History

The Art League of New Britain, a non-profit organization, is the second oldest art league in the United States. Founded in 1928, its original mission was as an art school holding both day and evening sessions. In 1934 it transitioned into an art club where artists could work together and gather for social affairs.

The ALNB’s first president, Sanford B. D. Low, former director of the New Britain Museum of American Art, was the driving force behind the original success of the League. He gave considerable time, talent and enthusiasm to keep the arts alive during the Great Depression. We honor him with our Sanford B. D. Low gallery.

The Art League’s home first served as local industrialist George Post’s stable and carriage house. In fact the names of the horses are still above each stall door and the horse shoe cut out still remains at the peak of the main gable. Post’s daughter sold the barn to A. J. Sloper who in turn sold it to William C. Hungerford. The late Judge Hungerford had granted the use of his stable to the League for some time before his death, and after his death his widow deeded the property to the League along with the surrounding land.

The Art League has the responsibility for caring and preserving our precious landmark and has been careful stewards. In the words of Meta Lacy “Let no man presume to modernize our old barn by stripping it of its architectural personality, which properly dates it as a fine example of its period.”