Since its inception in 1990, the Permanent Collection has grown to include nearly 200 paintings, sculptures and works on paper. All of the artworks are acquired from our active exhibition program and reflect the diversity and strength of the artists, mostly regional, who have exhibited here. Annual commissions and the many references in the artworks to the Athenaeum specifically, and to books and music generally, emphasize and document the time and place of each work collected. The collection as a whole is valuable not only for the artworks in it, but also as an archive for the institution and the evolving visual arts community of the San Diego - Tijuana region. More pieces by each artist are available to view at the Athenaeum.
The images below can be seen in our Permanent Collection Catalogue. The publication presents forty artists who have had a solo exhibition in the Joseph Clayes III Gallery at the Athenaeum since 1990, and have a piece in the Permanent Collection. It highlights many San Diego artists who were instrumental in defining the local art scene.