Historic American Art Clubs and Societies


(above: Group portrait at a dinner for Spencer Trask at the National Arts Club, 1908. Courtesy of The New York Public Library)



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Historic American Art Clubs and Societies." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the date of publication in Resource Library. Also see Art Colonies.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays is the heading "TFAO references." Periodically TFAO conducts keyword searches from the Resource Library homepage relating to this topic. The count of pages within Resource Library citing the keywords indicates breadth of coverage in Resource Library for this topic. We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.

After "TFAO references" are links to online resources found outside the TFAO website. Online resources are gathered from TFAO catalogues. Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

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From Resource Library in chronological order:

Bucks County and the Philadelphia Sketch Club (9/13/10)

N. C. Wyeth and the Philadelphia Sketch Club; text by Christine Podmaniczky (4/29/10)

The Society of Western Artists from Making It in the Midwest: Artists Who Chose to Stay; essay by Rachel Berenson Perry (8/25/09) and Making It in the Midwest: Artists Who Chose to Stay (8/25/09)

A Seed of Modernism: The Art Students League of Los Angeles, 1906-53; catalogue essays by Julia Armstrong-Totten, Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, and Will South (3/4/08)

A Seed of Modernism: The Art Students League of Los Angeles, 1906-53; texts by Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick and Julia Armstrong-Totten (2/29/08)

The Art Students League of New York: Highlights from the Permanent Collection and Selections from the Hillstrom Museum of Art Collection (9/27/07)

Salmagundi Club: An American Institution (12/14/06)

A Noble Tradition: American Paintings from the National Arts Club; essay by Carol Lowrey (2/8/06)

Tunis Ponsen: essay by Susan S. Weininger (12/22/05) see page 8

Ohio Impressionists and Post-Impressionists; essay by James M. Keny (4/8/05)

Salmagundi Club: An American Institution (1/31/05)

Providence Art Club (4/23/04)

Artists of the Salmagundi Club from the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Permanent Collection (12/20/03)

Arts Club of Washington (11/20/03)

Society of Milwaukee Artists, essay segment by Gay Donahue (9/29/01)

The Development of an Art Community in the Los Angeles Area, essay by Ruth Westphal (7/5/01)

Art for the Great Estates: The Bruce Museum's First Decade (2/21/01) - Greenwich Society of Artists

California Art Club (2/10/01)

A Fertile Fellowship: Celebrating 125 Years of the Salmagundi Club (6/21/99)

Artists of the Boston Art Club, 1854 - 1950 (7/11/98)

Lost Colony: The Artists of St. Augustine, 1930-1950, c. 1997

Taos Society of Artists, by Sarah Beserra


TFAO references:

As of 4/15/13 TFAO Digital Library contained


(above: The Couse House and Studio, 146 Kit Carson Road. Photo © 2006 by Barbara Hazeltine. E.I. Couse was a charter member of the Taos Society of Artists.)


Also from the Web

A Brief History of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters from The Washington Society of Landscape Painters. Accessed August, 2015.

American Legacy Fine Arts website has an Art Library page, including a link to Building an American Legacy: The National Arts Club by Elaine Adams. Accessed July, 2015.

Art Club (also known as the Old Bohemians and the City Hall Colony) in Cleveland, OH, from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Accessed July, 2015.

Boston Art Club 1855-1950; Essays by Nancy A. Jarzombek, Michelle L. Hoeffler, Siobhan Wheeler and Robin Dabney; 88 pages; 94 color, 29 b&w plates; Oct. 2000, from Vose Galleries, LLC. Accessed July, 2014

California Art Club and a list of artist members from AskART.com. Accessed July, 2015.

Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art History & Reference Publications section offer "Lone Star Regionalism: The Dallas Nine and Their Circle, 1928-1945" by Rick Stewart. Accessed July, 2015

The Cincinnati Art Club was founded in 1890 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Its website says it has as its purpose "...advancing the knowledge and love of art through education. This mission has been and will continue to be promoted through exhibitions, lectures, hands-on demonstrations, sketch and painting group work sessions, monthly critique sessions, maintenance of an art library and awarding of student scholarships." Accessed April, 2016.

The Copley Society of Art was founded in 1879 in Boston, MA. It's website says "In 1879, members of the first graduating class of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts felt the need to keep the ties they had formed, and to help each other in their struggle to become prominent artists. In May of that year, largely through the efforts of Alice Spencer Tinkham and H. Winthrop Pierce, the Boston Art Students Association (now the Copley Society of art) was formed." Accessed April, 2016.

