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The College Art Association (CAA) hosted its 98th Annual Conference in Chicago, February 10–13, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The program included three days of presentations and panel discussions on art history and visual culture; career-development workshops, mentoring programs, and job interviews with colleges and universities; a Book and Trade Fair of academic and trade art publishers and artist-materials distributors; and a host of special events throughout the Chicago area.

Here are some conference highlights.


More than 4,000 art professionals from throughout the United States and abroad—including art historians, visual artists, students, educators, curators, critics, collectors, and museum staff—were in attendance.


Conference sessions featured presentations from art-history scholars, graduate students, artists, and curators from institutions across the country and internationally. Conference sessions address a range of topics in art history and the visual arts. In total, over 150 sessions, developed by CAA members, affiliated societies, and committees, were offered.

Career Services

Career Services included three days of mentoring and portfolio-review sessions, career-development workshops, and job interviews. Approximately 185 (mentoring only) interviewees and 26 (mentoring only) interviewers were on hand to participate in Career Services.

Book and Trade Fair

This year’s Book and Trade Fair presented 135 exhibitors, including participants from the United States, Mexico, Turkey, England, Belgium, Scotland, and the Netherlands, displaying new publications, artists’ materials, digital resources, and innovative products of interest to artists and scholars. The Book and Trade Fair also featured book signings, lectures, and art-materials demonstrations, as well as three exhibitor-sponsored program sessions on art materials and publishing.

ARTspace and ARTexchange

ARTspace, a “conference within the conference” tailored to the needs and interests of practicing artists, presented this year’s Annual Artists’ Interviews: Tony Tasset was interviewed by John Neff, and Phyllis Bramson was interviewed by Lynn Warren. Over 150 people attended this extraordinary event. Programmed by CAA’s Services to Artists Committee, ARTspace was made possible in part by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

ARTexchange, an open-portfolio event where CAA artist members displayed drawings, prints, photographs, small paintings, and works on laptop computers. Fifty-two artists participated in ARTexchange this year.

Convocation and Awards for Distinction

More than 600 people attended CAA’s Convocation and Presentation of the 2010 Awards for Distinction. The keynote address was delivered by the renowned photographer Dawoud Bey.

Recipients of CAA’s awards are as follows:

  • Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement: Suzanne Lacy
  • Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work: Emory Douglas and Barkley L. Hendricks
  • Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art: Holland Cotter
  • Frank Jewett Mather Award: Terry Smith
  • Distinguished Feminist Award: Griselda Pollock
  • Distinguished Teaching of Art Award: Dean Nimmer
  • Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award: Richard Shiff
  • Charles Rufus Morey Book Award: Cammy Brothers, Michelangelo, Drawing, and the Invention of Architecture
  • Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award: Debra Diamond, Catherine Glynn, and Karni Singh Jasol, Gardens and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur
  • Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize: Michael Schreffler, “‘Their Cortés and Our Cortés’: Spanish Colonialism and Aztec Representation”
  • Art Journal Award: Joanna Grabski, “Urban Claims and Visual Sources in the Making of Dakar’s Art World City”
  • CAA/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation: David Bomford

CAA’s well-attended Gala Reception was held at the Art Institute of Chicago’s newly inaugurated Modern Wing. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, this stunning space served as the kick-off venue for the conference.

Special Events

CAA’s Annual Exhibition, Picturing the Studio, was presented at the new Sullivan Galleries of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sold-out tours explored the riches of Chicago’s arts and architecture, from Frank Lloyd Wright to the city’s historic skyscrapers.

Save the Date

CAA’s Centennial Celebration and 99th Annual Conference will be held in New York City from February 9 to 12, 2011.

About CAA

The College Art Association is dedicated to providing professional services and resources for artists, art historians, and students in the visual arts. CAA serves as an advocate and a resource for individuals and institutions nationally and internationally by offering forums to discuss the latest developments in the visual arts and art history through its Annual Conference, publications, exhibitions, website, and other events. CAA focuses on a wide range of issues including education in the arts, freedom of expression, intellectual-property rights, cultural heritage, preservation, workforce topics in universities and museums, and access to networked information technologies. Representing its members’ professional needs since 1911, CAA is committed to the highest professional and ethical standards of scholarship, creativity, criticism, and teaching.

The Frick Art Reference Library in New York has launched two new online resources that are available to scholars free of charge. The first, called the Archives Directory, is a directory that helps those researching the history of collecting art in the United States. The second, the Montias Database, is a collection of inventories from the Dutch Golden Age.

