I thought we would go back in time this month and share the circumstances and the reasons for the founding of the Jonathan Art Foundation. In this trip down memory lane we also highlight a very dear and beloved member of the Jonathan Club as well as of the Jonathan Art Foundation (JAF). This special individual is Dick Oxford, and on February 26th JAF will hold its Past President’s reception and honor Dick as a JAF Past President for his many years of devoted work and support.
Leading up to 1986, the Jonathan Club had assembled a significant amount of art through the gifting of members over the many years since its inception in 1895. It wasn’t until 1986 that the Jonathan Art Foundation was birthed as a separate entity responsible for its own fundraising and dedicating funds raised to building, curating, and maintaining a world class plein air art collection. Paul Chevalier was JAF’s first President, and within a couple of years Dick Oxford joined JAF’s Board.
This year the JAF has been in existence for 32 years, and over these last three decades the fine art collections of the Club and JAF have grown substantially, not just in size but also in quality and reputation. Dick Oxford has been a JAF leader and mentor since its earliest days. He will admit that he didn’t have any particular interest in plein air painting when he first joined the newly established JAF Board, but he still felt the need to support the organization throughout its growth and maturation. Whether he was serving on the Club’s Board of Directors, the JAF Board or as President of either, Dick consistently supported JAF. Now he can honestly say he loves this form of fine art and has built up a “nice” personal collection, i.e. no more wall space at home.
The year 2019 was a significant one for JAF. Several new and important pieces were acquired, and not just of plein air painting but also an important work of contemporary art. Our annual fundraising event, Celebration of California, is being held on March 21st at the Town Club. Please come and support us. A wonderful way to support us is to donate items for the silent auction: tickets to sporting events, performances of the arts, golf foursomes, a day at the spa, are all great ways to support our fundraising efforts. The JAF Board of Directors is excited and encouraged about the next 32 years!!!!