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CAA News

New Board Officers Elected

posted by Vanessa Jalet

New officers for the CAA Board of Directors were chosen by the board at its last meeting, held on March 1, 2009. These officers join the CAA president and executive director in forming the Executive Committee. The new officers start their work at the next board meeting, taking place on May 3.

Andrea Kirsh, an independent scholar and curator, is vice president for external affairs; Mary-Ann Milford-Lutzker of Mills College was reelected to a second year as vice president for committees; Sue Gollifer of the University of Brighton was elected vice president for Annual Conference; Anne Collins Goodyear of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, is now vice president for publications; and Barbara Nesin of Spelman College was reelected secretary. Jeffrey P. Cunard of Debevoise & Plimpton and John Hyland, Jr., of McFarland, Dewey & Company were both reappointed to their posts of counsel and treasurer, respectively.

Paul Jaskot of DePaul University is in the second and last year of his term as CAA board president, and Linda Downs remains the organization’s executive director.

Results from the 2009–13 board election were announced earlier this month. CAA is still seeking nominations and self-nominations for individuals interested in serving on CAA’s board for the 2010–14 term.

Schools Nationwide Reducing PhD Admissions

posted by Christopher Howard

Top research schools nationwide—including Emory University, Columbia University, Brown University, and the University of South Carolina—are reducing admissions to their PhD programs. Because of the recession, reports Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed, “some universities’ doctoral classes will be taking a significant hit, with potential ramifications down the road for the academic job market, the availability of teaching assistants, and the education of new professors.”

Reining in stipends and fellowships is one leading factor for limiting admissions, as is the need to cut program budgets. Some believe things will return to normal when the economy picks up, but the recent breadth of graduates compared with a shrinking labor market and dearth of teaching jobs may see admission reductions stay.

In related news, Fay Hansen of Workforce Management analyzes recent surveys by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute and about hiring statistics and practices for freshly minted undergraduates, which “reflect a long-term trend toward producing more college graduates than labor markets can absorb.”

The article—which describes the current situation where “1.5 million undergraduates [who] will receive their bachelor’s degrees this year . . . will collide with 1.85 million workers with bachelor’s degrees or higher who are currently unemployed”—is far from encouraging. Some findings include:

  • Some companies are retreating from hiring experienced candidates in favor of new college graduates, “primarily because of costs”
  • The disparity between undergraduate majors and available jobs has been exacerbated by the recession. For example, 83,297 students graduated with visual and performing art degrees, and 88,134 in psychology, but only 67,045 and 47,480 students received degrees in engineering and computer and information sciences, respectively. The mismatch continues at the graduate level, with humanities master’s degrees earned outnumbering those in sciences
  • Recruiters are pressuring for direct access to professors about the best students, bypassing schools’ own career-services programs

Most troubling for art and art history is that 6 percent of those employers surveyed by are seeking liberal arts and humanities graduates, compared to 36 percent for engineering and 18 percent for computer science.

Filed under: Education, Workforce

Session Audio from Los Angeles Conference Available

posted by Christopher Howard

“Toward an Art Pedagogy for the Twenty-First Century,” “Torture, Extraordinary Renditions, and the Aesthetics of Disappearance,” and “About Face: Portrait, Mask, and Facial Expression in Mesoamerica and the Andes, 6000 BC–AD 1600”—these are titles of only three of the many exciting sessions from the 2009 Annual Conference in Los Angeles. They are also available as audio recordings from Conference Media. Nearly eighty sessions—including special Saturday sessions hosted by the Feminist Art Project—are included.

A set of MP3 audio recordings from the conference is available for only $149.95, either as a download or on interactive CD-ROMs. Individual sessions, available only as downloads, are $24.95 each. Please visit Conference Media to view the list of sessions and to order.

Whether you took part in, attended, or missed a particular conference session, these recordings are a must-have for your library, research, or teaching. Listen to them while walking across campus, while driving in your car or using public transportation, or while relaxing in your home.

You can also purchase session audio recordings from the 2006–8 conferences in Boston, New York, and Dallas–Fort Worth.

Photo: A 2009 Annual Conference session (photograph by Brad Marks)

Filed under: Annual Conference

March 2009 Issue of The Art Bulletin Published

posted by Christopher Howard

The March 2009 issue of The Art Bulletin, the leading publication of international art-historical scholarship, has been published and was mailed to CAA members earlier this month.

Special to this issue is the publication of Picasso’s Closet, a play by the Chilean American writer and Duke University professor Ariel Dorfman, which examines Pablo Picasso’s thorny politics and raises questions about the role of an artist during wartime. The art historians Pepe Karmel and Patricia Leighton and the theorist Mieke Bal respond.

