IAA/AIAP's origins

The origins of IAA/AIAP (International Association of Art, in English) can be traced to the Third General Conference of UNESCO, held at Beiruth, Libanon, in 1948. The Director – General was charged with enquiring into 'ways in which artists might serve the aims of UNESCO', and to discover what obstacles of a social, economic, or political order lay in the path of artists in the practice of their art. He was charged, too, with recommending measures by which artists working conditions could be improved and their freedom assured.

The UNESCO Conference, at its sixth Session, in 1951, empowered the Director-General to organize an International Conference of artists to study the actual conditions of artists’ freedom in various countries and to enquire into the means to associate them more closely with UNESCO’s work. Accordingly, in 1952, at a conference of artists held in Venice, 23 governments and 48 associations of artists in 19 countries, declared themselves in favour of the formation of an international association of painters, sculptors and engravers. A provisional council was formed under the chairmanship of Gino Severini (Italy), and a secretariat was opened in UNESCO House in Paris.

In 1954, in Venice, the General Assembly of the fully constituted Association was summoned for the first time and declared the basic aims of IAA/AIAP. At this first Assembly, 18 countries (with National Committees already formed) took part, with observers from another 22 countries. Artists like Miro, Braque, Delaunay, Pasmore, Hartung, Laurencin, Matta, Lurçat, Masson, Vasarely, Moore, Soto, Cesar, Calder, and many others left their print at IAA/AIAP.

Since its creation, UNESCO gave to IAA/AIAP the status of UNESCO partnership NGO with the status of consultative Association.

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