The Sculptors Guild was founded in New York City in 1937 by a group of artists interested in the promotion of contemporary sculpture in a wide variety of styles through free group exhibitions and educational programs. Membership in the Guild was obtainable only by invitation, based on a sculptor's creative ability and professional standing.
The Guild held annual exhibitions of contemporary sculpture in locations such as the terrace of the International Building at Rockefeller Plaza, Bryant Park, the New York Botanical Gardens, and perhaps most notably at Lever House, marking the introduction of the exhibition of professional art in corporate lobbies. The Guild frequently combined demonstrations and lectures with its exhibitions. Many traveling exhibitions circulated under the auspices of the American Federation of Arts, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Board of Education of the City of New York. The Guild also held several outdoor exhibitions in various other locations in New York City, and at the New York World's Fair in 1939-1940.
Between 1937 and 1964 the Sculptors Guild was supported by membership dues, a 30 percent commission taken on sales of sculpture at annual exhibibitions and private funding. In the mid-1960s the Guild recognized the need for increased funding from foundations and established the Friends of the Sculptors Guild to this end.
The Sculptors Guild was headquartered at various New York locations throughout its history. From 1937-1938, it was located at 52 West 8th Street, moving in early 1939 to 37 East 4th Street. Later that year the Guild moved again, to 96 Fifth Avenue, where it stayed for 25 years. In 1966 the Guild moved to 106 West 16th Street and, in the following year, to 797 Madison Avenue. In 1991 the Guild was located at 35 East 85th Street. The Sculptors Guild is still in operation in 2005 and is located at the Soho Building, 110 Greene Street, New York City.