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Who is The Fellowship?

The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is one of the oldest Alumni art nonprofits in America. Staffed solely by volunteers, speaks of the impressive loyalty and dedication of our Alumni Board and professional advisors. It is a 501(c)(3) independent charitable corporation with its sole purpose to benefit PAFA Academy Alumni.


About Our Beginnings:

On Monday evening, April 19, 1897, approximately five hundred people met in the Pennsylvania Academy lecture room to form an organization of alumni that would come to be known worldwide as “The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.” They came together at the behest of Edward H. Coates, President of PAFA, and Harrison S. Morris, Managing Director. The idea had been endorsed by 32 prominent artists. Robert Vonnoh, a former student and later Academy instructor, suggested that a notice be sent to several thousand alumni. As stated in the notice of the meeting, those in attendance at this initial gathering were then, as now, affirming their interest "in the welfare of the Academy and the benefits to be derived from a common purpose and close union." That night the Philadelphia painter, Charles Dana, was elected as president along with six vice presidents, including Cecilia Beaux and Charles H. Stevens.


In 1926 the Mary Butler Trust was started along with the Henry J, Thouron Trust. These funds allow our Board to purchase artworks from Academy Alumni annually. The result is a large exciting collection owned and maintained by our Fellowship organization.


After 125 years we are still going strong. We remain "Artists Helping Artists."

Please visit our website to see all the things we do:

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