Art Museum of Greater Lafayette

The institution now known as the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette was founded as the Lafayette Art Association on April 14, 1909. After a “general awakening of art interests all over (the) country and state” some of Lafayette residents saw a chance to “stimulate and encourage interest in art and to give annual exhibitions, and also to establish and maintain permanent collections of works of art.”  Twenty-five citizens, led by Laura Ann Fry, including members of the Art Club came together in at the Lafayette High School at Sixth and Columbia, to found the organization.  Superior Court Judge, Henry Vinton chaired the meeting and was elected President. Laura Ann Fry was elected Vice President.  In less than a month’s time the Association gained 386 members, each paying $1.00 in annual dues.  Judge Vinton and Ms. Fry continued to lead the organization through 1924.

Laura Ann Fry was a native of White County and was a practicing potter formerly associated with Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati, until she moved to Lafayette to teach as a Professor in the Industrial Arts Department at Purdue University in 1896. In 1906 she was appointed head of the department; the first woman to be so named.

In 1982, the organization received accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, and changed the name to the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art.  In 2000, the name of the organization became the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, to bring “Art” to the forefront.


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