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Jessica Jones Irons, executive director of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), sent the following Humanities Action Alert by email on Monday, July 25, 2011. Founded in 1981, NHA is a nonprofit organization that works to advance national humanities policy in the areas of research, education, preservation, and public programs.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp from Kansas Offers Amendment to Eliminate NEH Funding

Dear Colleague:

This afternoon, the US House of Representatives began debating the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies spending bill (H.R. 2584). In last week’s action alert, I mentioned that amendments could be offered on the floor that would further reduce funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities beyond the $135 million in FY 2012 funding approved by the Appropriations Committee ($19.7 million, or 13 percent cut from the current year).

Just hours ago, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) offered an amendment to reduce funding in the Interior bill by $3 billion in various accounts, including $1.9 billion in EPA spending, as well as complete elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts (among other programs). The Huelskamp amendment failed by voice vote, but a recorded vote was requested, and is expected to take place tonight.

Even if the current measure fails, additional amendments to weaken funding for NEH may be offered during this week’s floor consideration of the FY12 Interior bill. If you have not already done so, please email your representative and ask him or her to:

  • Oppose any amendments to eliminate or further cut NEH funding in the FY12 Interior bill (H.R. 2584)
  • Speak on the floor in support of the humanities and the benefits that NEH provides your community

If you would prefer to call the office directly, you can do so through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121

Earlier today, the Congressional Humanities Caucus Cochairs, Reps. David Price (D-NC) and Tom Petri (R-WI), issued a Dear Colleague letter urging members to oppose the Huelskamp amendment. Reps. Price and Petri are still planning to lead a bipartisan “strike the last word” effort to protect NEH and provide members an opportunity to join their colleagues on the House floor to speak in support of the humanities. The timing of this effort is likely to coincide with the reading of the bill portion that references NEH funding (expected within the next 12 days).

Thank you for taking action. We will continue to post updates as new information becomes available.


Jessica Jones Irons
Executive Director
National Humanities Alliance

The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors approved the addition of CAA’s name to a letter protesting the proposed budget cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts. Thomas L. Birch, legislative counsel for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, spearheaded the initiative and sent the missive to the US House of Representatives today.

Letter to US House of Representatives Protesting Further NEA Budget Cuts

July 25, 2011

US House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative,

As the FY12 Interior Appropriations bill comes to the floor for consideration by the full House, we write to urge you to prevent further cuts to funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The direct federal investment in the artistic capacity of our nation supports thousands of jobs, strengthens communities, improves lifelong learning, and boosts this country’s international competitive advantage.

Every US Congressional district benefits from an NEA grant, leveraging additional support from a diverse range of private sources to combine funding from government, business, foundation, and individual donors. The NEA awarded almost 2,400 grants in those districts in FY10. The NEA has provided strategic leadership and investment in the arts for more than forty years. Americans can now see professional productions and exhibitions of high quality in their own hometowns. Among the proudest accomplishments of the NEA is the growth of arts activity in areas of the nation that were previously underserved or not served at all, especially in rural and inner-city communities.

Nationally, there are 668,267 businesses in the United States involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 2.9 million people including visual artists, performing artists, managers, marketers, technicians, teachers, designers, carpenters, and workers in a wide variety of trades and professions. By direct grants and through allocations to each state, NEA dollars are distributed widely to strengthen the arts infrastructure and ensure broad access to the arts for communities across the country.

The NEA funds school-based and community-based programs that help children and youth acquire knowledge and understanding of, and skills in, the arts. The NEA also supports educational programs for adults, collaborations between state arts agencies and state education agencies, and partnerships between arts institutions and educators.

We understand fully the shared sacrifice that we all must make in order to help get our nation’s fiscal house in order. But funding for the National Endowment for the Arts was already reduced by $12.5 million in FY11, and the FY12 Interior bill currently includes an additional $20 million in funding cuts. We urge you to prevent any further reduction to the investment in our nation’s arts and culture infrastructure when the Interior Appropriations bill is considered on the House floor.


American Architectural Foundation
American Federation of Musicians
American Music Center
Americans for the Arts
Association of Art Museum Directors
Association of Performing Arts Presenters
Chamber Music America
Chorus America
College Art Association
Fractured Atlas
League of American Orchestras
Literary Network
Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education
National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture
National Alliance for Musical Theatre
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
National Association of Latino Arts and Culture
National Council for the Traditional Arts
National Performance Network
OPERA America
Performing Arts Alliance
Society for the Arts in Healthcare
Theatre Communications Group

The Directory of Affiliated Societies, a comprehensive list of information for all seventy-four groups that have joined CAA as affiliate members, has just been updated. Please visit the directory to view a single webpage that includes the following information for each group: name, date of founding, size of membership, and annual dues; a brief statement on the society’s nature or purpose; and the names and contact information for you to get more information or to join. In addition, CAA links directly to each affiliated society’s homepage.

