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This week CAA filed an amicus brief in the case of Golan v. Holder, which the United States Supreme Court will likely hear later this year. The issue raised in Golan v. Holder is whether Congress could, consistent with the First Amendment, remove certain foreign works from the public domain and bring them back into copyright after enacting the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) of 1994. A lower court, the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, held that the URAA was constitutional. When the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, Jeffrey P. Cunard, CAA’s counsel, was asked if CAA would join several like-minded organizations and individuals in signing onto a brief that would support the importance of the public domain.

The Executive Committee of the CAA Board of Directors considered the importance of the public domain (works no longer in copyright) as a wellspring of resources for artists, scholars, and other creators while discussing the detrimental effect of removing works from the public domain. The committee also noted that a filing by CAA in Golan v. Holder would be consistent with the organization’s filing of an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of Eldred v. Ashcroft. In that 2003 decision, the court determined that Congress did not violate the First Amendment when it extended the term of copyright through the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998. After reviewing drafts of the current brief, the Executive Committee authorized the filing of the Golan v. Holder brief on June 20, 2011.

To learn more about Golan v. Holder and the issues at stake, please review the following articles, published online in March and April 2011:

The principal author of the brief, Jennifer Urban of the Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California’s School of Law in Berkeley, received assistance from Cunard and his firm, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Others signing onto the brief include individual writers, musicians, and scholars as well as other organizations. Cunard extends his thanks to Anne Collins Goodyear, curator at the National Portrait Gallery and CAA vice president for Annual Conference, for providing the excellent example of a visual artist, Marcel Duchamp, using a public-domain work, the Mona Lisa, to create a new one (pp. 14–15). The brief also cites other artists, from Pablo Picasso and Jasper Johns to Banksy and Shepard Fairey. In addition, Cunard has noted the extensive reference to CAA’s involvement in the orphan-works proceeding (pp. 33–35), which helps the brief support the proposition that the URAA’s copyright restoration of many foreign works had exacerbated the orphan-works problem.

CAA’s involvement in Golan v. Holder is the latest event in its long history of advocacy efforts regarding freedom of speech and copyright issues. On behalf of all CAA members, the board is grateful to Cunard, one of the nation’s leading experts in copyright law, for the work he has put into the brief and for his continued support of the organization.

Request for Materials for the CAA Archive

posted by Lauren Stark

In honor of its yearlong Centennial celebration, CAA has initiated a project to collect, catalogue, and make accessible many written, photographic, and electronic documents relating to its past. This effort will complement the history chronicled in The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association, edited by Susan Ball. This summer and fall, CAA plans to post dozens of text-searchable PDFs of CAA News from 1976 to 2001 and full conference programs since the late 1930s, among other publications, on its website.

Particularly in its early years but even in recent times, CAA did not preserve every document that it produced. Materials not collected or saved include: conference programs prior to 1937; catalogues from CAA’s traveling-exhibition program, active from 1929 to 1937; documentation of member surveys; Placement Bureau listings before 1968; and membership brochures, forms, and related materials predating 1990. CAA hopes that members may have copies of these, along with personal photographs and other visual or textual ephemera from meetings and events in decades past.

If you possess materials that might help fill gaps in CAA’s historical archive and are willing to donate or have CAA scan them, send a brief description of the items to Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs and archivist. Please do not mail anything to the CAA office until she discusses your materials with you.

Image: Louise Nevelson addresses the audience at a “rowdy” and “tumultuous” conference session called “Women Artists Speak Out,” while Martha Edelheit (left) and Patricia Mainardi (center) look on. Read about the panel in the Spring 1973 Art Journal (photograph by Nina Howell Starr)

Filed under: Centennial, Research

Essays in the June 2011 issue of The Art Bulletin, the leading publication of international art-historical scholarship, examine a range of topics that include works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Philip Guston, Edgar Degas, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. A fifth essay on aesthetics and a collection of important book reviews round out the issue, which has been mailed to all individual CAA members who elect to receive the journal, and to all institutional members. The issue is dedicated to the memory of the late Anne L. Schroder, an expert on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French art; one of her final essays appears in it.

Leading off the issue is Margaret A. Sullivan’s article that uncovers the beginnings of genre in Bruegel’s debt to stoicism, ancient satire, and the art of Pieter Aertsen. Next, Schroder explores Fragonard’s later career through two revived projects, his illustrations for La Fontaine’s Contes et nouvelles (1788–1809) and his unfinished painting series, the Progress of Love. For “Hegel’s Contested Legacy,” Jason Gaiger reexamines the Hegelian inheritance in art history in light of newly published transcripts of the lectures on aesthetics and, in doing so, raises broader questions about the concourse between art history and philosophy.

