College Art Association

CAA News Today

January Obituaries in the Arts

posted by January 29, 2010

CAA recognizes the lives and achievements of the following artists, architects, scholars, teachers, collectors, filmmakers, authors, critics, philanthropists, and other important figures in the visual arts who have recently died. Of special note is William A. Peniston’s text on the art historian Karl Lunde, who passed away in late December.

  • Paul Ahyi, a painter and sculptor based in Togo, Africa, who designed his country’s flag, died on January 4, 2010. He was 80
  • Craigie Aitchison, a Scottish painter of dogs, still lifes, and religious scenes, died on December 21, 2009, at age 83
  • Peggy Amsterdam, an arts advocate based in Philadelphia, died on December 26, 2009, at the age of 60. She was a founding member of the Cultural Data Project, which is establishing a national standard for reporting and tracking data on arts and cultural groups
  • Donald S. Baker, Sr., a Chicago-based artist and teacher who explored African-American history in his wooded pieces, died on December 23, 2009. He was 72
  • Bill Brooks, an auctioneer who founded Christie’s South Kensington auction house in London, died on December 9, 2009. He was 85
  • Gertrude Whitney Conner, an artist and the granddaughter of the founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art, died on December 13, 2009
  • George Dannatt, an English abstract artist and former music critic, died on November 17, 2009, at the age of 94
  • Harry Diamond, a London photographer who snapped images of Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, and others in bohemian Soho of the 1960s and 1970s, died on December 3, 2009. He was 85
  • Esther Gordon Dotson, an art historian and Michelangelo specialist who taught at Cornell University, died on October 28, 2009, at age 91. She received CAA’s Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award in 1986
  • Michael Dwyer, a highly influential film critic for the Irish Times, died on January 1, 2010, at the age of 58
  • Susan Einzing, a British illustrator known for her work on the children’s book Tom’s Midnight Garden, died on December 25, 2009, at the age of 87. She had taught for more than thirty years at the Chelsea School of Art
  • Elizabeth Fallaize, a professor of French and women’s studies at St. John’s College and Oxford University, died on December 9, 2009, at age 59. She was a renowned authority on the books of Simone de Beauvoir
  • William Gambini, an artist from the New York School of Abstract Expressionism who had settled in San Diego, died on January 3, 2010. He was 91
  • Lydia Gasman, an inspiring art historian at the University of Virginia and an authority on the work of Pablo Picasso, died on January 15, 2010. She was 84
  • Rupprecht Geiger, a German abstract painter who is credited with inventing the shaped canvas, died on December 6, 2009, at the age of 101
  • Jennifer Jones, an Academy Award–winning actress who married the art collector and museum founder Norton Simon and later headed his foundation, died on December 17, 2009. She was 90
  • Robert Kaufman, an artist and former chair of illustration at the Art Institute of Boston, died on January 8, 2010. He was 58
  • Vivien Knight, curator of the Guildhall Art Gallery in London and a scholar of British painters of the Victorian era, died on December 18, 2009, at age 56
  • Karl Lunde, an art historian who taught for many years at William Paterson University, died on December 27, 2009, at age 78. He also directed a gallery, the Contemporaries, in New York from 1956 to 1965
  • Flo McGarrell, an artist and director of FOSAJ, a nonprofit art center in Jacmel, Haiti, died in the earthquake on January 11, 2010. He was 35. The Village Voice has also published a remembrance piece on the artist
  • Yiannis Moralis, a Greek painter who was part of the “Generation of the ‘30s,” died on December 20, 2009. He was 93
  • Kenneth Noland, an American artist who was a pioneer of Color Field painting, died on January 5, 2010, at the age of 85
  • Laughlin Phillips, a former director of the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the museum founded by his father, died on January 24, 2010. He was 85
  • Antonio Pineda, an internationally exhibited silversmith from Taxco, Mexico, died on December 14, 2009, at the age of 90
  • Éric Rohmer, a film critic and filmmaker of the French New Wave best known for My Night at Maud’s, died on January 11, 2010, at the age of 89
  • James Rossant, an American architect, professor, and city planner who helped design Battery Park City in Manhattan, died on December 15, 2009. He was 81
  • David Sarkisyan, the former director of the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture in Moscow, died on January 7, 2010, at the age of 62
  • Robert H. Smith, a real-estate developer and art collector who was a former president of the National Gallery of Art’s board of trustees, died on December 29, 2009, at the age of 81. The museum has also published on Smith’s work there
  • Dennis Stock, a photographer of jazz musicians and actors, who took an iconic image of James Dean, died on January 11, 2010. He was 81
  • Norval White, coauthor of the AIA Guide to New York City, a guide to American architecture first published in 1968, died on December 26, 2009. He was 83
  • Jack Wolgin, a Philadelphian developer, banker, and philanthropist of art, died on January 26, 2010. He was 93
  • Robin Wood, a film critic who wrote about Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Author Penn, and Ingrid Bergman, died on December 18, 2009. He was 78

Read all past obituaries in the arts on the CAA website.

