A Celebration of AICA’s 70th Anniversary / Une Célébration du 70ème anniversaire de l’AICA

1949-50 – 2019-20. The Histories of AICA, continued.


This new, on-line publication of some of AICA’s unrecorded histories, marks the seventieth anniversary of AICA’s foundation, in 1949-50.

It has been produced in response to the editors’ open call for papers to the Presidents of AICA’s 63 national sections, its ‘Open Section’ of unaffiliated critics, and its 5,000 plus individual members, for contextualised accounts of hidden or forgotten histories of the Association at a local, or regional level. The response to this call has been such that we hope to be able to repeat the exercise for 2019-2020 – still within the framework of our seventieth anniversary celebrations - with a view to creating a permanent place for this material on the internet, as a reference  source for scholars and researchers and the possible basis for future publications. Our initiative, which is organised in close collaboration with the Archives de la critique d’art (ACA) in Rennes, and its director, Antje Kramer-Mallordy, both draws on the ACA’s holdings and will contribute to their enrichment. For this reason, we open with an interview between two of the Archives’ founding members, Jean-Marc Poinsot and Jacques Leenhardt (both of them, leading lights within AICA, as well), outlining the history and purpose of the ACA, whose thirtieth anniversary we also celebrate this year.

This first selection of contributions from the AICA sections and individual membership covers the widest possible range of the Association’s activities over the long years of its existence, with a special emphasis on certain geographical areas, such as Africa, and on national sections, whose histories have gone unrecorded, or unnoticed, more widely. In time, it will be supplemented by other contributions and excerpts from AICA’s members and by material from AICA’s main archival holdings, on deposit with the ACA. Many of our contributors have also sent us valuable photographic records, both to illustrate their articles and to add to the holdings of the Archives.

We are greatly indebted to all those colleagues who have responded so readily to our call for papers and devoted their time and energy to helping us to produce this first, rich and varied selection of texts. We also thank Lisbeth Rebollo Gonçalvez, the International President and the Secretariat of AICA for their encouragement and support, as well as Elisa Rusca, chair of the Digital Strategies Committee and her colleagues who have worked on the website. Finally, we should like to express our thanks to the dedicated small team of professionals at the Archives de la critique d’art, in Rennes, on whom we depend for so much in our efforts to bring AICA’s stories to life.

Jean-Marc Poinsot Henry Meyric Hughes

Chair, Publications and Languages                                Chair, Archives and Living Memory