Joining the list this year are four organizations whose applications the CAA Board of Directors approved at its February 2011 meeting: Art, Literature, and Music in Symbolism and Decadence (ALMSD); the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA); the Curator’s Network at Independent Curators International; and the National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (NAAHBCU).

Recent Deaths in the Arts

posted by July 14, 2011

In its semimonthly roundup of obituaries, CAA recognizes the lives and achievements of the following artists, scholars, curators, collectors, museum directors, and other men and women whose work has had a significant impact on the visual arts.

  • Karen Aqua, a filmmaker and teacher based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whose works in animation can be found in her eleven films and in the twenty-two segments she had created for Sesame Street since 1990, died on May 30, 2011. She was 57 years old
  • José Argüelles, an eccentric artist and scholar who, after earning a doctorate in art history, taught aesthetics at universities nationally and wrote about the Mayan calendar in his book The Mayan Factor: Path beyond Technology, passed away on March 23, 2011, at age 72. He is known for organizing the Harmonic Convergence event of 1987
  • Thomas N. Armstrong III, director of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York from 1974 to 1990 and who later led the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, died on June 20, 2011, at the age of 78. Armstrong facilitated the museum’s purchase of Frank Stella’s Die Fahne Hoch!, Jasper John’s Three Flags, and Alexander Calder’s Circus; he is also known for his firing of the curator Marcia Tucker, which prompted her to found the New Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Ariege Arseguel, an independent art consultant and a former executive director of the Sonoma County Museum in California, died on June 5, 2011, at the age of 49. She had also worked for the San Francisco Art Institute, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Terry Ball, an artist who drew architectural reconstructions, including historic depictions of the Tower of London and Windsor Castle, among other locations, died on February 23, 2011. He was 79 years old
  • Luciano Bellosi, an art historian specializing in Italian artists from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries—notably Cimabue, Duccio, Giotto, and Masaccio—died on April 26, 2011, at age 74. He taught medieval art history at the University of Siena from 1979 to 2006
  • Ron Bone, a British painter known for his quiet interior scenes that critics compared to Andrew Wyeth and to seventeenth-century Dutch painting, died on February 26, 2011. He was 60 years old
  • Claudio Bravo, a Chilean-born, largely self-taught artist who established his reputation in the 1960s by painting portraits of elite society in Spain and the Philippines, passed away on June 4, 2011, at age 74. Influenced by Mark Rothko and Antoni Tàpies, Bravo transitioned into trompe l’oeil paintings of drapery and crumpled paper in his later years
  • Thalia Noras Carlos, a philanthropist who contributed millions of dollars worth of Greek and Roman antiquities to the Michael C. Carlos Museum, which bears the name of her late husband, at Emory University in Atlanta, passed away on May 22, 2011. She was 83 years old
  • Leonora Carrington, a British-born Surrealist artist and writer and a muse to Max Ernst, died on May 25, 2011, at the age of 94. Though she traveled and exhibited her work internationally, she settled in Mexico City, where she spent time with her female artistic colleagues, Frida Kahlo and Remedios Varo, and developed her unique, highly praised painting style
  • Ira Cohen, a filmmaker, photographer, poet, publisher, and musician whose greatest work was life itself, died on April 25, 2011, at the age of 76. The New York–based Cohen traveled internationally and had collaborated with William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, and Paul Bowles
  • Stephen De Staebler, a Bay Area–based creator of figurative sculpture in clay and bronze that depicted hauntingly fractured body parts, died on May 13, 2011, at the age of 78. The de Young Museum in San Francisco will host a retrospective of his work, Matter and Spirit, that opens in January 2012
  • Bernhard Heisig, a celebrated and criticized East German painter who addressed themes of suffering in war and under fascism, died on June 10, 2011, at the age of 86. After reunification, Heisig’s work was exhibited across the country and presented in a solo show at Berlin’s Martin Gropius Bau in 2005
  • M. F. Husain, a painter often described as the Picasso of India, died on June 9, 2011, at the age of 95. After starting his career as a Bollywood poster and billboard artist, Husain shifted into a style of painting inspired by Hindu temple art and Cubism, and his controversial depictions of deities and politically charged nude women sent him into self-exile
  • Denis Mahon, a historian and collector of art who contributed his significant collection of Italian Baroque paintings to several British institutions, died on April 24, 2011, at age 100. His book Studies in Seicento Art and Theory, published in 1947, is a leading text on the subject; he also wrote extensively about Caravaggio and Nicolas Poussin
  • Adolfas Mekas, a filmmaker associated with New American Cinema and the founder, with his brother Jonas, of Film Culture, a journal that advanced avant-garde film, died on May 31, 2011, at age 85. Mekas was also a founding member of the film department at Bard College, directing the program from 1971 to 1994 and teaching there until 2004
  • Robert Miller, an art dealer whose eponymous New York gallery represents many blue-chip artists and their estates, including Ai Weiwei, Diane Arbus, Lee Krasner, and Alice Neel, died on June 22, 2011. He was 72 years old
  • Andrew Morgan, an artist and a professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Miami from 1970 to 1987, died on March 18, 2011, at age 88. He was known for paintings and drawings of the Florida landscape and the Everglades
  • Mordechai Omer, director and chief curator of the Tel Aviv Museum for the last seventeen years, passed away in June 2011 at the age of 70. He was also a professor at Tel Aviv University and worked to cultivate the Israeli art scene by supporting both young and established artists
  • David E. Rust, a curator who worked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, for many years until his retirement in 1984, died on April 8, 2011, at the age of 81. A specialist in French painting, Rust also studied Spanish and Italian art
  • John S. Slorp, president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design from 1990 to 2002 and an accreditor for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, passed away on May 21, 2011, at the age of 74. Previous to his stint in Minnesota, Slorp was president of the Memphis College of Art for eight years
  • Jack Smith, one of four artists known as the Beaux Arts quartet—or the Kitchen Sink artists, after an article by the critic David Sylvester—who came to prominence in England in the 1950s with abstract paintings that channeled Social Realism, died on June 11, 2011. He was 82
  • Cy Twombly, an influential and revered postwar abstract painter whom the critic Robert Hughes elevated to an artistic pantheon that included Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, died on July 5, 2011. He was 83 years old
  • Osamu Ueda, an Osaka-born curator at the Art Institute of Chicago who catalogued the museum’s collection of Japanese woodblock prints in the Claire E. Buckingham Collection, died on January 30, 2011, at age 83. Ueda was the coeditor of an important museum book, The Actor’s Image: Print Makers of the Katsukawa School, published in 1994
  • Polly Ullrich, a Chicago-based journalist who wrote for United Press International, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Chicago Sun Times, and the New York Times before she turned to ceramics, which she created and exhibited across the United States, passed away on July 6, 2011, at age 60. Ullrich also lectured across the Midwest and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she earned an MA in art history, theory, and criticism in 1994

