In 1916 the directors of twelve American museums founded the Association of Art Museum Directors. The Association began its transformation into a professional organization in 1969 when it formally incorporated. At that time the Association also hired an employee, and increased its meetings from once to twice a year. AAMD's charter members were motivated by a desire to create an intimate forum to share news and ideas. The AAMD has maintained a limited membership bringing the directors into closer contact with their peers at a wide variety of leading art institutions.