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American Art Association

American Art Association-Anderson Galleries, Inc.; Anderson Galleries; American Art Galleries


The founding members of the American Art Association were James Fountain Sutton, R. Austin Robertson, and Thomas E. Kirby. They leased the American Art Gallery, 6-8 E. 23rd Street, for exhibitions, while major auctions were first held at the Chickering Hall auditorium, Fifth Avenue and 18th Street.

1885 - The first auction is held by the American Art Gallery when George I. Seney's Metropolitan Bank fails in 1885, forcing him to liquidate his paintings. This deal is made possible for the AAG by the genius and insight of the auctioneer, Thomas E. Kirby.

1892 - R. Austin Robertson retires.

1895 - James F. Sutton withdraws from the firm.

c.1900 - AAG moves to the New Plaza Hotel at 5th Ave. and 18th Street.

1917 - American Art Gallery's competition, the Anderson Galleries, move into the former headquarters of the Arion Society at Park Ave. and 59th St. Mitchell Kennerly is the owner and director.

1922 - AAG moves its headquarters once again to Madison Avenue and 57th Street.

1923 - Hiram Parke and Otto Bernet are hired by Cortland Field Bishop, the new owner of AAA.

1927 - Bishop buys out the competition, Anderson Galleries, for $417,500, although the two galleries maintain separate houses.

1929 The galleries formally merge into "American Art Association-Anderson Galleries, Inc." In the same year the 489 Park Ave. gallery closes and the 30 E. 57th Street building is opened.

1937 - Parke, Bernet, and much of the staff leave to form Parke-Bernet (which would become associated with Sotheby & Co. of London in 1964).


International Studio (November 1929):8
Norton, Thomas E. [Foreword by Douglas Dillon]. 100 Years of Collecting in America; The Story of Sotheby Parke Bernet. New York, 1984: 12-13, 17.

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