Read all past obituaries in the arts in CAA News, which include special texts written for CAA. Please send links to published obituaries to Christopher Howard, CAA managing editor, for the August listing.

Filed under: Obituaries, People in the News

CAA offers Annual Conference Travel Grants to graduate students in art history and studio art and to international artists and scholars. In addition, the Getty Foundation has funded a one-year program that will enable twenty applicants from outside the United States to attend the 2012 Annual Conference in Los Angeles. Applicants may apply for more than one grant but can only receive a single award.

CAA Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant

CAA will award a limited number of $150 Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants to advanced PhD and MFA graduate students as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to attend the 100th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, taking place February 22–25, 2012. To qualify for the grant, students must be current CAA members. Successful applicants will also receive a complimentary conference registration. Deadline: September 23, 2011.

CAA International Member Conference Travel Grant

CAA will award a limited number of $300 International Member Conference Travel Grants to artists and scholars from outside the United States as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to attend the 100th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, taking place February 22–25, 2012. To qualify for the grant, applicants must be current CAA members. Successful applicants will also receive a complimentary conference registration. Deadline: September 23, 2011.

CAA International Travel Grant Program

Through the new CAA International Travel Grant Program, generously funded by the Getty Foundation, CAA will provide funds to twenty applicants that fully cover travel, lodging, and meal costs to attend the 100th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, taking place February 22–25, 2012. Recipients will also receive conference registration and a one-year CAA membership. Applicants may be art historians, artists who teach art history, and art historians who are museum curators. Those from developing countries or from nations not well represented in CAA’s membership are especially encouraged to apply. Deadline: September 23, 2011.

Donate to the Annual Conference Travel Grants

CAA’s Annual Conference Travel Grants are funded solely by donations from CAA members—please contribute today. Charitable contributions are 100 percent tax deductible. CAA extends a warm thanks to those members who made voluntary contributions to this fund in 2010.

Image: Joseph Mallord William Turner, Rain, Steam and Speed—The Great Western Railway, 1844, oil on canvas, 35⅞ x 49 in. National Gallery, London (artwork in the public domain)

After two years of research and numerous site visits in the five boroughs of New York, CAA signed a fifteen-year lease for a new office at 50 Broadway in lower Manhattan. The property—located in a rich historical district near Wall Street, Battery Park, Trinity Church, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum—is owned by the 50 Broadway Realty Corporation, an entity of the United Federation of Teachers, which is headquartered in the building. The move comes at the end of CAA’s twenty-five-year lease at 275 Seventh Avenue in Chelsea.

The affordable, furnished office of approximately 9,500 square feet is located on a single floor with a variety of building amenities, including an auditorium, meeting rooms, and a staff cafeteria. It also features natural light through windows on the east, west, and north sides. Since the new office comes largely furnished, CAA has invested little in construction, equipment, and furniture, other than the purchase of a few desks, bookshelves, and a conference table and chairs. Two significant changes, a new telephone system and a new internet service provider, will improve member communications. The installation of carpet, resurfacing of concrete corridors, and repainting of office walls are currently under way and should be completed prior to the move day: Saturday, July 23, 2011.

