History

The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh is the oldest, continuously-exhibiting, visual arts organization in the country. Founded in 1910, AAP has spent over 100 years as a driving force in Pittsburgh’s dynamic cultural life. Its mission today, as then, is to provide a vital and challenging environment for artists to exhibit new work in the widest possible range of media. Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and managed by a staff of two, AAP serves over 550 members who are selected through a semi-annual open call jury process.

The highlight of AAP’s calendar is the Annual Exhibition often held at the Carnegie Museum of Art. This exhibit is open to all artists 18 years of age and older and living within 150 miles of Pittsburgh. The only continuous annual juried show in the region, the AAP Annual has been host to many renowned artists including Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Philip Pearlstein, Balcomb Green and Andy Warhol.

In 1945, AAP became one of the original founding guilds to establish the Arts and Crafts Center, where it maintained a gallery and office until 1988 when it moved to its own building at 937 Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh. AAP sold that building in 2003; established an endowment; and returned to the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts where it leased office and exhibition space until 2014.  The offices are now locacted in the Ice House Studios at 100 43rd Street, Unit 102, Pittsburgh, PA 15201.

AAP continues to reflect the area’s rich heritage and character. Members make up the core of the region’s visual arts community: they are full time artists, educators and university professors and staff from many non-profit arts organizations, galleries and museums.

In addition to providing exhibition and mentoring opportunity for its artists, AAP is proud to offer a special educational outreach program for Allegheny County children. Now in its 25th year, the hands-on program allows students to work with professional artists in their studios, to learn new methods of producing art while sharing ideas with their AAP instructors.

For further reading on AAP’s history, please see: “The First 75 years,” 1910-1985, by Mary Brignano, “Seventy-Five Years of Pittsburgh Art: Its Influence, ”curated by Anita F. Morganstern, and “Popular Salon of the People,” written by Dr. Vicky A. Clark and made possible through the National Endowments for the Arts. Artist records are now available at the library of the John Heinz History Center.