American artists professional league

DEFINITION

Founded in 1928 in New York City by 15 members of the Salmagundi Club led by F. Ballard Williams, its purpose was to address "the need for a national organization to meet the increasing interests in traditional realism in American art". Members are approved by a committee of the National Board of Directors. Early focus was on getting portrait commissions for members, and the AAPL, having gained national influence, oversaw the passing of a bill by the U.S. Congress "stipulating that all official portraits paid for with taxpayers' dollars were to be painted by American artists, a fact that remains in effect to this day." Other accomplishments were a color pigment research project in 1932 that improved paint quality and set national standards, updated in 1962; student art study scholarships; and yearly exhibitions of oil, water media, pastels, graphics and sculpture---selected nationally from members. Headquarters are at 47 Fifth Avenue in New York. Member names include Selden Gile, Dean Cornwell, Henry Gasser, Walter Emerson Baum, Jane Peterson, Irving Wiles, Benson Bond Moore, George Elmer Browne, William Silva and Anthony Thieme. Sources: www.americanartistsprofessionalleague; AskART database

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