Meanwhile, CAA staff has been reorganizing and purging files, archiving materials, completing a space utilization analysis, relocating books and periodicals, and coordinating logistics with the movers and with the managements of the old and new buildings. The physical move will happen in one day, and—aside from the normal readjustment period required to be comfortably relocated—CAA expects no interruption in services or operations: the main website, the Online Career Center,, and other online services and publications will all function normally.

CAA is excited about the prospect of becoming a player in lower Manhattan’s ongoing revitalization efforts for residential, commercial, and cultural purposes. The new address for the organization beginning Monday, July 25, 2011, is: College Art Association, 50 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10004. The primary telephone and fax numbers will remain the same: 212-691-1051 and 212-627-2381, respectively. CAA staff, however, will be unavailable from Thursday, July 21, through Monday morning, July 25; the telephone and fax numbers will also not be working during that time.

The CAA Board of Directors and staff wish to thank the legal acumen of Steven Alden and Jeffrey Cunard of Debevoise & Plimpton LLC and the real-estate expertise of Carri Lyon of Cushman & Wakefield in securing the new location. Everyone is welcome to attend an open house at the new CAA office, to be held on Saturday afternoon, October 22, 2011.

Filed under: CAA News

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship. The following exhibitions and events should not be missed. 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.

July–August 2011

Cone Sisters Collecting Matisse

Pablo Picasso, Woman with Bangs, 1902, oil on canvas, 24⅛ x 20¼ in. Cone Collection, Baltimore Museum of Art. BMA 1950.268 (artwork © 2011 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society [ARS], New York; photograph provided by the Jewish Museum)

Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore
Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10128
May 6–September 25, 2011

The Cone sisters of Baltimore, Claribel and Etta, were a beacon of taste through their collection of modern art. The Jewish Museum has extracted fifty works from a collection of approximately three thousand that blossomed from purchases of works by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse—as early as 1905. After an introduction to the Parisian avant-garde by Gertrude and Leo Stein, the Cone Sisters accrued and displayed modernist treasures alongside an elegant collection of textiles and furniture from Africa, Asia, and Europe. The exhibition will gather these works, photographs, and archival material, allowing the public to ascertain their unrelenting appreciation of art objects.

Dara Birnbaum: Arabesque
Marian Goodman Gallery
24 West 57th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10019
June 28–August 26, 2011

This summer, Marian Goodman Gallery will exhibit Dara Birnbaum’s new multichannel video piece Arabesque (2011) alongside a miniretrospective of early work such as the rarely seen Attack Piece, Mirroring, and Everything’s Gonna Be Alright. Arabesque, a meditation on the recurring “power struggle between male and female” that Birnbaum recognizes in her work, is inspired by the composer Clara Schumann’s work, life, and relationship with her much more famous husband, the composer Robert Schumann. This struggle arguably connects the work to her otherwise dissimilar video work from 1975–76, in which Birnbaum confronted gender inequality in the media, pop culture, and even her relationships with her male collaborators.

Seeing Gertrude Stein

Cecil Beaton, Gertrude Stein, 1935, gelatin-silver print. Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s. CM3794 (photograph provided by the Contemporary Jewish Museum)

Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories
Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
May 12–September 6, 2011

The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco is spearheading an exploration of Gertrude Stein’s colossal creative ambitions and the legacy of her involvement in the arts. The exhibition mingles personal and acquired artifacts among five “stories,” or subcategories, of her life. The first, “Picturing Gertrude,” documents the writer’s transformations in appearance and her interpersonal magnetism through portraits by Man Ray, Cecil Beaton, and other artists. “Domestic Stein” uncovers the intimate relationship between Stein and her life-long partner, Alice B. Toklas, while presenting details from their eccentric homes in Paris and the south of France. “The Art of Friendship” reveals Stein’s influence on a younger generation of queer artists and writers through her collaborations with dance and opera. “Celebrity Stein”concentrates on Stein’s lecture tour across the United States in 1934–35, documented extensively by the media, and also her experience during both World Wars. Last, “Legacies” spotlights the impact of her undisguised sexuality, brash experimentation, and charm on artists such as Andy Warhol and Glenn Ligon. The exhibition will travel to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, from October 14, 2011, to January 22, 2012. Check the website of the Contemporary Jewish Museum for a number of lectures, performances, and events pertaining to the exhibition.