Looking at French art in the nineteenth century, André Dombrowski reveals layered political and historical significations embedded in Degas’s Place de la Concorde (ca. 1875), an urban genre portrait of Viscount Lepic and his daughters. For his contribution, Robert Slifkin finds that Guston’s unsettling return to figuration in the 1960s, which partook in a larger “1930s renaissance,” used the disjunction between two moments to comment on the present.

The June 2011 issue includes reviews of two books on humor in Greek vase painting and Roman visual culture, two on Chinese painting, one on medieval Buddhist sculpture, and one on forgery in premodern German art, as well as an exhibition review of Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures, which appeared in Los Angeles, Nuremberg, and Berlin in 2009–10.

Please see the full table of contents for June for more details. The next issue, to be published in September 2011, will feature essays on Roman mosaic floors, an emblematic Michelangelo cartoon for a fresco, portraiture in France after 1789, and the American painter John Sloan.

Filed under: Art Bulletin, Publications

June Picks from CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts

posted by Christopher Howard

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts produces a curated list, called CWA Picks, of recommended exhibitions and events related to feminist art and scholarship in North America and around the world.

The CWA Picks for June 2011 include a nationwide list of screenings for !Women Art Revolution, Lynn Hershman Leeson’s documentary film on the feminist art movement, and a retrospective of the work of the mask-clad Guerrilla Girls, opening at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. In addition, two events—a three-day conference in Lisbon and a survey of the infamous Young British Artist, Tracey Emin, in London—give an international flavor to the picks.

Check the archive of CWA Picks at the bottom of the page, as several museum and gallery shows listed in previous months may still be on view or touring.

Filed under: Committees, Exhibitions

CAA recently published the Spring 2011 issue of Art Journal, which includes a Centennial essay by the noted scholar Richard Shiff and, on the front and back covers, a project by the Los Angeles–based artist Paul Sietsema.

The issue acknowledges CAA’s Centennial year with Shiff’s text, “Every Shiny Object Wants an Infant Who Will Love It,” a state-of-the-field essay on contemporary art. Beginning with the unfigured sensory experience of a Donald Judd installation in Marfa, Texas, the text examines the human impulse to organize and categorize the elements of aesthetic experience.

Paul Sietsema created two news works for the issue: Untitled Composition for the front cover and Painter’s Mussel for the back. Both are based on found photographs and slyly pun on the interplay between language and the working life of artists today.

The Spring issue also publishes an essay by Saloni Mathur that details the postcolonial context in which the American designers Charles and Ray Eames explored the traditional arts of India—and helped configure the industrial-design program of the newly emergent nation. Next, Christopher Bedford, chief curator of the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio, invited seven artists and curators to join him in pondering the peculiarities the art-speak word “project” (as used in the first paragraph of this news item). While some see it as a useful term, others find darker implications in its widespread use.

An essay by Karen Kurczynski called “Drawing Is the New Painting” suggests that the pressures of the contemporary marketplace can jeopardize drawing’s characteristics of expression and immediacy. In a monographic study titled “City of Degenerate Angels,” Ken D. Allan traces the art and publishing efforts of Wallace Berman in the context of the 1950s Los Angeles jazz scene in which the artist came of age. Additional audio evidence for Allan’s argument appears on the Art Journal website.

The Reviews section of the issue, edited by Howard Singerman, contains Michael Corris’s analysis of Julia Bryan-Wilson’s book, Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era, and Alzo David-West’s assessment of two publications about art and visual culture in North Korea.

Filed under: Art Journal, Publications

Apply for a Meiss or Wyeth Publishing Grant

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA is offering two publishing-grant opportunities this fall—through the Millard Meiss Publication Fund and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant—that support new books in art history and related subjects. The publisher must submit the application to either grant or to both funds, though only one award can be given per title. Awards are made at the discretion of each jury and vary according to merit, need, and number of applications. Both programs have a deadline of October 1, 2011. CAA will announce the recipients of the Meiss and Wyeth grants in late November or early December 2011.

Millard Meiss Publication Fund

CAA awards grants from the Millard Meiss Publication Fund to support book-length scholarly manuscripts in the history of art and related subjects that have been accepted by a publisher on their merits but cannot be published in the most desirable form without a subsidy. For complete guidelines, application forms, and a grant description, please visit or write to Deadline: October 1, 2011.

Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant

Thanks to generous funding from the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, CAA awards a publication grant to support book-length scholarly manuscripts in the history of American art and related subjects. For purposes of this program, “American art” is defined as art created in the United States, Canada, and Mexico prior to 1970. Books eligible for the Wyeth Grant have been accepted by a publisher on their merits but cannot be published in the most desirable form without a subsidy. For complete guidelines, application forms, and a grant description, please visit or write to Deadline: October 1, 2011.

The National Coalition Against Censorship has edited video of “Policing the Sacred: Art, Censorship, and the Politics of Faith,” a session held during the 2011 CAA Annual Conference in New York, and posted it on YouTube in two parts. Links to the videos appear below.

In recent decades, the volatile relationships among art, politics, and religion have only intensified, as evident in the Culture Wars of the 1990s in the United States, the Danish cartoon uproar, and ongoing battles over artistic depictions of religious figures, including the recent removal of a David Wojnarowicz video from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. This panel, moderated by Eleanor Heartney, an art critic and the author of Postmodern Heretics: The Catholic Imagination in Contemporary Art, brought together five artists and advocates who discussed the above issues and more.

Participating were Richard Kamler, an artist and educator whose installation of intertwined pages from the Koran and the Torah incited controversy in New Haven in 2010; the Bulgarian video artist Boryana Rossa, who spoke on behalf of her husband, Oleg Mavromatti, currently wanted by Russian authorities for “inciting religious hatred” through a performance in which he had himself crucified; Iranian artists and filmmakers Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari, who recently completed Women without Men, a film that evokes the religious, social, and political tensions surrounding the 1953 coup that brought the Shah to power; and Svetlana Mintcheva, NCAC director of programs, who recently wrote “Hide/Seek: Museums, Ethics, and the Press: A Symposium Report” for CAA.

In addition, the artist Joy Garnett reviewed “Policing the Sacred” for CAA’s 2011 Annual Conference Blog.

Watch the Video

Policing the Sacred, Part I
Policing the Sacred, Part II Publishes Dissertations Completed and In Progress

posted by Betty Leigh Hutcheson has just published the authors and titles of doctoral dissertations in art history and visual studies—both completed and in progress—from US and Canadian institutions for calendar year 2010. Titles can be browsed by subject, such as Art of the Middle East/North Africa, Latin American/Caribbean Art, or Contemporary Art. Each institution granting the PhD in art history and/or visual studies submits dissertation titles once a year to CAA for publication. The listing in also includes dissertations completed and in progress between 2002 and 2009, making them available through web searches.

CAA invites individual members to propose a session for the 101st Annual Conference, taking place February 13–16, 2013, in New York. Proposals should cover the breadth of current thought and research in visual art, art and architectural history, theory and criticism, pedagogical issues, museum and curatorial practice, conservation, and developments in technology.

The submission process will open on Monday, June 27, 2011. For full details on the submission process for the conference, please review the information published on the Chair a 2013 Annual Conference Session webpage.

The Annual Conference Committee welcomes session proposals from established artists and scholars, along with those from younger scholars, emerging and midcareer artists, and graduate students. Particularly welcome are proposals that highlight interdisciplinary work. Artists are especially encouraged to propose sessions appropriate to dialogue and information exchange relevant to artists.

You will complete and submit your session proposal online; paper forms and postal mailings are not required. To set up an account in CAA’s content-management system, please email Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs, who will register your email address and provide you with a password. Deadline: September 1, 2011; no late applications are accepted.

Filed under: Annual Conference

Audio of the 2011 CAA Centennial Session on “Feminism,” chaired by Norma Broude of American University and Griselda Pollock of the University of Leeds, has been uploaded to the website of Documenta, the major international art exhibition that takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany. The next one, Documenta 13, is scheduled for June 9–September 16, 2012, and its website has become a repository for news on preliminary events and happenings as well as a forum for discussing timely issues in the art world. Its artistic director, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, a panelist in the “Feminism” session, arranged to have the 2½-hour audio recording posted to the Documenta website, where it will be permanently archived and available to promote discussion among a worldwide array of visitors to that site.

The CAA session was organized as two panels: the first on “Attaining Full Equality: Women, Artists, Museums, and Markets,” moderated by Broude, and the second on “New Directions and International Perspectives in Feminist Art History,” led by Pollock. After four decades of feminist scholarship and political activism in the art world, and on the occasion of CAA’s centenary, the session brought together a cross-generational and international group of museum-affiliated curators, international art-fair and exhibition organizers, art-market experts, and art historians to share their perspectives on present accomplishments, institutional impediments, productive strategies, and future frontiers for feminism’s creative enterprise.

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