Laguna Art Museum Unveils On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection

(Left)Joan and Jack Quinn mid 1960s, LA.
(Right)Alexis Smith, A PAIR (portrait of Joan & Jack)1980, mixed media, 10 x 8.75 inches.

Laguna Art Museum has announced the highly anticipated exhibition, On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection on view from March 23 through September 2, 2024. 

This exhibition, previously showcased at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in 2021, now takes center stage at Laguna Art Museum, offering a unique and enhanced experience. The Laguna Art Museum exhibition will present earlier works from the 1960s, bringing a historical perspective to the evolution of Los Angeles art, including works from artists Daniel LaRue Johnson, Dora De Larios, Charles Garabedian, Vija Celmins, Tony Berlant and others.

The exhibition introduces additional artists, including John McCracken and Bruce Conner, enriching the narrative of this pivotal period in art history. Distinctive pieces from Billy Al Bengston and James Hayward were also added to the exhibition to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of Los Angeles’ artistic evolution. Notably, On the Edge at Laguna Art Museum unveils never-before-exhibited works from Lita Albuquerque, Ken Price, Lynda Benglis and Ed Ruscha, providing visitors with an exclusive glimpse into the artistic journey of these influential figures.  

“Our anticipation for the opening of On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection grows stronger each day as we prepare for a truly epic and extraordinary gathering of artworks and artists here on the Southern California coast, a place that has informed so much of the artwork in the exhibition,” said Julie Perlin Lee, Executive Director, Laguna Art Museum. “We are grateful to the Quinn family for being open to the incorporation of artists like, Jose PRIME Reza and Joey Terrill, alongside others not featured in previous iterations of the exhibition and for allowing us to display artworks by Frank Gehry, Andy Warhol and Laddie John Dill, among others that have never been exhibited publicly. By incorporating artists and artworks that align with the museum’s permanent art collection and carefully selecting works from the earlier decade of the 1960s and work created less than a year ago, we have created a fresh experience for visitors.”

Joan Agajanian met Jack Quinn at the University of Southern California where she was studying to be a teacher, and he was a law student. They were a happily married couple for 56 years until Jack’s passing in 2017. Together, they raised identical twin daughters Amanda and Jennifer. Collectively, the family has amassed artworks by Los Angeles’ most prominent artists that document the development of contemporary art in Los Angeles, and uniquely, the family itself. In the early ‘50s, a 17 year old Joan met the brash young Billy Al Bengston while both were working at Desmond’s department store on Crenshaw Blvd. Bengston was Joan’s initial connection to Ed Kienholz, Ed Moses, Ken Price and others. Those artists were a close-knit group affiliated with the Ferus Gallery and they were making an impact in Los Angeles. The Quinns’ home became a meeting place for their diverse group of friends ranging from the arts, the social set and the legal community. Joan, who notoriously had a camera in tow, documented these gatherings where friendships were deeply established, and patronage of the arts was encouraged. 

In 1978, Andy Warhol asked Joan to join his Interview magazine as its West Coast editor. She soon also became the LA Herald Examiner society editor known as “Culture Cween” and wrote for national and international publications. That path along with her appointment to the California Arts Council allowed Joan to promote the work of the growing circle of Southern California creatives while Jack actively championed their circle of artists by connecting them with the legal community. He was the first to transform the walls of his three-story law firm into a captivating art space, akin to a museum. Artist Joe Goode once said the Quinns were a “primary support system for artists in L.A. at a time when you could count the city’s art dealers on one hand.” 

Joan, called one of the most painted, sketched and sculpted women alive by W Magazine, has been a subject for artists such as David Hockney, Shepard Fairey, Claire Falkenstein, Steven Arnold, George Hurrell, Yolanda Gonzalez, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Robert Graham, Matthew Rolston to name a few. The exhibition includes over 25 portraits of Joan and the Quinn family, a poignant representation of friendship, appreciation and respect.

Generously sponsored by Bank of America, Christie’s and JHM Foundation, On the Edge promises an enriching and immersive encounter with the diverse expressions of Southern California art. The exhibition not only showcases the Quinn family’s pivotal role in shaping the Los Angeles art scene but also emphasizes the dynamic evolution of artistic styles over the decades.

For more information about On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collectionvisit To stay connected and learn about upcoming events, follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

IMAGES: Images from the collection are available for download here.

Complete List of Artists in the Exhibition: 

Lita Albuquerque, Peter Alexander, Carlos Almaraz, Elsa Flores Almaraz, John Altoon, David Amico, Steven Arnold, Charles Arnoldi, Don Bachardy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Larry Bell, Lynda Benglis, Billy Al Bengston, Tony Berlant, Richard Bernstein, Derek Boshier, Carole Caroompas, Vija Celmins, Greg Colson, Bruce Conner, Ron Cooper, Woods Davy, Dora De Larios, Laddie John Dill, Robert Dowd, Dennis Dutzi, Gregory Wiley Edwards, Ned Evans, Shepard Fairey, Ian Falconer, Claire Falkenstein, Joe Fay, Jud Fine, Xavier Fumat, Charles Garabedian, Sophia Gasparian, Frank Gehry, Yolanda Gonzalez, Joe Goode, Robert Graham, Phyllis Green, James Hayward, George Herms, David Hockney, George Hurrell, Daniel LaRue Johnson, Edward Kienholz, E.F. Kitchen, Marie Lalanne, Robert Mapplethorpe, John McCracken, Jim McHugh, Andy Moses, Ed Moses, Helmut Newton, Astrid Preston, Kenneth Price, Mel Ramos, Jose Reza “Prime K26”, Bruce Richards, Matthew Rolston, Allen Ruppersberg, Edward Ruscha, Bradford Salamon, Sylvia Shap, Wayne Shimabukuro, Rena Small, Alexis Smith, Alice Springs, Joey Terrill, Ann Thornycroft, John M. Valadez, Andy Warhol, Norton Wisdom, Beatrice Wood, Tom Wudl, Firooz Zahedi

About Laguna Art Museum

Laguna Art Museum exists to engage and enlighten people of all ages through art that embodies and preserves the California experience. Laguna Art Museum presents exhibitions relevant to California art and artists throughout the year and is home to the annual Art & Nature Festival celebrating the museum’s unique relationship to the environment.

For more information, please visit 


Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach, on the corner of Coast Highway and Cliff Drive.


Tuesday-Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Closed Mondays, except Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth and Labor Day.

Closed Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Credit: Laguna Art Museum.

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