Filed under: Obituaries, People in the News

The Winter 2009 issue of Art Journal, CAA’s quarterly of cutting-edge art and ideas, has just been published. It has been mailed to those CAA members who elect to receive it and to all institutional members.

In a Forum called “The Shape of Time, Then and Now,” five authors explore the contemporary relevance of George Kubler’s 1962 book, The Shape of Time. As Judith Rodenbeck, the editor-in-chief of Art Journal, writes, the book “took up set theory to help think about traditional art-historical devices of temporal framing: style, influence, reference, oeuvre, and so on.” An outline of key concepts in Kubler’s book and important bibliographic references appear in Reva Wolf’s introduction. Next, Mary Miller gives a “fibrous” (to use Kubler’s words) account of Kubler’s project, and Shelley Rice details the importance of his ideas for critics in the 1960s, in particular Lawrence Alloway, her mentor. Two artists also contribute: Ellen K. Levy reviews Kublerian entwining of scientific and artistic discourses, while Suzanne Anker considers contemporary possibilities for his concept of the “prime object.”

The Winter issue also includes Time Drills, a related artists’ project by the collective Spurse, and features two essays on quite contemporary art—Qadri Ismail’s “Bound Together: On a Book of Antiwar Sri Lankan Drawing” and Nissim Gal’s “Bare Life: The Refugee in Contemporary Israeli Art and Critical Discourse.”

Photography is the focus of the Reviews section. Stephanie Schwartz evaluates Words without Pictures, a recent collection of essays by artists and theorists, published in book form and online, and Jason Weems reviews a trio of books: On Alexander Garndner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War, Lynching Photographs, and Weegee and Naked City.

The Winter 2009 issues sees the end of Rodenbeck three-year term as editor-in-chief. She handed the journal’s reigns the new editor, Katy Siegel, in July 2009. Siegel’s first issue, a combined Spring–Summer issue, will appear in early May.

Filed under: Art Journal, Publications

While most news updates in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12 are rightly focused on rescue efforts, information about losses of the country’s artistic, architectural, and cultural life have begun surfacing.

A report from the Rutland Herald, published a few days after the quake, told us about the death of Flo McGarrell, a thirty-five-year-old artist who had been the director of FOSAJ, a nonprofit art center in Jacmel, a French colonial town in southern Haiti.

The Biblical murals at the Cathedrale of Sainte Trinite (also known as the Episcopal Holy Trinity Cathedral) by some of Haiti’s best-known artists “are now largely dust,” according to Lesley Clark of the Miami Herald. The Centre d’Art, founded in the 1940s by a group of Haitian artists and writers in collaboration with an American educator, is badly damaged as well, and the Culture Creation Foundation has lost its offices and eighteen years of work.

Clark details other significant losses, including the private collections of Carmel Delatour, who herself perished in the quake, and Georges Nader. Nader and his wife survived, but hundreds of paintings by Philomé Obin and Hector Hyppolite, among many other artists, did not. About 100 of his 15,000 works were salvaged from the Musée d’Art Nader, which was part of the collector’s home. (Other sources number 50 surviving works from a 12,000 piece collection.) There is some good news: his son’s Nader Gallery in nearby Pétionville was barely touched.

Clark also reports that a Quebec-based Haitian critic and curator, Gerald Alexis, is working to mobilize arts groups to help preserve surviving works, and the Waterloo Center for the Arts in Iowa, which has a large collection of Haitian art, has established a relief fund. In addition, the Haitian government has deputized Daniel Elie, a former minister of culture, to conduct a nationwide inventory.

For the Wall Street Journal, Pooja Bhatia describes the loss of the Sacre Coeur church, including its stained-glass windows, as well as the National Cathedral in Port-au-Prince. She also provides a biography of Nader and an account of the Haitian art scene before and after the disaster. Bhatia notes that none of his works was insured.

