our history



In 1941 a group of about 125 people, who hoped to further education and appreciation of the arts, sponsored a one-man show for Marvin Detwiler at the YMCA. It was received so well that the Norristown Art Committee (later to become the Norristown Art League) was formed. The group met in many different locations including the Norristown YMCA, Army Reserve Center, A.D. Eisenhower School, the Bridgeport Fire Station, and occasionally members’ homes. The group became a chartered non-profit organization by 1957 and officially became a 501(c)3 sometime in the late 1990s.



The place where people come to learn and inspire one another. The Greater Norristown Art League’s (GNAL) home is a small, one-room schoolhouse that was built in 1894. The current building is a replacement for the original school which was built in 1771 by Norristown’s first physician, Dr. Shannon. It is the oldest school in E. Norriton Township. Dr. Shannon’s family hosted George Washington on his march from Valley Forge to New Jersey in 1778.

After the township was divided into East and West Norriton in the early 1900s, the building was no longer needed as a schoolhouse and subsequently sold for $875.  It was sold again and used as a Community Center. Fun fact: Charley McCracken and Joanne Jackson, both GNAL members, once attended square dances here.