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The Larson (Museum) Gallery building was built in 1949. Percy Manser's work was featured in the first exhibition.
The Larson Gallery Guild (a non-for-profit group supporting the Gallery) started acquiring work through purchase awards and donations to build a permanent collection during the late 1950's. The permanent collection is owned by the Larson Gallery Guild and managed by the Larson Gallery; the Gallery also manages the Student Permanent Art Collection that is on view in the HUB and Lower Valley, Grandview Campus. Artwork from the Larson Gallery Guild collection is on display throughout the campus of Yakima Valley Community College in classrooms, faculty and staff offices and conference rooms. Work that is not on display is stored in the store room of the Larson Gallery.
Official documentation of the permanent collection did not begin until 1991 under the direction of former Larson Gallery Director Carol Hassen with the help of Larson Gallery Assistant Director Denise Olsen. It was Hassen who began the arduous task of photographing each piece and of properly assigning each work of art with a number. This task also involved the documentation of all aspects of the work such as how and when it was acquired, the size, media, date of creation, the artist, and other pertinent information.
The Larson Gallery Guild Permanent Collection is now made up of several "collections within a collection." These include The Dean Spuler Photography collection, the Percy Manser collection, the Greg & Marta Oberg Collection and the Centennial Photography Collection (donated to the Guild in 1976.)