Permanent Collection

The Permanent Collection of the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art was officially established in 1998, following an exhibit of its holdings organized by Arne Nybak and a group of dedicated members. The Board of Directors, upon seeing the artwork and the enthusiastic response by its viewers, realized the collection’s legacy and unanimously endorsed its preservation and expansion.

No one worked harder or put his personal fortune into this collection more than Arne Nybak, the San Luis Obispo Art Center’s volunteer curator for 32 years, until his death in 1999. Mr. Nybak bought work by artists he considered important, some were bequeathed at an artist’s death, and often he asked artists to donate significant examples of their work. Those approaches to collection development continue today.

The collecting mission of the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art ensures the protection, conservation, preservation, and interpretation of works of art significant to the Central Coast and all of California as a sacred trust. Moreover, the Permanent Collection aims to define the role of artists important to the County and region with equal emphasis given to contemporary and historical art.

You can support the Museum’s Permanent Collection by adopting a painting. $250 per artwork gives you and your family symbolic ownership of that special piece. Your funds provide for the protection, restoration and preservation of your adopted artwork, and your family name will be listed with the piece when it is on display. Your adoption is a meaningful way to preserve a piece of artwork while also honoring Arne Nybak’s pioneering contribution to the Museum.