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Board of Directors Election

Elizabeth Otto, University at Buffalo, State University of New York


Elizabeth Otto, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Given the chance, I would be honored to serve on CAA’s Board of Directors, where I would seek to help shape our common future in relation to the significant opportunities and challenges that face visual-arts and museum professionals today. Through its advocacy, career-development services, conferences, and publications, CAA has played an essential role in every step of my career path since I joined nearly two decades ago. I have been active in CAA’s conferences and affiliated societies, and it would be a pleasure to now participate even more directly by serving on its board. If elected, I would be a tireless advocate for our organization’s membership. I would bring a keen eye to CAA’s 2010–15 Strategic Plan, which will enable our organization to continue expanding its offerings by focusing on new possibilities for digital media to serve members and on strengthening CAA’s infrastructure and financial position.

In the coming years, CAA will be able to provide leadership on a number of crucial issues. These include the ongoing crises in funding, which have resulted in decreased numbers of permanent faculty and staff and a concurrent rise in adjunct positions and contract work. These arts professionals often have little institutional backing, and CAA could expand its support for them. Further, with recent acts of censorship and mounting threats to arts funding, another round of Culture Wars may again be upon us; CAA’s century-long tradition of arts advocacy enables the organization to take a strong stand for intellectual freedom and integrity. My experience working closely with artists, museum professionals, and art historians would allow me to serve CAA’s diverse membership as we move forward in an era of challenge and possibility.


A scholar, teacher, and curator, Elizabeth Otto is associate professor of art history and visual studies at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She teaches modern and contemporary art to students from introductory through doctoral levels, with an emphasis on gender studies, museum studies, and media culture. Otto wrote Tempo, Tempo! The Bauhaus Photomontages of Marianne Brandt (2005) and organized its accompanying exhibition, which was shown at the Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, Harvard University’s Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the International Center of Photography in New York. She has published a number of scholarly articles and recently coedited The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film from the 1870s through the 1960s (2011). Her current book project is Haunted Bauhaus: Spirit and Body in the Home of Rationalized Culture.

Otto has received national and international awards and fellowships from the American Association of University Women, the Berlin Program for German and European Studies, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, among others. Her extensive service record includes the organization of international conferences and her work as a board member for several scholarly institutions and as a peer reviewer for academic presses, journals, and fellowship-granting organizations. Otto holds advanced degrees in art history from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario (MA) and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (PhD). She has lived, studied, and worked in Canada, France, Germany, Holland, and South Korea.


I have known Elizabeth Otto since she was at Oberlin College; she was one of the best students I had there over a twenty-three year period. I am extremely proud of her accomplishments. Her awards and honors began to accumulate early on, starting with her highly coveted paid summer internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994. She has written numerous articles and books, organized conferences, curated exhibitions, served her university on many committees, and received an astonishing number of major research grants. She also has been an active participant in CAA activities and affiliated societies for close to two decades. Libby is passionately engaged in her field and would bring her whole range of experience to the board. I am sure that she would help energize all of us on the board and be a great collaborator and an advocate for CAA’s diverse membership.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, she is a warm and generous person who works very hard for what she believes in. Her curiosity, lively intellect, easygoing personality, and joy in life and work make her an excellent candidate for the board. I have no doubt that she would be an eager participant in board meetings, and would offer new and valuable ideas for CAA’s future.

—Patricia Mathews, Professor of Art History, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York; Member, CAA Board of Directors


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How to Vote

CAA members may vote for up to four candidates, including one write-in candidate (who must be a CAA member). The four candidates receiving the most votes will be elected to the board. CAA members may cast their votes and submit their proxies online; no paper ballots will be mailed. Please have your CAA user/member ID# and password handy when you are ready to vote. All voting must take place by 5:00 PM PST on Friday, February 24, 2012. CAA will provide a computer dedicated to the election in the registration area at the upcoming 100th Annual Conference in Los Angeles.

Barbara Nesin, CAA board president, will present the election results at the close of the next Annual Members’ Business Meeting, to be held on Friday, February 24, 2012, 5:30–7:00 PM (PST) in the West Hall Meeting Room 503, Level 2, Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California.

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