Circa 1881 produces art programming and exhibitions of world-class contemporary art. Our clients are non-profit institutions and private companies interested in creating unique art experiences for their public spaces. The exhibited artworks are borrowed from Circa 1881’s Lending Library, consisting of inventory from private collections we have under management.  

Our Name

The French government’s decision in 1881 to withdraw support for the Salon de Paris inspired independent artists to found the Société des Artistes Français and begin hosting their own exhibitions. The Société quickly found supportive audiences, unleashing a tidal wave of avant-garde artistic expression catalytic to the rise of Impressionism and, later, Post-Impressionism and Surrealism. Thus, modern art, as we understand it, was born in 1881— as was Pablo Picasso (1881–1973).

Our Mission

Circa 1881 is an initiative by art collectors who maintain the fundamental belief that art should be publicly enjoyed and that collecting has a purpose far greater than that of amassing assets. It is our goal to bring works owned by private collections to wider audiences by liberating them from storage and developing exhibitions in partnership with museums and other public and private institutions.