FOUNDED IN 1961
Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) was founded in 1961 as the Laguna Beach School of Art, a non-profit college of art and design. In the early 1900s, artists, intellectuals, and entertainers began a thriving cultural community in Laguna Beach. Drawn to the stunning luminance of the area, Plein air painters like Edgar Payne and Anna Hills founded the Laguna Beach Art Association, while screen actors like Bette Davis and Charlie Chaplin helped inspire the founding of the Laguna Playhouse. These pioneering cultural ventures spawned the Festival of Arts, Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Art Museum, and Laguna Beach School of Art (LBSA, the predecessor to the College). Nellie Gail Moulton was one of the founding members of LBSA and provided the first significant gift to the then-fledgling college.
Since its founding in 1961, LCAD has grown significantly to include eleven undergraduate majors, three graduate degree programs, nine minors, and a Post-Baccalaureate program. LCAD’s campus also has grown to include seven sites throughout Laguna Canyon and Laguna Beach that accommodate its student population of more than 700 full-time students. The College has been under the leadership of thirteen College Presidents including our current President, Jonathan Burke. LCAD is now one of the leading colleges of art and design in the country.