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Allied Artists’ Association [A.A.A.].

Organization established in London in 1908, dedicated to non-juried exhibitions of international artists’ work. The main impetus for the A.A.A. came from Frank Rutter (1876–1937), art critic of the Sunday Times, and the first exhibition was held at the Albert Hall, London. Inspired by the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, Rutter wanted to set up an exhibiting platform for the work of progressive artists. On payment of a subscription, artists were entitled to exhibit five works (subsequently reduced to three) and over 3000 items were included in the first show. Rutter also wanted the A.A.A. to have a foreign section and for the first exhibition collaborated with Jan de Holewinski (1871–1927), who had been sent to London to organize an exhibition of Russian arts and crafts.


The Allied Artists Association was founded by Frank Rutter, art critic of The Sunday Times newspaper, in 1908.

It purpose was to provide a platform for the exhibition and promotion of modernist art in Britain. The AAA organised exhibitions at various venues, most notably an annual Salon, modelled partly on European Secessionist exhibitions, and particularly the Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris. In an advertisement for the AAA in 1917, in the literary journal Art and Letters, it was announced that the aim of the AAA was to organise exhibitions without the use of a selecting jury, with each member having 'the right to show any three works he (or she) pleases and to have one work hung on the line.'

The Irish painter Paul Henry was a founder member of the AAA, and exhibited in its first exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall in 1908. Percy Wyndham Lewis, Christopher Nevinson and Harold Gilman all exhibited at the 1912 AAA show also at the Royal Albert Hall, and it was also at this exhibition that the novelist Michael Sadleir bought the works by the expressionist painter Wassily Kandinsky, the first time work by this artist had been seen in Britain. Wyndham Lewis and Edward Wadsworth both exhibited Vorticist compositions at the AAA show held at the Holland Park Ice Rink in June 1914.

In June 1917 the AAA held a show at the Grafton Galleries, London, where the art critic, poet and novelist Herbert Read sold a number of abstract drawings.


Workshop, c. 1914–15 by Wyndham Lewis,
in the Tate Collection.



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