From Studio to Doorstep: Associated American Artist Prints (1934-2000) is the 11th in a series of exhibitions at the Arthur Ross Gallery drawn from the University of Pennsylvania’s Art Collection.
The exhibition features works of art on paper produced by Associated American Artists (AAA), a company founded in New York in 1934 with the intention of revolutionizing the art market. Instead of focusing on the elite class of collectors traditionally associated with galleries and museums, AAA’s core audience was the burgeoning middle class whom they reached through advertising in popular magazines and newspapers, selling limited- edition prints by well-known contemporary artists via mail-order for $5 each.
AAA was a source of economic security during precarious times for the participating artists, as they were paid in advance for their designs. For consumers, the prints were aspirational, offering membership into the world of art and artists and solidifying one’s standing as a person of good taste with a well-appointed home.