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American Federation of Arts (AFA)

The American Federation of Arts (AFA), a not-for-profit organization, initiates and organizes art exhibitions and provides educational and professional programs in collaboration with the museum community. Established in 1909, the AFA is one of the oldest art organizations in the country.

In 1909, then Secretary of State Elihu Root outlined AFA’s mission in an address to the National Academy of the Arts: to enrich the public’s experience and understanding of art, primarily by taking original works “on tour to the hinterlands of the United States.” Since its founding, the AFA has organized or circulated approximately 3,000 exhibitions, with presentations—in every state, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa—viewed by well over ten million people. Today, the AFA continues to explore new opportunities to cultivate fertile ground for the broadest dissemination and appreciation of the visual arts.

AFA exhibitions encompass a wide range of mediums, artists, historical periods, and cultural traditions, from Roman portraiture and Native American artifacts to American impressionism and contemporary art and sculpture. The AFA also collaborates with distinguished institutions around the world to tour important aspects of their collections. To further engage and inform museum visitors and art enthusiasts, the AFA produces innovative educational components and richly illustrated catalogues introducing original scholarship.

Current Exhibitions:

Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums

Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris

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