Purpose and Objectives

Board of Directors

Aki Kano-President

Arlyne Berzak-Vice President

Fran Wood-Recording Secretary

Sheldon Marks- Treasurer 

Gary Eckhart

Lee Gobbi

Jodie Kain

Barry Shiff

Social Media

Annie Strack

Executive Assistant

Alex Tibar


Nydia Preede

Norma Rosenthal
Helen Rudy
Gail Schulman

President Emeritus
Sheldon Marks

Peter Rossi
Larry Mallory

Konrad Hansalik


To advance the cause of the fine arts in America, through the promotion of high standards of beauty, integrity and craftsmanship in painting, sculpture and the graphic arts.

To emphasize the importance of order and coherent communication as prime requisites of works of art through exhibitions and publications.

Membership Levels

Associate Member
Elected Artist Member
Fellow Member
Fellow Maxim Cuma Laude Member
Signature Member
Life Member


In January 1928, F. Ballard Williams, Assistant Treasurer of the National Academy of Design in New York, called a meeting of fifteen members of the Salmagundi Club. The purpose: to discuss the need for a national organization to meet the increasing interests in traditional realism in American art. Most attending were prominent academicians of their day. The attendees all agreed that an organization designed to protect artists' interests and promote traditional American art was necessary and The American Artists Professional League (AAPL) was born.

Early Efforts

The AAPL first focused on the issue of obtaining commissions of official portraits for American Artists. By using its national stature, the AAPL influenced a rider to a Congressional Bill stipulating that all official portraits paid for with taxpayers' dollars were to be painted by American artists: a fact that remains in effect to this day.

Another milestone for the organization was the improvement of the chemical and physical purity of artists' pigments. By securing a fund from the Carnegie Corporation Endowment Fund, a program of color pigment research was established for the AAPL. It was completed in 1932, making the AAPL the country's leading authority on artists' pigments at that time. The AAPL was also instrumental in establishing and securing the U.S. Bureau of Standards original set of government-sponsored standards for artists' colors, updated in 1962.

Grand National Art Exhibition

In its ongoing effort to promote and encourage artists specializing in realistic art forms, the AAPL has staged a Grand National Exhibition for over 83 years. Each year, hundreds of applicants from all 50 states in all media submit their work for review by a selection committee consisting of professional artists in the fields of oil, water-media, pastel,  graphics and sculpture.

The American Artists Fund

Fifty-five years ago, by Board resolution in 1958, the AAPL created the American Artists Fund, an arm of the organization specifically designed for educational and charitable purposes. Through private and corporate donations and contributions to the Fund, the AAPL sponsors its Grand National Exhibition and awards scholarships to college level students studying American art.

If you would like to assist the American Artists Professional League in its continuing efforts to recognize, encourage and support traditional American art and Artists, please consider making a contribution to the Scholarship Fund, establishing a Memorial Fund in honor of a loved one, or making a testamentary bequest to the American Artists Fund. Please contact your legal advisor, accountant or the AAPL office for further information.

All donations to the American Artists Fund are welcome, great or small, and are fully tax deductible under IRC 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) to the extent permitted by law. A copy of the latest annual report of the American Artists Fund may be obtained by requesting same from the American Artists Professional League, Inc., 47 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003, or from the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.

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