Marc Lacey of the New York Times mentions the destruction of the Supreme Court building and the National Palace, a French Renaissance–style building that was home the Haiti’s president. Although no permanent collection of art and artifacts were housed there, the status of works in the ceremonial rooms is unknown. Some believe the collections in the nearby National Museum, which was built underground, survived, and the contents of the National Archives appear to have fared well.

Because of continuously unstable government situations, Lacy writes, “private groups and individuals had become some of the most important protectors of the country’s treasures. Many of the country’s most valuable historical texts, for instance, were owned by individuals, and preserved at their homes—rather than under glass or in wood-walled libraries as they might have been in Washington or other moneyed capitals.” The reporter encountered a sculptor, Patrick Vilaire, who was strategizing on how to protect art and books in private collection from looting. Vilaire said, “The dead are dead, we know that. But if you don’t have the memory of the past, the rest of us can’t continue living.”

UNESCO reports that the National History Park, an early-nineteenth-century complex in northern Haiti made up of the Palace of Sans Souci, buildings at Ramiers, and the Citadel, was probably spared. However, the colonial town of Jacmel in the south has witnessed the collapse of many buildings.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) has assembled a Haiti Steering Committee to help formulate and guide the assistance and rescue effort of cultural heritage in the country, to begin after humanitarian rescue operations conclude. Gustavo A. Araoz, ICOMOS president, writes:

ICOMOS has assessed the situation and considers it impractical, perhaps even insensitive, to send team that will further tax the scarce local ability to provide food, shelter, medical attention and other basic services, especially while our Haitian colleagues and all the Haitian nation are still struggling for sheer survival while dealing with personal tragedies, loss of family and the wholesale destruction of their homes…. At this time, our efforts are focused on planning and preparing the mobilization process and all its logistics, on the field work methodology, and on the composition and training of the international and multidisciplinary volunteer teams in order that they be ready to be deployed as soon as the go-ahead to do so is given. It is important that this work be centralized in ICOMOS to ensure uniformity in the field evaluations and avoid redundancy.

Katherine Slick, executive director of US/ICOMOS, has announced that her organization has set up a fund to receive tax-deductible donations to support these efforts. Checks may be made out to US/ICOMOS-Haiti Recovery and mailed to: US/ICOMOS, Ste. 331, 401 F St. NW, Washington, DC 20001. An easy method to make your donation online will be set up soon on the US/ICOMOS website.

Filed under: Advocacy, Cultural Heritage — Tags:

While most news updates in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12 are rightly focused on rescue efforts, information about losses of the country’s artistic, architectural, and cultural life have begun surfacing.

A report from the Rutland Herald, published a few days after the quake, told us about the death of Flo McGarrell, a thirty-five-year-old artist who had been the director of FOSAJ, a nonprofit art center in Jacmel, a French colonial town in southern Haiti.

The Biblical murals at the Cathedrale of Sainte Trinite (also known as the Episcopal Holy Trinity Cathedral) by some of Haiti’s best-known artists “are now largely dust,” according to Lesley Clark of the Miami Herald. The Centre d’Art, founded in the 1940s by a group of Haitian artists and writers in collaboration with an American educator, is badly damaged as well, and the Culture Creation Foundation has lost its offices and eighteen years of work.

Clark details other significant losses, including the private collections of Carmel Delatour, who herself perished in the quake, and Georges Nader. Nader and his wife survived, but hundreds of paintings by Philomé Obin and Hector Hyppolite, among many other artists, did not. About 100 of his 15,000 works were salvaged from the Musée d’Art Nader, which was part of the collector’s home. (Other sources number 50 surviving works from a 12,000 piece collection.) There is some good news: his son’s Nader Gallery in nearby Pétionville was barely touched.

Clark also reports that a Quebec-based Haitian critic and curator, Gerald Alexis, is working to mobilize arts groups to help preserve surviving works, and the Waterloo Center for the Arts in Iowa, which has a large collection of Haitian art, has established a relief fund. In addition, the Haitian government has deputized Daniel Elie, a former minister of culture, to conduct a nationwide inventory.

For the Wall Street Journal, Pooja Bhatia describes the loss of the Sacre Coeur church, including its stained-glass windows, as well as the National Cathedral in Port-au-Prince. She also provides a biography of Nader and an account of the Haitian art scene before and after the disaster. Bhatia notes that none of his works was insured.