Claude Cahun
Jeu de Paume
1 place de la Concorde, Paris, France
May 24–September 25, 2011

Claude Cahun, born Lucy Renée Mathilde Schwob, was a vanguard French artist interested in bending the social perception of gender. Her androgynous photographic self-portraits from the 1920s not only fluctuated fluidly between male and female personae, they also presented innovative visual techniques like staging and montage. Although she was affiliated with the Surrealists in the 1930s, her theatrical emphasis on exposing predesigned assumptions about contemporary women inflamed their confrontations with reality. Despite this antagonism, Cahun’s photocollages and slew of writings—much of which is on display at Jeu de Paume—contributed to the momentum of the movement. Performance is inescapable in her photographs, which underscores her influence on photographers such as Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin. This exhibition—the first large-scale presentation of her work in her native France in sixteen years—will travel to the Art Institute of Chicago and La Virreina Centre de la Imatge in Barcelona during 2011–12.

Guerrilla Girls Erase Discrimination

Guerrilla Girls, Erase Discrimination, 1999, ink on rubber, 1⅛ x 2½ x ¼ in. each. Collection of the Akron Museum of Art (artwork © Guerrilla Girls; photograph provided by the National Museum of Women in the Arts)

The Guerrilla Girls Talk Back
National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington DC 20005

June 17–October 17, 2011

Since 1985 the legendary, gorilla-masked feminist collective the Guerrilla Girls have, in their own words, been “fighting discrimination with facts, humor, and fake fur.” The National Museum of Women in the Arts is celebrating more than twenty-five years of the group’s “guerrilla tactics” in fighting sexism and racism in the art world with the exhibition The Guerrilla Girls Talk Back. The show includes examples and documentation of the anonymous collective’s posters, stickers, billboards, books, and performances, which combine snarky satire with disturbing statistics to demonstrate the institutional exclusion of women and artists of color from both art history and contemporary art exhibitions.

Modern Women: Single Channel
22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101
January 23–August 8, 2011

Alexandra Schwartz, curator of contemporary art at the Montclair Art Museum, gathered this group of single-channel videos by eleven female artists from the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. Spanning from the 1960s to the late 1990s, the international selection offers the technical experiments of artists such as Pipilotti Rist and Kristin Lucas as well as conceptually groundbreaking precedents set by Joan Jonas and VALIE EXPORT. As a whole, the exhibition challenges the limitations of narrative, documentation, and popular culture. Although gender and sexuality are imminant concepts in the work, Modern Women: Single Channel emphasizes how the female gaze has evolved over the last forty years in the singular medium of video.

Ruth Gruber

Ruth Gruber, Children playing chess aboard the Henry Gibbins, 1944 (artwork © Ruth Gruber; photograph provided by the International Center of Photography)

Ruth Gruber, Photojournalist
International Center of Photography
1133 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036
May 20–August 28, 2011

The Brooklyn-born Ruth Gruber is a famed photojournalist who began her career in the Soviet Arctic and Siberian Gulag in 1935. She continued to conquer unchartered territory in Alaska, capturing some of the first color images of the terrain and its natives in the early 1940s. Gruber activated her humanitarian inklings during World War II, documenting the migration of one thousand Jewish refugees to the United States from Europe in 1944 and later recording the difficulties of Jewish emigration into Palestine. The exhibition will include never-before-seen color photographs and vintage prints as well as contemporary prints from original negatives taken from Gruber’s personal archives.

Filed under: CWA Picks, Uncategorized — Tags:

Affiliated Society News for July 2011

posted by July 09, 2011

American Council for Southern Asian Art

The fifteenth biennial symposium of the American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) will take place at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis from September 22 to 25, 2011. The engaging event will feature speakers presenting a wide range of papers on historical and contemporary art from South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayan region. Please direct any questions about the symposium to Rick Asher at the University of Minnesota. You may download a PDF of the full program, registration, and related information.

Art Historians of Southern California

Three years ago, Sandra Esslinger, PhD, and Cristina Hernandez, MA, two Mt. San Antonio College professors and members of the Art Historians of Southern California (AHSC), attempted to charter a resolution that would require only an MA to teach art history in California Community Colleges. They were rejected and turned to CAA for support, but there was no mention of community colleges in CAA’s Standards and Guidelines. Esslinger chaired a CAA task force that, among other things, amended the Standards of Retention and Tenure of Art Historians to include language for community colleges. The change justified resubmitting the resolution to the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. Two professors from Napa Valley Community College, Erik Shearer, MFA, and Amanda Badgett, PhD, joined the campaign, and AHSC reinforced the effort with relentless member support. The proposed revision was fortified by over seventy letters and passed unanimously by the academic senators.

Arts Council of the African Studies Association


The Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) recently concluded the fifteenth triennial symposium on African art, entitled “Africa and Its Diasporas in the Marketplace: Cultural Resources and the Global Economy,” held March 23–26, 2011, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). With the assistance of a generous grant from the Getty Foundation, ACASA brought fifteen colleagues from Africa to participate as presenters in addition to nineteen graduate students and four additional colleagues from the continent supported by ACASA’s own funds. Corinne Kratz from Emory University gave the keynote speech, entitled “Recurring Wodaabe: Proliferating Images of Pastoralists, Gender, and Performance.” Forty-six panels covered past and modern nodes of art-historical inquiry, photography, modes of exhibiting and funding, and contemporary art establishments in Africa. The number of panels has doubled since the original incarnation of the symposium in 1986, highlighting an evolving interest in the field.

