Formed in 1988 as the Chatham Township Art League, the league grew from an idea by then Township Clerk Alice Lundt to cover the walls of the newly renovated municipal building for a dedication celebration. She called her artist friend Janet Glover for help in finding and inviting township artists to display their work in the halls of the new building. They found 24 artists who brought 160 pieces to show. After the dedication, several of the exhibiting artists met to form an association for artists in town. The group met on Oct. 3, 1988, to formalize the association. The new league held four exhibits each year in the municipal building.

In 2007, the league opened its membership to residents of Chatham Borough and changed its name to the Art League of the Chathams.

In 2008, the league celebrated its 20th anniversary with a fundraising gala. Part of the funds were dedicated to sponsor a scholarship each year to a graduating student from Chatham High School.

At the request of the mayor, league members painted a mural in the foyer of the township municipal building in 2010. The league extended the exhibition days of its four annual shows to fulfill its mission to keep the walls of the municipal building halls covered with art year round.

In 2012 the league opened its membership to include residents of nearby towns. It received the 2012 Outstanding Arts Organization Award from the Arts Council of the Morris Area.

In 2013, the league celebrated its 25th anniversary with another fundraising gala. Funds from all anniversary celebrations will continue to fund the scholarship fund, as well as other student activities.