The Provincetown Art Association was established by artists Gerrit Beneker, Oscar Gieberich, William Halsall, Charles Hawthorne, and E. Ambrose Webster, along with local business men and women, in 1914. By 1916, the town had become a refuge for artists and expatriates from post-World War I Paris and artists from New York, and the association held juried exhibitions, beginning in the summer of 1915. Boston Globe editor A. J. Philpott's article "The Biggest Art Colony in the World," published in August of 1916, cemented Provincetown's reputation.
The Provincetown Art Association continued to expand throughout the twentieth century, and now operates a museum and a school. Provincetown celebrated it's 100th anniversary as an art colony in 1999.