The American Contemporary Art Gallery (ACA) was established in 1932 by Herman Baron. The founding charter members included two modernist painters, Stuart Davis and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. At that time ACA was one of only three galleries in New York dedicated to exhibiting American art. Over the decades, ACA’s breadth and scope expanded and now includes 19th century, Modern and Contemporary American and European painting, sculpture and photography.
Throughout its history, ACA has presented over 800 exhibitions and published over 400 books and catalogues. ACA also organized traveling museum exhibitions nationally and abroad. For over 80 years ACA has advised private collectors and public institutions on how to improve their collections.
ACA’s pioneering interest in progressive American art was established early on in exhibitions featuring, and often introducing, the work of Rockwell Kent, Alice Neel, Barnett Newman, Irene Rice Pereira, David Smith, and Charles White, among a myriad of others. In 1935, ACA hosted the inaugural meetings of the American Artists’ Congress (AAC), the influential precursor to the Federal Art Project (FAP) and Works Project Administration (WPA), the federal programs that aided American artists and funded public art projects during the depression. In 1944, in cooperation with Pablo Picasso, ACA organized a groundbreaking exhibit of Picasso’s paintings. They were shown with the African sculptures that so deeply influenced him. In the 1960s, ACA established its first foreign branch in Rome and the ACA Heritage Gallery in Los Angeles and New York City, signaling a vital foray into 19th and early 20th century American and European art. During the 1990s, ACA opened a gallery in Munich and organized the first major exhibitions of Andrew Wyeth and Jackson Pollock in Hong Kong.
In 2001 ACA moved from the Fuller Building at 57th street to its current location at 529 West 20th Street in Chelsea. In 2006 ACA presented the first major American and European exhibition in Dubai, featuring over 80 masterpieces ranging from Brueghel to Warhol. The centerpiece was the Pearl Carpet of Baroda. Today, ACA continues to break new ground, representing twenty-five distinguished artists and estates, including Faith Ringgold, and presenting six exhibitions per year. The artistic and humanitarian mission of the gallery still endures, and ACA is committed to upholding this tradition by continuing to support artists from all around the world, in their commitment to make significant and brave contributions to the field.