Inge Reist, director for the Frick’s Center for the History of Collecting in America, says, “Such a consolidated and easily searched online source as the new Archives Directory will prove invaluable to this deepening field of study and will ensure that researchers can locate primary documents such as letters, bills of sale, and other transaction records that are so essential to reliable scholarship. Indeed, users will more readily find their way to all manner of repositories, from those that are well-known to utterly unexpected caches, which in turn may lead to new discoveries and inspire fresh perspectives.”

Archives Directory

The center’s Archives Directory, the first online database of its kind, consolidates a wealth of information about the location and nature of documents and archives available on American collectors. Until now, scholars have had to comb through multiple websites and, if permitted, sift through analogue data held at library, museum, and university archives to construct their own plans for research—a time-consuming and imprecise process. The new directory is, by contrast, accessible around the clock via the institution’s website. Its use will help scholars worldwide as they approach research projects, guiding them beyond existing publications and standard paths to overlooked repositories, including primary source materials.

The Archives Directory guides researchers to more than 5,000 collections held in more than 300 repositories worldwide, which together have bearing on the lives and activities of more than 1,500 American collectors. Information in the Archives Directory was culled from various online and printed materials ranging from federated and individual online library catalogues to Google Books to published literature in the field.

Contributions of additional information for the directory are welcomed by scholars and researchers, so that it will continue to grow and become an increasingly valued resource.

Montias Database of 17th Century Dutch Art Inventories

The complete Montias Database, cosponsored by the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, offers an unprecedented look at ownership of art in Holland during the seventeenth century. It is a trove of searchable information about buyers, sellers, and prices, including comprehensive information on over 50,000 objects (paintings, prints, sculpture, furniture, and so forth) listed in nearly 1,300 Amsterdam city inventories. Approximately half was created in preparation for auctions, almost an equal portion was notarial death inventories for estate purposes, and the remaining documents relate to bankruptcy cases. Although the database, which specifically addresses records from 1597 through 1681, is not a complete record of all inventories made in Amsterdam, it contains a vast amount of information that can elucidate patterns of buying, selling, inventorying, and collecting art.

An eminent economist at Yale University, John Michael Montias began recording details of ownership of works of art from inventories held in the Amsterdam municipal archive, or Geementearchief (now known as the Stadsarchief), in the early 1980s as part of his own work on the prices of Dutch paintings at seventeenth-century auctions.

Available soon to current individual CAA members, the online Member Directory will allow you to search for other individual members based on name and address; organization; and city, state, and country.

Before the directory is launched in early March, CAA encourages you to log into your CAA account to review and update all of your contact information, including information that will appear in the Member Directory. This is a good time to remove duplicate or outdated information.

If you have more than one valid address on your record, you may choose which address to include in the directory. Organization and title will only be included with a business address. In addition, only your primary phone, email, and/or website address will be used regardless of which address you choose.

After logging into your CAA account, click the “Contact Info” link on the left side to review your contact information. Instructions on the page will help you choose an address for the Member Directory.

You may prevent any information from appearing in the directory by unmarking all addresses on your record.

Questions or problems? Please contact Member Services by email or call 212-691-1051, ext. 12, during regular office hours, Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM ET.

Filed under: Membership

Publications Committee Members Sought

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA invites nominations and self-nominations for two members at large to serve on the Publications Committee for a three-year term, July 1, 2010–June 30, 2013.

Candidates must possess expertise appropriate to the committee’s work. Museum-based arts professionals with an interest and experience in book, journal, or museum publishing and those with experience in digital publishing are especially encouraged to apply.

The Publications Committee is a consultative body that advises the CAA Publications Department staff and the CAA Board of Directors on publications projects; supervises the editorial boards of The Art Bulletin, Art Journal, and, as well as CAA’s book-grant juries; sponsors a practicum session at the Annual Conference; and, with the CAA vice president for publications, serves as liaison to the board, membership, editorial boards, book-grant juries, and other CAA committees.

The committee meets three times a year, including once at the CAA Annual Conference; members pay travel and lodging expenses to attend the conference. Members of all committees volunteer their services to CAA without compensation.

Candidates must be current CAA members and should not serve concurrently on other CAA committees or editorial boards. Applicants may not be individuals who have served as members of a CAA editorial board within the past five years. Nominators should ascertain their nominee’s willingness to serve before submitting a name; self-nominations are also welcome. Appointments are made by the CAA president in consultation with the vice president for publications.