The History of the Laguna Beach Art Association from a post dated May 27, 2010 in the William A. Karges Fine Art Early California Art Blog, with illustrated texts about exhibits at museums, historic artists and other information. Accessed July, 2015.

Louisiana Art from the Encyclopedia of Louisiana, a project of Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, contains entries including: "Artists' Association of New Orleans," "Arts and Crafts Club of New Orleans,""Southern Art Union," Accessed July, 2015.

The Painters' Club of Los Angeles from California Art Club. Accessed July, 2015.

Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts was founded in Chicago in 1895 as an association of representational artists. A Wikipedia page on the organizatiion lists some early members, including several covered in Resource Library articles such as Victor Higgins, Edgar Alwin Payne and Walter Ufer. It is listed in TFAO's Illinois Art History. Accessed April, 2016.

Pasadena Society of Artists of California website. Accessed July, 2015.

A History of the Plastic Club by Barbara MacIlvaine, from the Plastic Club. Accessed July, 2015.

From Magazine Antiques "The Tile Club, Feb, 2000 by Ronald G. Pisano" (Link found expired as of 3/31/11 audit. Source site may contain this content via a revised URL) (3/31/11 advanced search failed to locate content on source's site)

The Oak Park Art League was founded in Oak Park, IL in 1921. It's website says it "...is one of Illinois' longest, continually-running non-profit arts organizations. OPAL fulfills its mission through its offering of high quality art education to people of all ages and skill levels, programs and guest lectures, artist demonstrations and critiques, plus monthly exhibition opportunities in our art gallery." Accessed April, 2016.

Patteran: A Living Force and Moving Power, an exhibit focused on the history of the Buffalo-based Patteran Society founded in 1933 and devoted to modernism. The exhibit was held April 10 - September 27, 2015 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Accessed February, 2016.

The Philadelphia Sketch Club was founded in 1860, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its website says it is "America's oldest club for artists. Since 1860 the PSC has served as a meeting place, forum for ideas, and a vital bridge between the creators and supporters of art. Past luminaries have included such American masters as Eakins and Anshutz." Accessed April, 2016.

The Scarab Club Choose a Google full view books search, enter the words "The Scarab Club" and then when the search results are retrieved click on The Scarab Club, By Michael E. Crane, Christine Renner, Patricia Reed, published 2006. Quote from Google Books: "On the cusp of its centennial anniversary, the Scarab Club (founded in 1907) weaves itself into the city of Detroit's and the state of Michigan's artistic cultural heritage. From its humble beginning as the Hopkin Club to its current status in the 21st century, the Scarab Club focuses on fine, performing, and technical arts and is still housed in its original 1928 building, a historic local, state, and national landmark. The club's exhibitions, programs, and costumed balls, the prominent visitors' and members' signatures on the second-floor beams, and the architectural decor of the clubhouse combine for its unique distinction. From its inception, the Scarab Club's mission has been to educate and enlighten its members and the community in the arts. The organization maintains a clubhouse for the exhibition of arts, provides facilities for artists for the advancement of their craft, and for other activities directed toward the education in the arts." Accessed July, 2015.

"The Taos Society of Artists" by Ernest L. Blumenschein, (via Google Books: full view) The American Magazine of Art, by American Federation of Arts, published in volume 8, September, 1917, pages 445-451. Digitized Jul 2, 2007. Original from Harvard University. Accessed May, 2014

"The Taos Society of Artists 1915-1927," article published in Canyon Road Arts, Volume 2, 2006-2007, Pages 108-119, from Mark Sublette, Medicine Man Gallery. Accessed May, 2014

Taos Society of Artists, from The Harwood Museum of Art. Accessed May, 2014

Taos Society of Artists, from Taos Art Museum at Fechin House. Accessed May, 2014

Taos Society of Artists, 1915-1927, from Koshare Indian Museum. Accessed May, 2014

Taos Society of Artists, from Wikipedia. Accessed May, 2014

The Taos Society of Artists, Paintings from the Olson Family Collection, an exhibit held February 6 - April 26, 2009 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Includes checklist. Accessed 8/14.

Washington Society of Landscape Painters website. Accessed July, 2015.

Wonderland Way Art Club of Indiana, from Payne Fine Arts. Accessed July, 2015.


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