The Beginning

In the autumn of 1900, a group of dedicated painters founded the Philadelphia Water Color Club to raise the esteem of watercolor in the art world because at that time, oils and sculpture commonly dominated art exhibitions.

The Twentieth Century

Over the years, our annual exhibitions of watercolor and other works on paper (pastel, acrylic, pencil and charcoal) have evolved into open and international events. A distinguished permanent collection consisting of works by members such as Cecilia Beaux, Andrew Wyeth, Violet Oakley, Maxfield Parrish, John Singer Sargent (image below) and Pablo Picasso was presented to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On January 15, 2000, the name “Philadelphia Water Color Society” was adopted to reflect its nature and scope.

John Singer Sargeant


More than 500 international artists working in a broad variety of media on paper comprise the Philadelphia Water Color Society membership. Many are frequent award winners in major national exhibitions and have authored books or are featured artists in various publications. For more than 100 years PWCS has maintained its contribution to the arts by providing a venue for all artists to exhibit their work in a broad media, win awards and scholarships, and develop their art in workshops. We take great pleasure in continuing our rich artistic heritage and welcome you to join the tradition.
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