Please send a letter of interest describing your interest in and qualifications for appointment, a CV, and contact information to: Vice President for Publications, c/o Alexandra Gershuny, CAA, 275 Seventh Ave., 18th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Materials may also be submitted to Deadline: April 15, 2010.

Filed under: Committees, Governance, Publications

“Authenticating Art: Current Problems and Proposed Solutions” was the topic for a panel presentation and discussion sponsored by CAA and the Appraisers Association of America. Held on January 20, 2010, the event was hosted by and took place in the auditorium of the Levin Institute in Manhattan for its 120 guests.

The panelists were: John Cahill of the New York–based law firm Lynn and Cahill; Jane Jacob from Jacob Fine Art, an art consultancy in Chicago; James Martin of Orion Analytical, a materials analysis and consultancy firm based in Williamstown, Massachusetts; and Jane Levine from the auction house Sotheby’s New York. Michele Marincola, a professor of conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, served as moderator for the discussion.

CAA’s new best practices on Authentications and Attributions, approved in October 2009, played an important referential role among myriad opinions offered by legal experts, conservators, gallery owners, and material analysts—to say nothing of the various aspects of law that may apply to collectors, buyers and sellers, appraisers, and auction houses. Indeed, the guidelines were praised by panelists and audience members for their “reasoned and thoughtful advice” and recommended repeatedly as an essential resource on the subject.

Panel presentations cited specific circumstances surrounding well-known art forgeries by Greek and Roman sculptors from as far back as two millennia, to more recent master forgerers, including Elmyr de Hory, Eric Hebborn, John Myatt, and Leo Nardus. One of the most famous forgeries by Han van Meegeren, of Johannes Vemeer’s Supper at Emmaus, was completed in 1937 and sold for what today would be well over $2.5 million. Some forgerers also borrowed authentic works of art from collectors, copied the work, returned the undetected copy to the owner, and then sold the original to a third party. Historical and modern-day problems with attribution, revelations during conservation procedures, and new analytical techniques and forensic equipment were also presented. Similarly, matters of law such as breach of contract, false certificates of authenticity, and false (but not criminal) representation or court testimony were highlighted.

The evening was informative, provocative, and timely but lacked one critical professional perspective: namely, that of the art historian, art-museum curator, or art connoisseur. Indeed, art-historical documentation, stylistic connoisseurship, and scientific analysis are the three aspects of authentication that create a “consensus of evidence” as recommended in the CAA guidelines. Were it not for this shortcoming, the event would have enlightened even further the practice, if not the controversy, of art authentication.

For interested members who will attend CAA’s centennial Annual Conference in New York in 2011, the Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association (a CAA affiliated society) will present a panel on authentication that addresses issues confronted by art historians and curators who authenticate.

CAA Thanks Chicago Conference Attendees and Participants

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA sincerely thanks all attendees and participants of the 98th Annual Conference in Chicago. Despite weather-related delays, you all helped to make this year’s event one of the most well attended and exciting in recent years.

We look forward to seeing you next year in New York for CAA’s centennial conference, February 9–12, 2011!

Filed under: Annual Conference

New Members of the CAA Board of Directors

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA members have elected four new directors to the CAA board for a four-year term, 2010–14:

The winners were announced by Paul B. Jaskot, CAA president, at the conclusion of the Annual Members’ Business Meeting, held on late Friday afternoon, February 12, at the CAA Annual Conference in Chicago. The above four will join the board at its next meeting, in May 2010.

CAA invites all members to cast their vote in the current Board of Directors election. Voting ends on Friday, February 12, at 5:00 PM CST. The following six candidates have been chosen by the 2009 Nominating Committee for the current slate:

Please click on each candidate’s name above to read his or her statement and biography—and to watch their special video introductions—before casting your vote for up to four candidates.

About the Election

CAA members may vote for no more than four candidates or may cast votes for write-in candidates (who must be CAA members). The four candidates receiving the most votes will be elected to the board. CAA members may cast their votes and submit their proxies by mail or electronically.

Election results are announced at the close of the Annual Members’ Business Meeting at the Chicago conference, and new board members take office in the spring.

If you have requested your ballot on paper, a ballot and proxy were mailed to you in mid-December. Return them via post by Friday, February 12, 2010, at 5:00 PM CST.

