The Artists International Association, (AIA), 1933-1971

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The Artists International Association was founded in 1933 by a small group of people led by Misha Black. Its membership quickly grew throughout the 1930s and 1940s (930 members by 1945) so that in 1947 it was able to acquire permanent premises in Lisle Street. It remained there until 1971 when the lease expired on the property and the society was dissolved. The organisation was run by a chairman and secretary with the help of a Central Committee of between 11 and 21 members. Supporting this were a number of sub-committees which had responsibility for particular areas of activity. The main sub-committees dealt with the following: the bulletin or newsletter, education, exhibitions, lectures, membership and recruitment, regional groups and social activities. In addition to these, special sub-committees were formed to deal with particular issues, for instance, the prints committee created in 1951 (TGA 7043/2/26), and were dissolved when no longer required. The activities of the association included the arranging of exhibitions, lectures, conferences and social gatherings, the formation of regional groups and the publication of a newsletter or bulletin. From 1950, the Society also ran a Picture Lending Library. This was given to the Camden Arts Trust in 1971. It also provided information and legal advice to artists, endeavoured to help artists in distress, for example, in Germany after the war (TGA 7043/2/13), and formed a club where artists could congregate. The importance of the AIA can be measured by the fact that few British artists working within the period 1933-1971 did not have some association with it.

From the guide to the Papers of the Artists International Association, 1933-1971, (Tate Gallery Archive)

Archival Resources
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creatorOf Papers of the Artists International Association, 1933-1971 Tate Gallery Archive
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SNAC ID: 21498685