The Irish Association of Art Historians is concerned with the advancement of the study of the history of art at every level in Ireland: in art galleries and museums, in universities, in art schools and departments, in the school system, and through independent scholarship and publication.

The Association began when James White, then Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, circulated a letter to a number of persons involved with the history of art in Ireland.  This led to the founding of the Association at its first meeting on 29 February 1972. James White was elected Chairman, James Ford-Smith; Hon. Secretary, and Homan Potterton the Assistant Secretary.  The first Executive Committee, apart from the Officers, comprised of M. Boydell, M. Craig, T. Delaney, E. Kane, J. Sheehy and R. Stalley. In subsequent years, Secretaries were John Hutchinson and John Turpin.  As Chairman, James White was succeeded by Anne Crookshank. Since then, most of the people involved with art history in Ireland have been Members of the Association at one time or other.  There is an Executive Committee, elected at the Annual General Meeting, which manages the Association.  All work is done on a voluntary basis.