The JAL was first known as the "Sketchers Club", which was formed in 1891. Mrs. Ella Hotelling Tanberg was the person that started the Sketchers Club and guided that organization into the Janesville Art League and served president for eight years.
The Janesville Art League was established in 1893 in response to a call from traveling representatives of the Chicago Art Institute who were encouraging formation of art auxiliaries of the Institute. The first JAL art exhibit was held in 1895.
The members of the JAL planned and saved for many years to build a building that would house the growing art collection. Their dream, even in 1891, was to have an art gallery and continue to expand the art collection. Mr. and Mrs. George Parker offered to give them $10,000.00 toward the cost of the building and Mrs. W.H.H. Malcloon gave then the lot at 108 South Jackson. Following a fund drive to raise the remainder of the funds for building construction, the Women's Club Building, with the art gallery on the second floor, was built and ready for occupancy in June 1928. We are proud to say it is still home to the Janesville Art League,