The Vincent Price Art Museum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art are pleased to announce their joint acquisition of works by Laura Aguilar (1959-2018) and rafa esparza (1981-), the first acquisition collaboration between the two museums.

Acquired works include a four-panel adobe painting by rafa esparza and 21 photographic prints by Laura Aguilar, including major pieces such as Three Eagles Flying (1990), Don’t Tell Her Art Can’t Hurt (Part A-D) (1993), and works from Aguilar’s Nature Self Portrait, Stillness, Clothed/Unclothed, Plush Pony, and Grounded series. Esparza’s works were purchased with funds provided by LACMA’s AHAN: Studio Forum, and the Vincent Price Art Museum Foundation, with funds provided by Kevan and Norma Newton, Los Angeles. The Aguilar prints are a partial gift and partial purchase from the Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016, jointly acquired by LACMA, with funds provided by Frank Masi and Donna Kolb and the Ralph M. Parsons Fund, and the Vincent Price Art Museum Foundation, with funds provided by the Foundation and the Newton Family.

“These acquisitions are made possible through the collaboration and fundraising efforts of both the VPAM Foundation and LACMA,” said VPAM Foundation Chair Barbara Hensleigh. “We are especially grateful to Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016 for its generous partial gift of Aguilar’s photographs, as well as our board member, Norma Newton, for her financial support for both artists’ acquisitions.”

“We are proud to partner with LACMA to acquire artworks by two incredible artists from our community,” said Joseph Valencia, Exhibitions and Programs Manager, speaking for the Vincent Price Art Museum. “Bringing Aguilar and esparza’s work into our collection represents a homecoming and celebration of two artists who each attended East Los Angeles College, where VPAM is located, and who have played important roles in fostering an artistic community on our campus and in our city.”

“Collections are the stronghold of any public institution, and it is critical for the future museum-going public in Los Angeles to see itself represented at LACMA and VPAM,” said Rita Gonzalez, Terri and Michael Smooke Curator and Department Head Contemporary Art at LACMA. “Our deep, longstanding partnership is centered on sharing LACMA’s collection with VPAM and its audiences, and these joint acquisitions further advance our shared interest in promoting Latinx artists together.”


Captions: [left] rafa esparza, …we are the mountain, 2019, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by AHAN: Studio Forum, 2020 Art Here and Now purchase, and the Vincent Price Art Museum Foundation, with funds provided by Kevan and Norma Newton, Los Angeles, installation view, staring at the sun, MASSMoCA, North Adams, MA, January 19, 2019–January 2, 2020, © rafa esparza, photo by Kaelan Burkett, courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth and Council. [right] Laura Aguilar, Nature Self-Portrait #2, 1996, Gift of the Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016, jointly acquired by the Vincent Price Art Museum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.