ACASA has named new officers to its board: Steven Nelson of UCLA is president; Jean M. Borgatti of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, is past president; and Lisa Binder from the Museum for African Art in New York is president elect and vice president. Continuing as secretary and treasurer is Carol Magee of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the independent scholar Joyce Youmans will remain the newsletter editor. The board also welcomed several new members: Shannen Hill, University of Maryland, College Park; Kinsey Katchka, independent curator; and John Peffer, Ramapo College.

Jessica Winegar

Jessica Winegar’s Creative Reckonings won the 2011 Arnold Rubin Book Award for a single-authored book

In 2011, ACASA honored two leaders in the field: Rowland Abiodun, John C. Newton Professor of the History of Art and Black Studies at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Doran Ross, curator emeritus at UCLA’s Fowler Museum. The organization also presented a handful of book awards and honorable mentions. The Arnold Rubin Book Award for a single-authored book was given to Jessica Winegar for Creative Reckonings: The Politics of Art and Culture In Contemporary Egypt (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006), with an honorable mention going to Steven Nelson for From Cameroon to Paris: Mousgoum Architecture in and out of Africa (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). The Arnold Rubin Award for books with multiple authors was bestowed on Henry John Drewal’s edited volume, Sacred Waters: Arts for Mami Wata and Other Divinities in Africa and the Diaspora (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008); the honorable mention went to Inscribing Meaning (Milan: 5Continents Press, 2007) by Christine Mullen Kreamer, Polly Nooter Roberts, Elizabeth Harney, and Allyson Purpura. The Roy Sieber Outstanding Dissertation Award was given to Alexander Bortolot for “A Language for Change: Creativity and Power in Mozambican Makonde Masked Performance, circa 1900–2004” (Columbia University, 2007), with an honorable mention for Nichole Bridges’s “Contact, Commentary, and Kongo Memory: Perspectives on Loango Coast Souvenir Ivories, ca. 1840–1910” (University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2009).

Association of Art Historians

The Association of Art Historians (AAH), based in the United Kingdom, has named Alison Yarrington as its new chair, to serve a three-year term. An expert in sculpture, Yarrington is dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Hull in England and governor of the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. She has long been involved with AAH and is committed to its mission of promoting the professional practice and the public understanding of art history.

Association of Historians of American Art

The Association of Historians of American Art (AHAA) will sponsor two sessions at CAA’s 2012 Annual Conference in Los Angeles. Wendy Katz from the Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln will chair the shorter, professional session, “Ideology, Industry, and Instinct: The Art of Labor,” and Erica Schneider of Framingham State University in Framingham, Massachusetts, will lead the longer, scholarly session, “American Symbolism.”

The next AHAA symposium, chaired by David Dearinger and Melissa Renn, will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 12–13, 2012. Please visit the AHAA website later this summer for more details on the event.

Historians of British Art

The Historians of British Art (HBA) have welcomed new board members: Dianne Sachko Macleod, University of California, Davis; Morna O’Neill, Wake Forest University; and Emily Talbot, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The organization has also chosen its new officers: Peter Trippi, editor of Fine Art Connoisseur, is president; Colette Crossman of the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, is first vice president; Craig Hanson of Calvin College is second vice president; and Jongwoo Kim from the University of Louisville, a new board member, is treasurer and membership chair.

International Association of Art Critics


Peter Schjeldahl, art critic for the New Yorker, will deliver the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA) fifth annual Distinguished Critic Lecture in the Tishman Auditorium at the New School in New York on Thursday, November 17, 2011, 6:30–8:00 PM. The topic of his talk is “The Critic as Artist, in 2011: Is updating Oscar Wilde possible? It seems worth a try.” An American art critic, a celebrated poet, and an educator, Schjeldahl has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1998. Before that he wrote on art for Village Voice from 1980 to 1998, as well as for the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. The author of four books, including The Hydrogen Jukebox: Selected Writings of Peter Schjeldahl, 1978–1990 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), he received CAA’s Frank Jewett Mather Award in 1980 and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 1995.

Presented by AICA with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, the Distinguished Critic Lecture at the New School addresses current issues in the world of art criticism. General admission for the Schjeldahl talk is $8; free for all students, AICA members, and New School faculty, staff, and alumni with a valid ID.

Leonardo/International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology

The San Francisco–based Leonardo/International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST) has appointed Jeffrey N. Babcock as interim executive director. A current member and former chairman of Leonardo/ISAST’s governing board, Babcock has more than thirty years of experience as a senior nonprofit arts and academic executive, consultant, event and media producer, and entrepreneur. He has been actively involved in creative technologies throughout his career, collaborating with arts technology engineers and artists to produce and present complex projects.

