American art association of paris


Opening on May 24, 1890 in the Latin Quarter of Paris, the AAA of Paris was a gathering place for American art students, and reinforcement of their native culture in a foreign land. (On their first Thanksgiving together, members celebrated with turkeys sent over by the Art Students League of New York.) At the time of opening, there were about 1500 American art students in Paris. Indicative of support of the French art establishment was that special guest of the opening event was Jean Leon Gerome, revered teacher of the Academie Julian. Artists seeking membership needed to be American citizens, to have their applications accepted by the Committee on Elections, and to be endorsed by two members in good standing. Formal meetings with elections, and by law matters were in October and May, but activities were continuous. Ongoing AAA programs included many social events such as fancy dress balls, stag nights, ladies' receptions, banjo and glee clubs. Also there were lectures, lantern slide shows, art exhibitions, and a series of ???tableux??? or living pictures based on famous paintings. Gambling and sale of liquor on the premises was forbidden. The Association, ultimately located at Number 74, Rue Notre-Dame des Champs, lasted into the mid 1920s. Members included Blendon Reed Campbell, Alson Skinner Smith, John Fairbanks, Abbot Fuller, Hovsep Pushman, and Irving Ramsey Wiles. Sources: ???The Art Association of Paris by Edmund Henry Wuerpel???, 1894, Times Printing Press; Peter Hastings Falk, ???Who Was Who in American Art???.