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January Obituaries in the Arts

posted by Christopher Howard


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

Winter 2009 Issue of Art Journal Published

posted by Christopher Howard


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:

National Arts Index Results Released

posted by Christopher Howard


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

Opt-Out Deadline for Google Book Settlement Approaching

posted by Christopher Howard


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.



Woman’s Art Journal Focuses on Paula Modersohn-Becker

posted by Christopher Howard


The first American anthology of writings on the work of Paula Modersohn-Becker has just been published by Woman’s Art Journal (Fall/Winter 2009) in an issue devoted to the artist.

Modersohn-Becker (1876–1907) was a German painter who worked in styles ranging from Postimpressionism to early Expressionism. Influenced by Cézanne, Gauguin, and van Gogh, she is recognized today for her early feminist imagery.

The two lead articles were originally written for the catalogue of the Modersohn-Becker exhibition that was to have opened at the Neue Galerie in 2009 in New York (postponed): Anne Higonnet (Barnard College, Columbia University), “Making Babies, Painting Bodies: Women, Art, and Paula Modersohn-Becker’s Productivity”; Diane Radycki (Moravian College), “Pictures of Flesh: Modersohn-Becker and the Nude.”

    The three following articles were first presented as talks at the 2009 CAA Annual Conference in Los Angeles. The session, chaired by Radycki, was called “Paula Modersohn-Becker: Art, Risk, Fame”:Rainer Stamm (Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum), “Paula Modersohn-Becker and the Body in Art”; Monica Strauss (author of Cruel Banquet: The Life and Loves of Frida Strindberg), “Helen Serger’s Galerie La Boetie: Paula Modersohn-Becker on Madison Avenue”; Michelle Vangen (Graduate Center, City University of New York), “Left and Right: Politics and Images of Motherhood in Weimar Germany.”

      Published semiannually—May and November—since 1980, Woman’s Art Journal continues to represent the interests of women and art worldwide. Articles and reviews cover all areas of women in the visual arts, from antiquity to the present day.

      Image: Paula Modersohn-Becker, Self-Portrait (Semi-Nude with Amber Necklace and Flowers II), 1906, oil on canvas, 61 x 50 cm (artwork in the public domain)



      Filed under: Publications

      On New Year’s Eve, the first issue of the Journal of Art Historiography was published online. This peer-reviewed open-access ejournal, published in June and December of each year, is devoted exclusively to the study of the practice of art-historical writing. Supported by the Institute for Art History at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, the journal has a distinguished editorial advisory board drawn from a broad range of specialist areas. Richard Woodfield, senior honorary research fellow at the University of Glasgow, is the editor.

      The central purpose of the Journal of Art Historiography is to understand why the history of art gets written in the way that it does. How has it taken shape as a discipline? What are the grounds of its inclusions and exclusions? What are its modes of writing? How does it relate to and intersect with other disciplines?

      Though the journal has much wider ambitions, the first issue reflects its editor’s preoccupation with German and Viennese art historiography and is dedicated to the memory of Ernst Gombrich. Already, though, it has material on the debates surrounding the emergence of Australian Aboriginal art as contemporary artistic practice, the role of the journal Zodiaque in the promotion of notions of French Romanesque art, and the reception of Aby Warburg’s work in Argentina.

      There are also translations of Julius von Schlosser’s famous account of the Vienna School, along with Moriz Thausing’s pronouncements on the objective study of art history. Studies on Fritz Novotny, Max Dvořák, Alois Riegl, Michael Baxandall, Fritz Saxl, John Shearman, and John White have been published as well.

      The next issue, due in June this year, is already extending its scope to cover Indian and Chinese art, Baltic and Polish art history, classical archaeology, and more.

      The Journal of Art Historiography welcomes contributions from young and established scholars and is aimed at building an expanded audience for what has hitherto been a much-specialized field of investigation.



      Filed under: Publications

      Museums Advocacy Day Takes Place in March

      posted by Christopher Howard


      The American Association of Museums (AAM) is organizing Museums Advocacy Day 2010, taking place March 22–23 in Washington, DC, and CAA invites your participation. This event is your chance to receive advocacy and policy training and then take the case to Capitol Hill alongside fellow advocates from your state and congressional district.

      AAM is working with sponsoring organizations, which include CAA, to develop the legislative agenda for this year’s event. Likely issues will include federal funding for museums, museums and federal education policy, and charitable giving issues affecting museums.

      The entire museum field is welcome to participate: staff, volunteers, trustees, students, or even museum enthusiasts. Museums Advocacy Day is the ideal chance for new and seasoned advocates to network with museum professionals from their state and meet with congressional offices.