Paul Thomas, associate professor in the College of Fine Art at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, will moderate a Leonardo Education and Art Forum (LEAF) education workshop in collaboration with the Australian Forum at ISEA2011 Istanbu. Called “Transdisciplinary Visual Arts, Science, and Technology Renewal Post–New Media Assimilation” and sponsored by the National Institute for Experimental Arts, the workshop will address issues encountered while developing transdisciplinary art–science research, teaching, and meshing curricula from diverse fields.

Submissions are now being accepted for ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness. This symposium will consist of a conference, to be held September 19–24, 2012, with events exploring the discourse of global proportions on the subject of art, technology, and nature. Deadline: October 1, 2011.

Mid America College Art Association

Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, will host the next conference of the Mid-America College Art Association (MACAA) from October 3 to 6, 2011. The call for papers will be posted soon to the organization’s website.

National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts


The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) will hold its next symposium, titled “Shared Journeys II,” at West Virginia University in Morgantown from October 14 to 16, 2011. The event will explore achievements in Chinese ceramics and its influence in the West by examining legacies and tensions of craftsmanship, pedagogy, philosophy, and social currents. Representatives from the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute and contemporary artists versed in overglaze and underglaze painting, slab construction, hand building, and wheel throwing will join American presenters for demonstrations and lectures. Visit the NCECA website for information on programming, travel, and lodging—and also to register.

New Media Caucus

The New Media Caucus (NMC) has produced the first print-on-demand version of its scholarly journal, Media-N, available via Lulu. The theme of the issue, from Fall 2010, is “Dynamic Coupling.” NMC applauds the persistence and determination of those who made this significant moment possible, among them the designer Rachel Beth Egenhoefer, the associate editor Juliet Davis, and the editor-in-chief Pat Badani. In addition, the organization gives a sincere thanks to Jessica Westbrook and Adam Trowbridge, editors of the original online version of the issue, and also three contributors and reviewers: Rachel Clarke, Jim Jeffers, and James Khazar. A portion of the funds from each Media-N purchase will contribute to the organization’s exploration of digital media for conceptual and artistic purposes. MNC plans to continue its dual publication model—online and print-on-demand—in the future.

Public Art Dialogue

The eponymous journal of Public Art Dialogue, published twice a year by Taylor and Francis, debuted in the spring of 2011 with a themed issue on “Reinterpreting the Canon.” Public Art Dialogue is one of multiple benefits included with a paid membership in the organization. Other member benefits include the opportunity to participate in the annual Public Art Portfolio Review, coordinated by Renee Piechocki, in which experienced public-art administrators, artists, consultants, and curators offer feedback on the work of graduate students, emerging artists, and established artists. Read about the inaugural portfolio review, which took place in February 2011 at the CAA Annual Conference.

Society for Photographic Education

The website of the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) now features galleries in which members can upload up to six distinct portfolios with up to thirty images each. Anyone can view public portfolios, and SPE members can interactively browse and comment on work from the entire SPE community.

Society for the Study of Early Modern Women

Suzanne Cusick

Suzanne G. Cusick’s Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court received a 2010 Book Award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women

The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW) formally announced the 2010 winners of its annual awards, along with the honorable mentions, at its October 2010 meeting. The names of the seven categories, the recipients, and their books and projects follow.

The winner of the Book Award is Suzanne G. Cusick’s Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court: Music and the Circulation of Power (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), and the honorable mention goes to Dena Goodman for Becoming a Woman in the Age of Letters (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009). Daniella Kostroun and Lisa Vollendorf took the Collaborative Project Award for Women, Religion, and the Atlantic World (1600–1800) (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009). Julie Campbell and Anne R. Larsen received an honorable mention for Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2009).

The Josephine A. Roberts Scholarly Edition Award was bestowed upon Sarah E. Owens, the editor and translator of Journey of Five Capuchin Nuns (Toronto: Iter and the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2009). Lynne Tatlock’s similar work as editor and translator, published as Meditations on the Incarnation, Passion, and Death of Jesus Christ (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), written in the seventeenth century by Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg, received an honorable mention. Elizabeth I and Her Age: Authoritative Texts, Commentary, and Criticism (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009), edited by Donald Stump and Susan M. Felch, won the Translation or Teaching Edition Award.

The Essay or Article Award went to Dana Wessell Lightfoot for “The Projects of Marriage: Spousal Choice, Dowries, and Domestic Service in Early Fifteenth-Century Valencia,” published in Viator in 2009. Crystal B. Lake received an honorable mention for “Redecorating the Ruin: Women and Antiquarianism in Sarah Scott’s Millenium Hall,” published in English Literary History (or ELH) in 2009.