Marc Lacey of the New York Times mentions the destruction of the Supreme Court building and the National Palace, a French Renaissance–style building that was home the Haiti’s president. Although no permanent collection of art and artifacts were housed there, the status of works in the ceremonial rooms is unknown. Some believe the collections in the nearby National Museum, which was built underground, survived, and the contents of the National Archives appear to have fared well.

Because of continuously unstable government situations, Lacy writes, “private groups and individuals had become some of the most important protectors of the country’s treasures. Many of the country’s most valuable historical texts, for instance, were owned by individuals, and preserved at their homes—rather than under glass or in wood-walled libraries as they might have been in Washington or other moneyed capitals.” The reporter encountered a sculptor, Patrick Vilaire, who was strategizing on how to protect art and books in private collection from looting. Vilaire said, “The dead are dead, we know that. But if you don’t have the memory of the past, the rest of us can’t continue living.”

UNESCO reports that the National History Park, an early-nineteenth-century complex in northern Haiti made up of the Palace of Sans Souci, buildings at Ramiers, and the Citadel, was probably spared. However, the colonial town of Jacmel in the south has witnessed the collapse of many buildings.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) has assembled a Haiti Steering Committee to help formulate and guide the assistance and rescue effort of cultural heritage in the country, to begin after humanitarian rescue operations conclude. Gustavo A. Araoz, ICOMOS president, writes:

ICOMOS has assessed the situation and considers it impractical, perhaps even insensitive, to send team that will further tax the scarce local ability to provide food, shelter, medical attention and other basic services, especially while our Haitian colleagues and all the Haitian nation are still struggling for sheer survival while dealing with personal tragedies, loss of family and the wholesale destruction of their homes…. At this time, our efforts are focused on planning and preparing the mobilization process and all its logistics, on the field work methodology, and on the composition and training of the international and multidisciplinary volunteer teams in order that they be ready to be deployed as soon as the go-ahead to do so is given. It is important that this work be centralized in ICOMOS to ensure uniformity in the field evaluations and avoid redundancy.

Katherine Slick, executive director of US/ICOMOS, has announced that her organization has set up a fund to receive tax-deductible donations to support these efforts. Checks may be made out to US/ICOMOS-Haiti Recovery and mailed to: US/ICOMOS, Ste. 331, 401 F St. NW, Washington, DC 20001. An easy method to make your donation online will be set up soon on the US/ICOMOS website.

This week Americans for the Arts will present a free webinar on the findings of the first annual National Arts Index, a measure of the health and vitality of arts in the United States between 1998 and 2008.

Randy Cohen, vice president of local arts advancement at Americans for the Arts and index coauthor, will host the webinar on Wednesday, January 27, 2010, at 2:00 PM EST. Outlining the findings of the study, the webinar is free and available exclusively to professional members of Americans for the Arts and Half-Century Summit registrants. Registration is required.

How sustainable are arts and culture in our dynamic society? Are the economic resources and potentials sufficient for their future vitality? Join us in a lively discussion about the health and vitality of the arts sector through the lens of the National Arts Index. It’s illuminating and often provocative. Findings include trends in organizational capacity, changes in personal participation and creation, nonprofit vs. for-profit, funding, education, and more. Learn how the index can be used to spur conversations, shape strategies, and educate decision makers, and improve the state of the arts in America.

This webinar will introduce content that will also be covered in more depth at the Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit.

Filed under: Advocacy, Research — Tags:

In 2008 the National Arts Index fell 4.2 points to a score of 98.4, reveals Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit arts group. This means, among other things, that charitable giving and attendance at larger cultural institutions have declined, even as the number of artists and arts-related businesses grew.

Other findings from the index tell us that nonprofit arts organizations expanded from 73,000 to 104,000 between 1998 and 2008, but a third of them failed to balance their budgets. Also, demand for the arts has been mixed. Although millions of Americans attended concerts, plays, and museum exhibitions last year, the overall percentage of those who participate in such activities, compared to the total population, is decreasing. The good news is that those who create art, whether that’s making music, taking photographs, or drawing, is up. The demand for arts education is also strong.

Those involved in the National Arts Index herald its usefulness in shaping the future of the arts in the United States. “As with key business measures like the Dow or the GDP, we now have a way to measure the health of the arts in America,” said Albert Chao, a member of the Business Committee for the Arts, a business leadership program of Americans for the Arts. To that end, the Kresge Foundation has awarded a $1.2 million grant to Americans for the Arts to support that vision.

Read more about the index on the PR Newswire. The Americans for the Arts website has more detailed information, as well as PDF downloads of a detailed summary and the full report. There is also discussion and opinions on the organization’s blog.