Two essays examine on art and culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France. Judy Sund reads Antoine Watteau’s Les charmes de la vie as a commentary on the ways that nature was domesticated and aestheticized for wealthy Parisians, with the artist standing as mediator between the realms of culture and nature. Meanwhile, Jennifer Olmsted considers how Eugène Delacroix’s The Sultan of Morocco and His Entourage was at odds with the triumphalist paintings of French domination over North Africa that were also on view at the Salon of 1845 in Paris.

This issue of The Art Bulletin also contains four book reviews on Roman visuality, the Buddhist afterlife in art, the Psalter of Saint Louis, and African architecture. Please read the full table of contents for more details.

Filed under: Art Bulletin, Publications

Online Database Links Three Major Art Research Libraries

posted by Christopher Howard

Whether you’re researching ancient Egyptian art, provenance in Renaissance Italy, modern Latin American art, or contemporary artist’s books, three major New York–based institutions—the Museum of Modern Art, the Frick Collection, and the Brooklyn Museum—have joined forces to help you. The libraries and archives of these three museums recently launched Arcade, an online database that allows researchers worldwide to search their combined resources through a single interface.

Searches may be limited not only by library location—the MoMA library, for example, has two research sites in the city—but also by format specifications, including auction catalogues, artist’s books, primary-source and archival materials, and digital resources. For older users of these collections, Arcade provides specific searching using Dadabase (MoMA’s catalogue), FRESCO (Frick Research Catalog Online), and Brookmuse (the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives catalogue).

Other features include relevancy ranking of results, a searchable table-of-contents in thousands of records, book-jacket images, icons that identify categories of results, and links to Google Books files. RSS feeds provide up-to-date headlines of news in the art world. Featured lists present the collections in new ways. Links to recent acquisitions, finding aids, bibliographies, new digital collections, and library blogs are also offered in Arcade.

Filed under: Digital Issues, Libraries, Research

US Court Appeal May Overturn Ban on Foreign Scholar

posted by Christopher Howard

On Tuesday, March 23, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will reconsider the case of a Swiss professor and Muslim scholar, Tariq Ramadan, who was banned from entering the country in 2004, reports John Schwartz of the New York Times. Based on a provision for ideological exclusion in the USA Patriot Act, Ramadan was declined a visa by the US government to travel to America and take a position at the University of Notre Dame.

The American Academy of Religion, the American Association of University Professors, and PEN American Center all support the American Civil Liberties Union, which is challenging a 2007 ruling that upheld the government’s decision. Arguing for Americans’ First Amendment rights to hear Ramadan, this coalition is also calling on the new presidential administration to end ideological exclusion.

The Patriot Act allows the US to deny a visa to anyone whom it believes has endorsed or espoused terrorist activity or persuaded others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity. The ACLU, however, claims the government used the provision more broadly to deny entry to scholars, writers, and activists whose political views it disfavored. After the ACLU initially filed suit, Schwartz reports, the government asserted that Ramadan made contributions from 1998 to 2002 to a charity in Switzerland, called the Association de Secours Palestinien, which the Treasury Department had deemed a Hamas-affiliated terrorist organization.

New York Legislator Seeks to Curb Museum Sales

posted by Christopher Howard

A bill drafted by Richard L. Brodsky, an assemblyman in the New York State Legislature, aims to prevent museums from paying for general operating expenses with the sales of artworks. Brodsky collaborated with the New York State Board of Regents and the Museum Association of New York in response, in part, to a recent deaccession by the National Academy Museum and the planned sale of works from the upstate historic site Fort Ticonderoga, as well as the decision by Brandeis University to close the Rose Art Museum in Massachusetts.

Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times reports that the board of regents already has regulations on the sale of art in place, but that these rules were too general. The proposed bill would echo standards by the American Association of Museums and Association of Art Museum Directors, which state that sales of works may be used only to acquire more works.

Join a CAA Award Jury

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA invites nominations and self-nominations for individuals to serve for three years (2009–11) on juries for the Awards for Distinction. Terms begin in May 2009; award years are 2010–12. CAA’s twelve awards honor artists, art historians, authors, curators, critics, and teachers whose accomplishments transcend their individual disciplines and contribute to the profession as a whole and to the world at large.

Candidates must possess expertise appropriate to the jury’s work and be current CAA members. They should not be serving on another CAA committee or editorial board. CAA’s president and vice president for committees appoint jury members for service.