The Graduate Student Conference Paper Award was shared by Michelle DiMeo and Brian Oberlander. DiMeo presented “Lady Katherine Ranelagh or Lady Margaret Orrery? Reattributing Authorship for ‘The Boyle Family Receipt Book’” at the Modern Language Association’s 2009 annual conference, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Oberlander spoke on “Susanne as Symbol in the Sixteenth-Century French Chanson” at a meeting of the American Musicological Society’s Midwest chapter in Berea, Ohio, in the same year.

An audio CD from Candace Smith and her ensemble Cappella Artemisia called Soror Mea, Sponsa Mea, Arte e Musica nei Conventi Femminili in Italia tra Cinque e Seicento (Poligrafo, 2009), which accompanied the publication of proceedings from a 2005 conference, received the Arts and Media Award.

Visual Resources Association

The Visual Resources Association (VRA) presented the winners of the organization’s highest honors at a Convocation ceremony on March 25, 2011, at the VRA and Art Libraries Society of North America’s second joint conference, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Eileen Fry received the Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to visual resources and image management. Comments from Fry’s nominators and a discussion of her engagement with research, service, and innovation over her thirty-five year career can be found online. In addition, VRA presented the Nancy DeLaurier Award for distinguished achievement to Renate Wiedenhoeft. Spearheading Saskia and Scholars Resource, Wiedenhoeft has provided high-quality images for teaching art history for over forty-five years. Her acceptance remarks can also be found online. Relatedly, VRA has published images from and information about the awards presentation as well as conference presentations.

Filed under: Affiliated Societies

CAA invites you to apply for service on one of its nine innovative, productive Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees, which address crucial issues in the visual arts and propose solutions that advance CAA’s goals and the profession as a whole. Working on a committee is also an excellent way to network with other members.

Committee activity is busiest at the Annual Conference, where each group usually presents one or two sessions. Other committees do more: the Services to Artists Committee conceives and implements ARTspace, ARTexchange, and the Media Lounge, and the Students and Emerging Professionals Committee puts together lunchtime programming on professional-development topics for the Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge.

Throughout the year, committee activities are more diverse, and you will have the opportunity to bring up topics important to you and your colleagues for discussion and action. If developments in pedagogy interest you, apply for the Education Committee. Worried about artists’ copyright or the high cost of image reproduction? The Committee on Intellectual Property monitors and advises on these pressing issues.

This year, two committees conducted surveys directed at their particular CAA constituencies. The Museum Committee sought input from museum and gallery professionals, and the International Committee queried members based outside the United States and foreign-born artists and scholars working in America. The Professional Practices Committee tackles urgent professional matters such as the increase of adjuncts in higher education; it also writes and revises Standards and Guidelines that, once approved by the CAA Board of Directors, become authoritative and comprehensive documents for art-related disciplines. The Committee on Diversity Practices has added a hitherto underserved area, older and senior professionals, to its list of concerns, and the Committee on Women in the Arts publishes the monthly CWA Picks of exhibitions and events related to feminist art and scholarship, among other projects.

Committee members serve three-year terms (2012–15), with at least one new member rotating onto a committee each year. Candidates must possess expertise appropriate to the committee’s work and be current CAA members. Members of all committees volunteer their services without compensation. The following vacancies are open for terms beginning in February 2012:

  • Committee on Diversity Practices: three members
  • Committee on Intellectual Property: one member
  • Committee on Women in the Arts: two members
  • Education Committee: two members
  • International Committee: two members
  • Museum Committee: three members
  • Professional Practices Committee: two members
  • Services to Artists Committee: four members
  • Student and Emerging Professionals Committee: three members

CAA’s president and vice president for committees will review all candidates in late November 2011 and make appointments in early December, prior to the 2012 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, where CAA will conclude its yearlong Centennial Celebration. All new members are introduced to their committees during their respective business meetings at the conference.

Nominations and self-nominations should include a brief statement (no more than 150 words) describing your qualifications and experience and an abbreviated CV (no more than two pages). Please send all materials to Vanessa Jalet, CAA executive assistant. Deadline: October 14, 2011.

Image: The Student and Emerging Professionals Committee hosted a breakfast at the American Folk Art Museum during the 2011 Annual Conference (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Filed under: Committees, Governance, Membership

On July 8, 2011, the US House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, which allocates funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), passed a bill with steep cuts for both federal agencies for fiscal year 2012. Approved by an 8–5 vote, the plan will provide the NEA and NEH with only $135.2 million apiece—a $20 million cut from their current levels and $11 million less than President Barack Obama’s initial request.

The full House Appropriations Committee (click to see names and states), scheduled to consider the bill early next week, is expected to adopt similar funding cuts. If your representative sits on this committee, CAA urges you to ask him or her to oppose these and any cuts to the NEA and NEH. Call the House switchboard at 202-225-3121; an operator can transfer you to the office of your representative.

For more information about advocacy for museums, or to get the names of your representatives in Congress, please visit Speak Up for Museums, a project of the American Association of Museums.