HISTORY OF THE AAA
Founded in 1949, the Appraisers Association of America, Inc. is the oldest non-profit professional association of personal property appraisers. Over the years, the appraisal profession has adapted to the fast-paced developments within the arts, legal, and financial communities as well as to the changing needs of private and corporate collectors. The Appraisers Association of America has been a leader in the field by ensuring that appraisers with the AAA credential continue to be a consistently trustworthy source known for the highest standards of ethics, conduct and professionalism.
Early on, the members met monthly in New York at what was then the Belmont Plaza Hotel and hand-typed minutes from a meeting in December 1959 provide insight into the issues and concerns of the members at the time: proceeds from the Antique Show Committee were to benefit the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Cancer Research; Articles III and IV were amended to accommodate changes in the responsibilities of various officers; there were deposits of $1,521.50 that month to the Chemical Corn Bank; and six new applicants were admitted as members. By November 1963, the members were voting to create a Membership Directory, and it was announced that the organization would begin to sponsor courses in the local universities, with members “participating in the teaching of such courses.” Minutes from each meeting were published for distribution to the membership for many years in “The Wise Old Owl,” the newsletter of the Association, which would also announce each forthcoming meeting. The appraisal profession is now just that—a profession and not a trade—with rewards and demands that probably far exceed what the membership could have originally imagined. The Appraisers Association of America has contributed significantly to a wide variety of collaborations with the Internal Revenue Service, The Appraisal Foundation and The Getty Institute, with each project yielding yet another important step in codifying numerous aspects of the appraisal profession.
In 1986, the Appraisers Association of America created The Appraisal Institute of America, a non-profit educational foundation, which functions as the sponsor of our educational programs. Since then, the annual national conference and the monthly lecture series were both established. And now the organization is preparing to take another important step with the launching of a new on-line educational program in affiliation with New York University. This will be an important companion piece to our long-time traditional format program with New York University, one of the single most important training grounds for new appraisers in the country.
The Appraisers Association of America continues to serve the arts, legal, and financial communities and private and corporate collectors, with our members providing appraisals of fine art, decorative arts, jewelry, and household contents to the highest industry standards.