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  • by William Pinney

An Eventful Year in Review

The Jonathan Art Foundation has had an interesting year in despite of and because of the pandemic.

If you have not heard of us before, JAF manages the Jonathan Club’s art collection, which has been collected over the last century. Not surprisingly it contains some excellent works by many of the finest early Californian artists. The costs of preserving, displaying, insuring, improving, and loaning works are paid for by annual fundraisers. From time to time, we buy new works to improve the collection and deaccession less important works. Direct cash donations to the Foundation are tax deductible, and we can accept gifts and loans of major art, subject to the tax regulations.

Our normal gala dinner event in March 2020 was cancelled days before scheduled. We did not want the considerable effort expended to go to waste, so we developed and executed an online auction in August using newly installed software to sell the art and prizes already in hand. This was surprisingly successful as it allowed us to reach a larger audience with more art and prizes, at lower cost and effort than normal. Also, we were able to engage with new participants, which is core to our mission and responsibility under the law.

Building on this, we ran another auction in March 2021 using the same format and promoted it with three online broadcasts on web conference platforms. These web events showcased the JAF collection itself; the art of collecting in general; and interviewed three artists who participated in our auction. They were fun to produce and made informative and entertaining viewing for those who are victims of the lockdown. They can be replayed on YouTube at the following links:

"The Story Behind a World-Class Art Collection"

Now that life appears to be returning to normal, we look forward to the coming year and expect to blend the lessons of the new online world with the human interaction that we have missed so much. We look forward to meeting and thanking as many of our generous supporters as possible in the coming months.

Finally, the JAF board is seeking interested candidates to join our team in the years ahead. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you love art and are prepared to volunteer some time to our work. If interested, you can reach us at


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