Skip to main content

Robert Perine research material on the Chouinard Art Institute, circa 1923-circa 1985

Perine, Robert, 1922-2004

Author, Watercolorist, Educator

Collection Information

Size: 1.8 Linear feet

Summary: The Robert Perine research material on the Chouinard Art Institute measures 1.8 linear feet and date from circa 1923 to circa 1985. Documents consist of research material used in Perine's book Chouinard: An Art Vision Betrayed (1985) including catalogs for the Chouinard Institute and California Institute of the Arts; notes and preliminary writings for the book, including an annotated table of contents and a bibliography; floor plans of the Institute; material concerning the lawsuit brought against the board of trustees in an attempt to prevent the closing of the school; 158 photographs of Nelbert Chouinard, classes, students and buildings; and 27 sound cassettes of interviews of 52 artists and staff, some with partial transcripts.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, educator, and author Robert Perine (1922-2004), was a student and later a professor at the Chouinard Art Institute. The Chouinard Art Institute was founded in Los Angeles, California, by Ms. Nelbert M. Chouinard in 1921. The Institute received financial support from Walt Disney who also oversaw its merger with the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music to form the Californian Institute of the Arts in 1961. The Chouinard Art Institute continued to operate as its own entity within the California Institute of the Arts until it was completely absorbed by the California Institute of the Arts in 1972.


The research material was donated to the Archives of American Art by Robert Perine in 1987.


The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.