This chapter suggests to balance analysis of the broad shifts in the discursive realm with an account of the professional project of the watercolour societies themselves, the Society of Painters in Water Colours, and the New Society of Painters in Water Colours. It examines the role played by institutions in promoting a specific notion of professional identity, in encouraging the association of the medium with national pride, and in creating a distinctive arena for the selling and viewing of works. The emergence of a professional ideology for art, based, notionally at least, on the ideal of disinterested public service, was a crucial element in the development of the Victorian art system. The societies may have been in agreement about not contemplating a union with the Royal Academy, but they were increasingly divided over the advisability of combining to form a single representative body. The association of watercolour, and the exhibitions with the domestic, stemmed from a combination of factors.