The American Contemporary Art Gallery (ACA) was established in 1932 by Herman Baron; the founding charter members included 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 the gallery’s breadth and scope has expanded and now includes 19th century, Modern and Contemporary American and European painting, sculpture and photography.
Throughout the gallery’s history ACA has presented over 800 exhibitions and published over 400 books and catalogues. The gallery also organizes traveling museum exhibitions nationally and abroad. For over 90 years ACA Galleries has served as an advisor to important private collectors and institutions.
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), federal programs that aided American artists and funded public art projects throughout the depression. In the 1960s, ACA Galleries 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 in Hong Kong of Andrew Wyeth and Jackson Pollock.
In 2001 ACA Galleries moved from the Fuller Building on 57th Street to its current location at 529 West 20th Street in Chelsea, NY. In 2006 ACA presented the first major American and European exhibition in Dubai featuring over 80 masterpieces ranging from Brueghel to Warhol. Today, the gallery has expanded to a second gallery space located at 173 Tenth Avenue at 20th St. The expansion is the evolution of ACA’s central mission: to honor the gallery’s deep historical roots by reimagining them in a contemporary context. The gallery continues to break new ground, representing distinguished artists and estates, and presenting several 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 united in their commitment to make significant and brave contributions to the field.