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Associated American Artists records, circa 1934-1983

Associated American Artists

Collection Information

Size: 55 Linear feet

Summary: The records of the Associated American Artists measure 55 linear feet and date from circa 1934 through 1983. The organization was founded in 1934 to stimulate interest in prints throughout the United States by promoting the sale of prints through department stores and other venues. Later, other genres of works of art were added and the department store abandoned in favor of a New York headquarters. The records contain voluminous files on artists; dealers, galleries, and museums; and clients. Also found is business correspondence, financial records, sales and exhibition catalogs, thirteen dismantled scrapbooks, and posters.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Associated American Artists was created in 1934 with the mission of bridging the gap between artists and their audiences by making fine art affordable, accessible, and attractive for the general American public. The A.A.A. offered new editions of prints to collectors at very reasonable prices. This was accomplished by publishing limited-edition prints of etchings and lithographs by American artists that sold for as little as five dollars each. The organization commissioned original graphic art from many notable American artists, whose art often reflected or commented on the social ideas of the era. All lithographs and etchings were produced in editions ranging from 125 to 250 impressions. Between 1934 and 1945, the organization published more than 600 limited-edition prints. An early collaboration allowed the prints to be displayed and sold in fifty department stores nationwide. Later, the department stores were abandoned in favor of a headquarters in a gallery in New York City. By the 1950s, the organization began to design fabrics as well.

Provenance

Sylvan Cole and Adolf Dehn loaned the Archives of American Art related Associated American Artists' records for microfilming on reels D254-D256 in 1965-1966. Mrs. Allan Kine gave photocopies of correspondence on reel 3176 to the Archives in 1974. The Associated American Artists donated all other material begining in the late 1970s through 1988.

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