Arts Quincy (Quincy Society of Fine Arts)
QSFA was established in 1947, making it the 1st Arts Council in the Country, founded by George Irwin. The Quincy Art Center began its life on January 23, 1923, when a group of local women created the Quincy Art Club. In 1927, the Club elected Elizabeth M. Sinnock its president, a post she held until her death in 1975, some forty-eight years later. In 1932, the Quincy Art Club leased from the Quincy Park District the carriage house behind the Lorenzo Bull mansion and established on that sight what was to become its permanent home. Designed in 1887 by Joseph Lyman Silsbee, a prominent Chicago architect, the carriage house made marvelous studio space in which artists could teach and work.
In 1946-1947, the Art Club remodeled the interior of the Lorenzo Bull carriage house in order to create the Elizabeth M. Sinnock Gallery, an art moderne space designed by the late Charles F. Behrensmeyer. The newly renovated structure opened to the public on March 2,1947. In 1969, thanks to a grant from the Quincy Foundation, the Art Club hired its first professional director, John Arthur. From 1973 to 1990, the Art Club was without a professional director and operated by a Board of Directors, volunteer committees, and office support staff. In 1991, Mariann Barnard became the professional director of the Quincy Art Center, (as it was by then called), and she was replaced by Julie D. Nelson in 1994.
In the mid-1980’s the Art Club board took its boldest step yet and decided that the time had come to expand its facilities dramatically. After considerable study, it determined that a new gallery and classroom facility would be added to the old carriage house. The new addition, designed by the local firm of Architechnics, Inc., gave the Center more than twice its original exhibition space. The classroom areas are equipped for ceramics, printmaking and other art instruction for both the adults and children. Not only has the institution been able to address the interests of a wider segment of the community, the quality of the exhibits and programs has been substantially enhanced.
The Art Center is supported in part by membership fees, contributions, grants, and proceeds from fundraising events, the most notable of which is the annual Beaux Arts Ball, The Quincy Humane Society celebrates 135th Anniversary on July 20. Original incorporation papers (which we still have!) were signed by Thaddius Rogers, L.H.A. Nickerson, Harris Swimmer, J.M. Eull, J.C. Thompson and H.W.Hale on July 20, 1880.