If you have elected to vote online, you have received email notices since mid-December with instructions for voting online. This emails include a PIN for you to vote and to return your proxy. All online voting must be completed by Friday, February 12, 2010, at 5:00 PM CST. If you wish to vote during the conference, CAA is providing a computer for online voting in the registration area.

If you are still receiving your ballot and proxy by postal mail, kindly change your email communication status to “vote online” in the Account Log In section of the CAA website. Voting online is considerably less expensive, and in these difficult economic times it is critical for CAA to save costs where it can.

About the Board

The CAA Board of Directors is responsible for all financial and policy matters related to the organization. It promotes excellence in scholarship and teaching in the history and criticism of the visual arts, and it encourages creativity and technical skill in the teaching and practice of art. CAA’s board is also charged with representing the membership on issues affecting the visual arts and humanities.

2009 Nominating Committee

Members of the 2009 Nominating Committee are: Mary-Ann Milford-Lutzker, Mills College, vice president for committees and committee chair (ex officio without vote); Jacki Apple, Art Center College of Design; Linda Downs, CAA executive director (ex officio, without vote); Ken Gonzales-Day, Scripps College and CAA board; James Hopfensperger, Western Michigan University; Suzanne McCullagh, Art Institute of Chicago; Edward M. Noriega, Troy University and CAA board; William Wallace, Washington University in St. Louis and CAA board; and Charles A. Wright, Western Illinois University.

Filed under: Board of Directors, Governance

The following individuals have been appointed to serve on CAA’s nine Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees for 2010–13. New committee members begin their terms this week at the 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago.

Committee on Diversity Practices: Kevin Concannon, University of Akron; and Zoya Kocur, New York University. Renée Ater of the University of Maryland, College Park, was appointed chair, taking over Jacqueline Francis’s term.

Committee on Intellectual Property: Scott Contreras-Koterbay, East Tennessee State University; Karen Kelly, Dia Art Foundation; Doralynn Pines, Metropolitan Museum of Art (retired); Caitlin Shey, lawyer and consultant, New York; and Christine Sundt, University of Oregon. Kenneth Cavalier, a lawyer based in British Columbia, becomes committee chair.

Committee on Women in the Arts: Richard Meyer, University of Southern California; and Maura Reilly, independent curator, New York.

Education Committee: Teresa Lenihan, Loyola Marymount University; Cindy Maguire, Adelphi University; and Brian Seymour, Community College of Philadelphia.

International Committee: Richmond Ackam, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; and Beth Steffel, California State University, San Bernadino.

Museum Committee: Janet Marstine, Seton Hall University; and Nancy Mowll Mathews, Williams College Museum of Art.

Professional Practices Committee: James Hopfensperger, Western Michigan University; Morgan T. Paine, Florida Gulf Coast University; and Susan Waller, University of Missouri, St. Louis. Charles Wright of Western Illinois University has been appointed committee chair.

Services to Artists Committee: Sharon Louden, artist; Vesna Pavlovic, Vanderbilt University; and Cindy Smith, artist and independent scholar. Brian Bishop of Framingham State College has accepted a one-year extension as committee chair.

Student and Emerging Professionals Committee: Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Vanderbilt University.

A call for nominations to serve on these committees appears annually in the July and September issues of CAA News and on the CAA website. CAA’s president, vice president for committees, and executive director review nominations in December and make appointments that take effect the following February.

For more information about the Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees, please write to Vanessa Jalet, CAA executive assistant.

Filed under: Committees, People in the News

The official blog of the 2010 Annual Conference, which began publishing last week, is offering a unique, exciting perspective of this year’s meeting. In place of the usual mix of CAA member artists and art historians, fifteen graduate and undergraduate students from Columbia College Chicago will be giving an hour-by-hour account—in words, pictures, and video—of all things CAA.

Look not only for discussions on sessions, the Book and Trade Fair, and other CAA-sponsored events (bloggers have listed their must-sees), but also for postings from late-night conversations and sunrise coffee talks, as well as buzz from the evening receptions and gallery openings.

Recruited by professors Paul Catanese and Terence Hannum of Columbia College Chicago, the fifteen bloggers include several artists working in the MFA program in interdisciplinary art and media, as well as one art historian in training. Students from other diverse disciplines—public relations, documentary filmmaking, arts and media management, journalism, interactive media, and graphic design—have also joined the blogging team.

Nearly all these young writers have never attended a CAA conference, so their fresh approach to our venerable event is highly anticipated. Your thoughts are also welcome: the conference blog’s comments section is open to everyone.

Filed under: Annual Conference, Blogs, Students

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