Ronald and Sylvia Hartman

Dr. Ronald and Sylvia Hartman

A decades-long relationship with the Long Beach Museum of Art has culminated in a $2 million gift from Dr. Ronald and Sylvia Hartman.

Museum officials said it is the largest donation in the history of LBMA, and is believed to be the largest gift to a cultural institution in Long Beach’s history. The museum’s gallery pavilion will be named The Hartman Pavilion in their honor.

“We are honored and humbled by the generous gift from the Hartman family,” Executive Director Ron Nelson said in announcing the gift. “Their commitment to the museum for the past 40 years has been unparalleled and this gift demonstrates their belief in the future, of not only this museum, but also the importance of a thriving cultural community in the city of Long Beach. We are thrilled to name our exhibition gallery pavilion in their honor.”

Dr. Hartman became president of the Museum Association in 1969 and served in that position for more than a decade; he then spent another decade on the board. Sylvia Hartman joined the LBMA Foundation board in 1990 and is still there 25 years later, having been instrumental in virtually every aspect of the museum’s operation during that time.

“We have been part of the greater Long Beach community for many years and have witnessed the growth of the city’s arts and culture communities with leaders such as the Long Beach Museum of Art,” the Hartmans said in a statement. “In the eight years that Executive Director Ron Nelson has guided this institution, the museum has showcased an amazing array of exhibitions and has grown its educational programming to serve everyone who is interested in learning more about contemporary art. We are pleased that our gift will ensure long term financial support for the museum in the coming years.”

A private reception is being planned for this Sunday to officially rename the pavilion.

The museum, including a historic mansion and carriage house, is at 2300 E. Ocean Blvd. For more information, go to

—Harry Saltzgaver

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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