Society of West-Coast Artists - Since 1939
Originally named "The Society for Sanity in Art," our organization was founded by Josephine Hancock Logan, and incorporated in Chicago in 1937. The purpose of the Society for Sanity in Art was to encourage and promote sane and competent art, regardless of "school" or style. The first meeting of the members of the Society for Sanity in Art, Inc., took place on March 9, 1938 at the residence of the President, Josephine Hancock Logan, and the first National Sanity in Art Exhibition was held in May, 1939 at the Stevens Hotel in Chicago.
Several branches of the Society were established in various parts of the United States, including San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. The San Francisco Chapter started in 1939. The forward for our 18th Annual Exhibition of Art in 1957 was written by former President of the United States, Herbert Hoover. He wrote, "To the Society of Western Artists, you still have a great job to do if you completely transform everything from billboards to art galleries into good taste - and real art. I wish you Godspeed.”
Branches were subsequently opened in Des Moines, Iowa, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New England, St. Louis, and Missouri. In 1939, renowned painter Edgar Payne volunteered to become the President of the Society for Sanity in Art at our sister chapter in Los Angeles.
By the mid-40’s most of the chapters had closed down. After the death of Mrs. Logan in 1943, our organization changed its name to Society of Western Artists in 1947 with Mr. John Garth serving as the first President in San Francisco under it’s new name. The Los Angeles Chapter also changed its name to Artists of the Southwest.
In 2018, SWA changed its name to Society of West-Coast Artists.
As of 2020, SWA celebrates 81 years of fine art. The San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Chapters remain the legacy of those many artists before us committed to a vision of great art. Recently our Board of Trustees added Abstract/Non-Representation art to our category of art exhibits.
The San Francisco Chapter, along with our San Joaquin Valley Chapter that serves the Central Valley, strives to further art education and exhibitions for the purpose of sustaining the highest quality of art to the public through our featured artist demonstrators, workshops with local and national artists, and our exhibitions.
If you are interested in becoming a member of SWA, visit our “How to Join SWA” page. SWA is open to everyone interested in the arts.
VISIT OUR GALLERY FOR OUR ON-GOING EXHIBITS BY SWA ARTISTS