The following jury vacancies are filled later this spring:

  • Charles Rufus Morey Book Award: three members
  • Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award: one member
  • Art Journal Award: one member
  • Distinguished Teaching of Art Award: one member
  • Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award: two members
  • Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work: one member
  • Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement: one member
  • CAA/Heritage Preservation Award: one member

Nominations and self-nominations should include a brief statement (no more than 150 words) outlining the individual’s qualifications and experience and an abbreviated CV (no more than two pages). Please send all materials to: Vice President for Committees, c/o Lauren Stark, Manager of Programs, CAA, 275 Seventh Ave., 18th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Materials may also be sent to; all email submissions must be sent as Microsoft Word attachments. Deadline: April 20, 2009.

Filed under: Awards

New Committee Members

posted by Christopher Howard

The following individuals have been ap­pointed to serve on CAA’s nine Pro­fes­sional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees for 2009–12. New committee members began their terms at the 2009 Annual Conference in Los Angeles. Those marked as chair are previous committee members newly appointed to that position. Members of the CAA Board of Directors have also been appointed as liaisons between the board and the committee.

Committee on Diversity Practices: Jacqueline Francis, California College of the Arts and San Francisco State University, chair; Art Jones, University of North Dakota; Peggy Jones, University of Nebraska, Omaha; Edward Noriega, Troy University, CAA board; Douglas Rosenberg, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Committee on Intellectual Property: Kenneth Cavalier, art historian and lawyer, British Columbia; Joy Garnett, independent artist, New York.

Committee on Women in the Arts: Diane Burko, Philadelphia Community College, chair; Maria Elena Buszek, Kansas City Art Institute; Rebecca Rushfield, independent conservator, New York; Andrea Rusnock, Indiana University, South Bend; Amy Ingrid Schlegel, Tufts University, CAA board; Kathleen Wentrack, Queensborough Community College, City University of New York.

Education Committee: Richard Tichich, Western Carolina University, chair; Roseann Gibel, Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale; Martina Hesser, University of California San Diego Extension.

International Committee: Jennifer Milam, University of Sydney, chair; Ann Albritton, Ringling College of Art and Design; Stephanie Dickey, Queen’s University; Sue Gollifer, University of Brighton, CAA board.

Museum Committee: Jay Clarke, Art Institute of Chicago, chair; Virginia Brilliant, Ringling Museum of Art; Maria Saffiotti Dale, Chazen Museum of Art; Holly Harrison, Dallas Museum of Art; Karol Ann Lawson, Sweet Briar College.

Professional Practices Committee: Jay Coogan, Rhode Island School of Design, CAA board; Diane Edison, University of Georgia; Bertha Gutman, Delaware County Community College; Judith Thorpe, University of Connecticut, CAA board.

Services to Artists Committee: Thomas Berding, Michigan State University; Faya Causey, National Gallery of Art, CAA board; Julie Green, Oregon State University; Sabina Ott, Columbia College Chicago; Patricia C. Phillips, Cornell University; Melissa Potter, Columbia College Chicago.

Student and Emerging Professionals Committee: Hilary Batzel, ArtsWestchester, chair; Temma Balducci, Arkansas State University; Randall C. Griffin, Southern Methodist University, CAA board; Dennis Y. Ichiyama, Purdue University; Niku Kashef, California State University, Northridge; Jennifer Stoneking-Stewart, Belmont University.

Questions? Please write to Vanessa Jalet, CAA executive assistant. A call for nominations to serve on CAA’s Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees appears annually in the July and September issues of CAA News and on the CAA website. CAA’s president and vice president for committees review nominations in December and make appointments that take effect the following February.

Filed under: Committees, Governance

NEA and NEH Receive Additional $10 Million

posted by Christopher Howard

On March 11, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which was approved by the Senate that same day and by the House of Representatives nearly two weeks earlier. Funding most government operations through September 30, the act includes an additional $10 million for both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, increasing their current fiscal-year budgets to $155 million each. The legislation also raises the budget for the Department of Education’s Arts in Education programs to $38.16 million, and for the Office of Museum Services through the Institute of Museum and Library Services to $35 million.

In a happy coincidence, the Omnibus Appropriations Act was passed by the Senate and signed into law on Humanities Advocacy Day, in which CAA participated. Robert L. Lynch, president and chief executive officer of Americans for the Arts, said “On the heels of its landmark support for nonprofit arts job recovery in the economic stimulus package, Congress has taken another step forward in restoring full funding to the nation’s cultural agencies. This marks the second consecutive increase in federal grant funds for local and state cultural organizations across the country. We are pleased that Congress is recognizing the cultural, educational, and economic contributions that an investment in the arts brings to communities and states throughout the nation.”

David Alexander has more on the larger picture in his article for the Washington Post.

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