Skip to main content

American Society of Contemporary Artists records, 1917-1985

American Society of Contemporary Artists records, 1917-1985

American Society of Contemporary Artists (New York, N.Y.)

Collection Information

Size: 3.0 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 4 reels)

Summary: Correspondence, (1951-1970), business records (1917-1980), scrapbooks (1949-1970), and printed material (1933-1985).

Biographical/Historical Note

Est. 1917 as Brooklyn Society of Artists. Membership limited to artists living or working in Brooklyn. Exhibitions were held in various galleries including at Abraham and Straus, the Pratt Institute, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and other cultural centers in Brooklyn. In 1919, membership was extended to artists outside Brooklyn and in 1954, the Society held its first travelling exhibition. As membership grew to encompass the entire United States, the Society's name was changed in 1963 to the American Society of Contemporary Artists, or the ASCA.


Records filmed on reels D243-D244 were originally lent August 1965 via Mrs. Elizabeth Erlanger. They were donated along with new material, which was filmed on reels 1708-1709, in June 1973, via Mary Ascher, president. Constance Scharff, recording secretary, donated 12 items in 1979, Harold LeRoy donated 32 items during his presidency in 1980, and in 1985, an additional 0.2 linear feet of material was donated by Edith L. Abrams, who served as ASCA president from 1983-1985. Provenance of photo on reel 1817 unknown, microfilmed in 1980 as part of AAA's Photographs of Artists Collection-Two.

Additional Forms Available

Microfilm reels D243-D244, 1708-1709, 1817 & 2786 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

American Society of Contemporary Artists records, 1917-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.