American Watercolor Society
The American Watercolor Society held its first exhibition, as the American Society of Painters in Water Colors, in the fall of 1867, and has continued to hold annual exhibitions to the present day. In 1878, the name was changed to The American Water Color Society, and the Society was incorporated in 1903. AWS was established at the cusp of watercolor's emergence as a popular medium in fine art, rather than just a sketching tool. Since its humble beginnings, AWS has actively promoted watercolor and the artists who work in the medium. On occasion, the Society has also selected an outstanding artist or individual who has contributed to the advancement of fine art in general and watercolor in particular. This person is so honored by receiving the highest AWS honor, the Dolphin Medal, at the annual awards banquet. At the 100th Anniversary exhibition of the AWS, sponsored by and held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1967, AWS president, Mario Cooper, proclaimed: “It is the hope of The American Watercolor Society that the present exhibition will make the public more conscious of the long and continuing tradition of the art of watercolor painting in America" ... a statement which remains true to this day.
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