      Registration

      Individual museum professionals, supporters, and trustees may register online. National, regional, and state organizations that would like to register as partnering organizations and individuals who prefer to complete a paper registration may use the Museums Advocacy Day 2010 Registration Form.

      Participants are asked to cover the cost of their meals and materials: $75. This amount includes: two breakfasts, one lunch, one evening reception, and all training materials and supplies. Deadline: February 17, 2010.

      The event hotel is the Doubletree Hotel Crystal City, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. The Museums Advocacy Day rate is $209, available until February 15 or until sold out. Call 800-222-TREE and reference Museums Advocacy Day or the three-letter reservation code AVD, or reserve a room online and used the group code AVD.

      Tentative Schedule

      March 22 will be a critical day of advocacy and policy training, to be held at the National Building Museum, featuring:

      • A briefing on the museum field’s legislative agenda
      • Tips on meeting with elected officials and the stats you need to make your case
      • Instruction on how to participate in year-round advocacy and engage your elected officials in the ongoing work of your museum
      • Networking with advocates from your state on the following day’s Capitol Hill visits
      • An evening reception, with members of Congress and staff invited

      On March 23, we will take our message to Capitol Hill. Advocates will gather in groups by state and congressional districts to make coordinated visits to House and Senate offices to make the case for increased federal support for museums.




      CAA’s Student and Emerging Professionals Committee seeks volunteers for a series of mock fifteen-minute interviews at the 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago. If you are a seasoned professional and are interested in helping a younger colleague hone his or her interview technique, please contact the session moderator, Daniel Larkin of Friends of Materials for the Arts.

      The practice interviews, which allow participants to practice their elevator speech and keep listening skills sharp during a face-to-face interview, will be held between 1:00 and 4:00 PM on Thursday, February 11, in the Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.



      Filed under: Annual Conference, Committees

      Greetings:

      It has been a difficult night. Many of us are in a state of shock or more fittingly in disbelief. As a business that prides itself in keeping the rich culture of Haiti alive in Philadelphia, I and the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia (HPP) send our deepest and most sincere condolences to our Haitian family in our area and around the world.

      We have secured a private jumbo jet to transport supplies to Haiti, which is leaving in the next 24–48 hours. We are in need of doctors, nurses, and donations to go to Haiti in order to provide medical care. Vivant Art Collection and HPP is currently coordinating with the Haitian Coalition of Philadelphia, the Haitian Clergy of Philadelphia, Beyond Borders, the Mayor’s Office, the Temple Haitian Student Association, the University of Pennsylvania Haitian Student Association, Congressman Brady’s office, the Philadelphia Young Democrats, political officials, and other Haitian organizations in the surrounding area to devise a plan to provide assistance to Haiti. Frequent updates will be made to www.hphilly.org and www.vivantartcollection.com/events, so please check back often. In the meantime, if you wish to provide assistance we urge you to do the following:

      • Make a monetary donation to Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia to the Haitian Relief Fund via Paypal. All funds will go toward purchasing items that must be bought in Haiti to defray shipping cost, as well as medical supplies
      • Purchase or bring cots and tents that will be instrumental in providing temporary shelter to those who have been displaced
      • Medical supplies such as band aids, alcohol, peroxide, etc.
      • Water and nonperishable food items
      • Generators and industrial supplies for building will be needed for rebuilding
      • Supplies for children such as diapers, baby clothes, wipes, and bottles are greatly need as well
      • Call elected officials in your area and ask them to partner with HPP

      Current Drop Off Sites

      The Office of State Senator Leanna M. Washington
      1555-A Wadsworth Avenue
      Philadelphia, PA 19150

      The Office of State Representative Vanessa Brown
      4706 Westminster Avenue
      Philadelphia, PA 19131

      Vivant Art Collections (monetary donations and medical supplies only)
      60 North 2nd Street
      Philadelphia, PA 19106

      For further information on how to help, please call Yve-Car Momperousse, board chair, at 973-280-2307 or Florcy Morisset, community development chair, at 310-612-4636. You can also send an email to vivantartcollection@gmail.com or yvecar@hpphilly.org.

      Press contact: Please call Alain Joinville, public-relations chair, at 215-287-7373 to coordinate interviews.

      Moving forward,

      Florcy Morisset
      Vivant Art Collection
      vivantartcollection@gmail.com
      310-612-4636



      Filed under: Advocacy, Cultural Heritage — Tags:

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