Filed under: Advocacy, Cultural Heritage, Research

On January 21, 2010, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman gave a policy address at the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors. In his speech, he addressed the role of smart design and artists and arts organizations as place-makers and announced the NEA Mayors’ Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative. This funding program builds on the accomplishments of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) over its twenty-five-year history and reflects the program’s tenets of transforming communities through design.

Landesman said, “Artists are entrepreneurs, small businessmen all, great place-makers and community builders. Bring artists into the center of town and that town changes profoundly. We know now that people do not migrate to businesses. It is businesses that will move to where they can find a skilled, motivated, educated workforce. And what does that workforce look for? In survey after survey, the answer is education and culture.”

“Mayors understand that the arts mean business,” stated Conference of Mayors President Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz. “The nonprofit arts sector alone generates over $166 billion annually in economic activity. An important element to making our cities places to attract and grow businesses, tourism, and jobs is for a community to maintain good urban design. The initiatives announced today by Chairman Landesman will help mayors to implement projects and programs locally to ensure that their communities maintain design standards that will promote business and jobs.”

Application to MICD 25 is open to the six hundred cities (or their designees) that have participated in the MICD since 1986 or are committed to participate in an institute in 2010. All phases of a project—planning, development, design, implementation, and related innovative arts activities—are eligible for support. The NEA encourages partnerships which can further the success of MICD projects, especially when involving public and private sector resources.

The NEA anticipates awarding up to fifteen grants ranging from $25,000 to $250,000. Guidelines and application materials are now available on the NEA website.

Since its inception in 1986, more than eight hundred mayors from six hundred cities—from small town to metropolises—have participated in a MICD session. These mayors learn that through design and the engagement of arts and cultural activities, communities experience a celebration of place that can have a powerful impact on community sustainability and vitality. This place-making is accomplished by providing opportunities for creativity, building social networks, facilitating connections across geographic boundaries, and serving as magnets for attracting a vibrant workforce.

Please see Landesman’s complete speech.

In 2008 the National Arts Index fell 4.2 points to a score of 98.4, reveals Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit arts group. This means, among other things, that charitable giving and attendance at larger cultural institutions have declined, even as the number of artists and arts-related businesses grew.

Other findings from the index tell us that nonprofit arts organizations expanded from 73,000 to 104,000 between 1998 and 2008, but a third of them failed to balance their budgets. Also, demand for the arts has been mixed. Although millions of Americans attended concerts, plays, and museum exhibitions last year, the overall percentage of those who participate in such activities, compared to the total population, is decreasing. The good news is that those who create art, whether that’s making music, taking photographs, or drawing, is up. The demand for arts education is also strong.

Those involved in the National Arts Index herald its usefulness in shaping the future of the arts in the United States. “As with key business measures like the Dow or the GDP, we now have a way to measure the health of the arts in America,” said Albert Chao, a member of the Business Committee for the Arts, a business leadership program of Americans for the Arts. To that end, the Kresge Foundation has awarded a $1.2 million grant to Americans for the Arts to support that vision.

Read more about the index on the PR Newswire. The Americans for the Arts website has more detailed information, as well as PDF downloads of a detailed summary and the full report. There is also discussion and opinions on the organization’s blog.

Filed under: Advocacy, Publications, Research — Tags:

Following the submission of the amended Google Book Settlement in November 2009, the deadline for opting out was extended. The new deadline is January 28, 2010 (postmarked or submitted online on or before that date).

Those who had not opted out of the settlement may still do so, and those who had opted out may now opt in, if they so wish. If you wish to maintain your previous status, you need not do anything. (Under a class-action settlement, all class members remain in the class unless they opt out.)

Opt-out forms (to mail in) and instructions for opting out online are available at the settlement website. You may also read the settlement FAQ for more information.

Today the US State Department announced the removal of a ban on two foreign Muslim scholars, Adam Habib from South Africa and Tariq Ramadan of Switzerland, from entry into the United States. The American Association of University Professors and the American Civil Liberties Union, among other groups, had lobbied for several years to allow Habib and Ramadan into the country for various activities, including a position at the University of Notre Dame for the latter.

Peter Schmidt of the Chronicle of Higher Education, which has the full story, writes: “Secretary Clinton’s orders did not tackle the broader question of whether the Obama administration planned to end ‘ideological exclusion,’ the controversial practice, adopted by the federal government after the 2001 terrorist attacks, of denying visas to intellectuals based on their viewpoints.”