Skip to Main Content

American Watercolors

Resources on watercolor societies from the 19th and 20th centuries in New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston.


American Watercolor Society

The founding of the American Watercolor Society (AWS) in December 1866 launched a series of annual exhibitions the following year, initially in conjunction with the winter exhibition of the National Academy of Design (NAD) in New York. Beginning in 1874, when the NAD’s winter exhibitions ceased, the AWS organized their annuals independently, for about twenty-five years at the NAD and then in other locations. The catalogues for these exhibitions have been gathered and made accessible here as a complete run, from the first exhibition in 1867/68 to 1922, when the AWS began to exhibit jointly with the New York Water Color Club. Included below is an analytical chart of the entire run of exhibitions (1867–1922) and a chronology of the AWS and the larger watercolor movement during these years, the latter published as Appendix C in American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent.






To suggest additions or corrections, please contact


We are grateful to the custodians of the original catalogues for allowing us to include them here: Frick Art Reference Library, New York; Thomas J. Watson Library of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Winterthur Library, Delaware.