Skip to main content

National Watercolor Society records, 1920-1995

National Watercolor Society (U.S.)


Collection Information

Size: 3.6 Linear feet

Summary: Articles of incorporation, newsletters, artist's biographies, slides for exhibitions (1980-1990) and rental slides (1990-1995), pamphlets and programs (1954-1995), six scrapbooks (1921-1994) containing printed materials and some with photographs and artists' resumes, three Presidents' books (1922-1995), a guidebook, group portraits from 1949 and 1951, and NWS newsletters documenting the history and members of the National Watercolor Society (formerly the California Watercolor Society).

Biographical/Historical Note

Art society; Los Angeles, Calif. The California Watercolor Society was founded in Los Angeles in 1920. The organization continued for fifty-five years as the CWS. In 1975 the name was changed to the National Watercolor Society (NWS). In the early years the organization was dominated by members of the California School, the group of West Coast painters whose most prominent representative was Millard Sheets. These artists developed a regionalist style that focused on California landscape and, less frequently, the urban scene. The approach and aesthetic represented by Millard Sheets and others greatly influenced the members of the Society for years, and as a result the organization became increasingly viewed as conservative and even decorative.


Donated 1995 by the Society's club historian and secretary Rosemary MacBird. Three additional scrapbooks were donated in 1997 by Society historian Ed Gill.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

How to Cite This Collection

National Watercolor Society records, 1920-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.