Guide to the Allied Craftsmen of San Diego Records MS 162

Finding aid prepared by Aimee Santos
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
September 27, 2011

Title: Allied Craftsmen of San Diego Records
Identifier/Call Number: MS 162
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1954-2000
Abstract: This collection consists of materials from the Allied Craftsmen of San Diego records dated 1954 to 2000, including meeting minutes, finances, exhibition brochures, and reports.
creator: Allied Craftsmen of San Diego.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The Allied Craftsmen of San Diego, founded by Lloyd Ruocco, originated as a small craft group within a large multi-media organization called the Allied Artists’ Council. This large organization folded in 1946, but the small group continued to meet. They found their associations with each other mutually stimulating and in November 1947, identified themselves as the Allied Craftsmen of San Diego. Several officers were elected, including Margaret Price, their first elected President, and a meeting schedule was set up for each month to develop programs, and to discuss and share crafts-related information. Not often were there more than about sixty artists at one time. Pottery, weaving, wood sculpting, and enameling, to name a few, were showcased by the artisans. The main focus of the organization was to encourage art and craftsmanship in San Diego County by promoting local artisans, producing exhibitions, and selling their work.
In 1947, the Allied Craftsmen were invited to present a show at the Sunset Gallery (wartime quarters of the Fine Arts Gallery). Their presentation, entitled the Allied Craftsmen Fine Arts Gallery Show, proved to be such a success that it became annual event, running through 1973. Their popularity continued through the 1980s and as a result, the Allied Craftsmen officially became incorporated on November 3, 1986.
The Allied Craftsmen first Christmas sales shows were held at the Spanish Village in 1948, 1949, and 1950. Just like the Gallery shows, they were very successful and continued year after year in numerous locations such as Orr’s Gallery, Dean Marshall’s in La Jolla, Sanford Robertson’s in Mission Valley, the Wednesday Club House, and the Unitarian Church on Front Street.
In order to maintain their status in the community, the Allied Craftsmen aimed to include only the top craftsmen in San Diego County. Finding a fair and practical method for acquiring new members had been an issue for a number of years. They tried, modified, and discarded many different systems including membership by invitation only, sponsorship by a member, guest exhibition, jurying by committee, screening by media groups, and discussion of candidates at meetings. The group finally proposed a satisfactory procedure for Active Membership by secret ballot, without discussion, on the work submitted by the candidates.
Social events were a top priority and every year the group held a Christmas party which began in the early 1950s and a summer beach party at Margaret Barlow’s in Carlsbad which began in the mid 1960s.
Membership would grow to bring in skilled artisans in ceramics, enamel, fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, metals, mixed media, and wood. The Allied Craftsmen of San Diego continue to maintain their status as a well respected, professional organization.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.


Items in the collection are arranged by subject.

Preferred Citation

Allied Craftsmen of San Diego Records, MS 162, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Aimee Santos on September 27, 2011.
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Separated Materials

Scrapbooks on the Allied Craftsman are located in SB 100. The scrapbooks are in nearly perfect chronological order during the years of 1945-1983. They contain mostly newspaper clippings focusing on annual or special events, along with the achievements of the members and the artistic growth of San Diego during these years. Also included are lists of exhibits, members, manifestos, AAC pamphlets, membership invitations, exhibit programs, and advertisements for art as well as boutiques. The photographs of members and exhibits are predominately black and white. On the inside cover of the first scrapbook there is an index of members as well as their status. There is also a manila folder containing member lists and duties, exhibit lists, manifestos, two clippings, a pamphlet, and a membership invitation that may have originally been part of the scrapbooks.

Scope and Content

The collection includes duties and policies of the Allied Craftsmen of San Diego, membership lists and requirements, meeting minutes, steering committee minutes, and newsletters. Other housekeeping duties such as taking attendance during meetings and resolving financial matters are evident in the collection including attendance rosters and receipts. Brochures advertising exhibitions are also included from the years 1966-1985. Of specific interest is a brief history of the Allied Craftsmen of San Diego, a list of Presidents from 1947 to 1977, and Articles of Incorporation from November 3, 1986 signed by President Georgia K. Laris.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Allied Craftsmen of San Diego.
Atkinson, Doris
Barlow, Margaret
Fisch, Arline M.
Hicks, Dorothy H.
Laris, Georgia K.
Price, Margaret
Ruocco, Lloyd
Tanzer, JoAnn
Van Doren, Phyllis
Wasserman, Isabelle
Woolley, Ellamarie
Art -- Societies, etc.
San Diego (Calif.)

Box-folder 1:1

History, 1947-1986 and undated


“History of the Allied Craftsmen,” undated
Allied Craftsmen Presidents, 1947-1977
Articles of Incorporation, November 3, 1986
Box-folder 1:2

Duties, policies and procedures, 1976 June-1977 June and undated


Duties of Officers and Chairpersons
Policies and membership requirements
Box-folder 1:3

Membership information, 1960-1981


Active membership rosters
Box-folder 1:4

Meeting minutes, 1954 July 22-1958 August 18

Box-folder 1:5

Meeting minutes, 1959 November 20-1960 November 18

Box-folder 1:6

Meeting minutes, 1961 January 13-1963 November 15

Box-folder 1:7

Meeting minutes, 1964 January 17-1965 November 18

Box-folder 1:8

Meeting minutes, 1966 January 21-1967 November

Box-folder 1:9

Meeting minutes, 1968 January-1969 November 14

Box-folder 1:10

Meeting minutes, 1970 January 16-1971 November 20

Box-folder 1:11

Meeting minutes, 1972 January 21-1974 July 21

Box-folder 1:12

Meeting minutes, 1975 January 17-1976 November 19

Box-folder 1:13

Meeting minutes, 1977 January 18-1979 December 15

Box-folder 1:14

Meeting minutes, 1980 January 18-1985 April 26

Box-folder 1:15

Steering Committee minutes, 1962 December 12-1983 February 1

Box-folder 1:16

Newsletters, 1974-1975 October 17

Box-folder 1:17

Newsletters, 1976 January 16-November

Box-folder 1:18

Newsletters, 1977 January-1978 December 16 and undated

Box-folder 1:19

Newsletters, 1979 January-1987 October and undated

Box-folder 1:20

Attendance rosters, 1959 February-1978 June

Box-folder 1:21

Finances, 1968-1978 November 6


Treasurer financial report, November 15, 1968
Receipts and statements, August 3-November 6, 1978
Box-folder 1:22

Brochures, 1966 November 15-1985 August 18


Brochures from various exhibitions, one of which presents Ellamarie Woolley, a prominent member of the Allied Craftsmen.
Box-folder 1:23

Reports, 1979, 2000 February


“Allied Craftsmen – 30th Annual Spring Exhibition” by Isabelle Wasserman, 1979
“Hooked on Fisch: At Home with a Living Treasure” by Phyllis Van Doren, February 2000
Box-folder 1:24

Miscellanea, 1963 March 8, 1975 and undated


Proposal for “California Craftsmen’s Council,” March 8, 1963
“New Information on Allied Craftsmen New York Exhibition,” 1975
Allied Craftsmen Spring Exhibition Item Submission Form signed by Jo Ann Tanzer, undated