The mission of the Erie Art Museum is to maintain an institution of excellence dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the visual arts
- by developing and maintaining a quality art collection
- by encouraging art in all its forms
- by fostering lifelong art learning
- by building community among artists, art students and the public.
In 1898 a group of artists under the leadership of Lovisa Card-Catlin came together to form The Art Club of Erie. The new organization met at the Art Gallery in the new Public Library on Perry Square, where it would make its home for the next half century. The members organized exhibitions of both local and national artists, presented and discussed papers on subjects of artistic importance, and raised funds to acquire the artworks which became the collection of the Library and are proudly displayed today in the new Raymond Blasco Library on the bayfront. The Art Club moved, together with the Erie Public Museum, to the Watson-Curtze Mansion on West Sixth Street in the 1940s, and through the grass roots efforts of its members and volunteers, finally acquired a home of its own, the Wood-Morrison House, adjacent to the Curtze property, in 1956. The building and the organization gradually became known as the Art Center, and following a highly successful membership drive, and the new United Arts Fund Drive, the first professional Director was hired in 1968.