WELCOME to the Washington Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. Founded on 24 April 1895 by twenty-two members living in Washington, the Washington society became the fourth local society of the AIA.
The Washington Society provides its members with between seven and nine lectures on archaeological topics each year presented by excavators and other experts in their field. The Society currently has nearly 300 members of widely varied interests, ages, and backgrounds that add depth and breadth to the intellectual interaction at lectures and at social events such as the Annual Dinner Lecture. New members are cordially welcomed.
The Washington Society’s history is marked by innovative projects and independent actions. In 1921 it organized a subsidiary business company, Art and Archaeology Press with $50,000 of capital stock, to publish a new popular magazine, Art and Archaeology, and in 1934 the Society withdrew from the AIA because of disagreement over the magazine. In 1948, when the AIA began publication of Archaeology, the Washington Society rejoined the national organization on February 2. It then had eighty-nine members.
In 1979, the Society organized a symposium, “Pompeii and the Vesuvian Landscape,” in recognition of the centennial year of the Institute and the 1900th anniversary of the eruption of Vesuvius. The Society also published a museum catalogue, Beyond the Shores of Tripoli, in conjunction with an archaeological exhibition at Harvard University.
In 1982 the Washington Society became the third largest local AIA society in North America, surpassed only by New York City and Southern California. In 1988 it established its first endowed lectureship, the Richard Hubbard Howland Lecture in Classical Archaeology, and in 1991, it added a second endowed lectureship in memory of Louise D. Davison.
On 24 April 1994, the Washington Society celebrated its 100th anniversary with a gala centenary dinner and a lecture by AIA past-president, Martha Joukowsky, at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. In December 1998, it again played host to the joint Annual Meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America and the American Philological Association.