The Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society was formed in London in 1887 to promote the exhibition of decorative arts alongside fine arts. Its exhibitions, held annually at the New Gallery from 1888-90, and roughly every three years thereafter, were important in the flowering of the British Arts and Crafts Movement in the decades prior to World War I. The illustrator and designer Walter Crane served as the founding president of the Society for its first three years. Annual exhibitions were held at the New Gallery in 1888, 1889, and 1890, but the third exhibition failed to match the quality of the first two, and was a financial disaster. William Morris succeeded Crane as president in 1891, and the Society thereafter chose to reduce the frequency of showings in order to ensure an abundance of materials to display.