Association of american painters and sculptors

DEFINITION

The organization that sponsored the landmark Armory Show exhibition of 1913, it was formed in 1911 by a group of New York artists who were dissatisfied with working within the exhibition and stylistic constraints of the National Academy of Design. Organizers did not espouse any specific style or subject matter of art, but had the common goal of casting aside restrictions they regarded as inhibiting. The immediate aim of the group was to find suitable exhibition space for young American artists and to "lead the public taste in art, rather than follow it". After preliminary meetings between painters including Jerome Myers, Elmer MacRae, and Walt Kuhn, they held a meeting at the Madison Gallery on December 16, 1911 to create a new artists??? organization. At a subsequent meeting on January 2, 1912, they elected officers and began to discuss exhibition plans. The president, Julian Alden Weir, who had been elected in 'absentia', resigned, so the leadership passed to Arthur B. Davies. The revolutionary Armory Show of 1913 was then organized by AAPS members, who sent invitations, which included European modernists. The result was an introduction of their styles including Cubism in America. For many years, the extensive financial records of this Armory Show appeared to be lost, but were found in 1958 at the Bush-Holley House during its restoration at Cos Cob Connecticut. The home had been the Holley Inn, and Elmer MacRae, the treasurer of the AAPS, married Constant Holley. The couple lived at the Bush-Holley House from 1900 until his death in 1958, and the treasurer's records and other papers were found among his possessions. Source: Milton Brown, "The Story of the Armory Show"

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