Charles Lummis and director of the Southwest Museum. There is hardly an established cultural institution in Los Angeles to which Ruskin Art Club members have not made landmark contributions – a fact recognized by resolutions of the Los Angeles City Council in 1958 and 1963.

Today, the Ruskin Art Club, as a public arts corporation, continues that legacy of public service by providing scholarships and prizes to local artists, writers, and musicians, and, through its yearly calendar of programs and events, a platform for both established and emerging talents to gain wider public recognition and support.

The Ruskin Art Club, like several other historic arts associations in Southern California, such as the Gamble House, the Judson Studios, the California Art Club, and the Huntington Library, has its roots in the 19th century Arts and Crafts movement, inspired by the vision of art and social critics John Ruskin and William Morris. Characterized by its demand for the radical integration of art and life, the Ruskinian vision, forged in response to the human and environmental ravages of the Industrial Revolution, offers more than ample lessons for us today as we attempt to live life on a human scale in an even more complex contemporary world.

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