N.C. Wyeth designed the CCAA logo,
which continues to be used today.
CCAA was founded in 1931 by prominent artists and leaders in the Chester County community, including N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), Christian Brinton (1870-1942) and William Palmer Lear (1908-1970). The original group met weekly to draw together and plan exhibits. Often these exhibits included the works of Andrew Wyeth, Horace Pippin, Tom Bostelle, Barclay Rubincam, Philip Jamison, Peter Sculthorpe and Harry Dunn. While they were looking for a permanent space for the organization, members of CCAA met in the DeHaven House in East Fallowfield, PA, and spaces at West Chester University.
The present main facility in West Chester was built in 1953. The generous gift of land from local residents Mary E. Page Allinson and W.W. “Chick” Laird, totaling over five acres, made it possible for CCAA to have a permanent home in the West Chester community. Additionally, bequests from generous donors Stewart Huston and Alison Farmer Wescott facilitated the addition of a second gallery and several spacious studios in 1974.
As a result of renovations completed in 2017, the organization was able to add a new darkroom and digital studio, a library, new office spaces, the ShopArt Gift Store, and upgrades to the ceramic studio and both gallery spaces. Thanks to generous community support, CCAA operates additional art studios and galleries throughout the county. The Exton Square Studio Gallery opened in 2006 in a donated space from PREIT at the Exton Square Mall. Additional annual funding through the EITC (Education Income Tax Credit) program for area businesses allows us to offer low-cost and free art classes and camps in Exton as well as Kennett Square, Coatesville and the West Grove/Jennersville area.