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CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Register for Arts Advocacy Day

The 2012 election has made a dramatic impact on Congress, with more than eighty new members taking office in early January 2013. The next Congress will renew the focus on reducing the federal deficit and creating jobs, and it is imperative that arts advocates work together to craft a policy agenda that supports the nonprofit arts sector and arts education. (Read more from Americans for the Arts.)

Humanities Advocacy Day Registration

Registration for Humanities Advocacy Day and the annual meeting of the National Humanities Alliance will help you to connect with a growing network of humanities leaders, to communicate the value of the humanities to members of Congress, and to become a year-round advocate for the humanities. (Read more from the National Humanities Alliance.)

How Art History Is Failing at the Internet

The history of art as practiced in museums and the academy is sluggish in its embrace of the new technology. Of course we have technology in our galleries and classrooms and information on the web; of course we are exploiting social media to reach and grow our audiences, by tweeting about our books and articles, including links to our career accomplishments on Facebook, and chatting with our students online. But we aren’t conducting art-historical research differently. We aren’t working collaboratively and experimentally. (Read more at the Daily Dot.)

Grad School Confidential: How to Choose the Right Degree

Graduate school is hard. It’s also really expensive. But if you’re actually going to invest the time and money to do it, make it count for yourself. If you need a good graduate school to be able to do the things you want to do, aim high. You can go online and check the US News and World Report rankings, of course. And there are some damn good schools on that list. But if you choose a graduate school based on the institution’s reputation alone, you may find yourself in a discipline or among peers that simply don’t suit you. (Read more at Burnaway.)

More on Pedagogy in Arts Entrepreneurship

As I’ve been working on a pedagogical approach for emerging arts entrepreneurs, I’ve immersed myself in literature and resources on creative thinking and creative problem solving. What keeps striking me is the stark difference between creativity as applied in the development of complex ideas and the creative process in the making of art. The former lends itself, at least to a great degree, to techniques, processes, and formulae, while the making of art does not. One is rational, the other un-rational. (Read more at State of the Art.)

Shift in Heritage: Richard Serra Sculpture Has Uncertain Future

The closest thing southern Ontario has to Stonehenge is Shift, a sculpture by Richard Serra in a King City farmer’s field. Serra is a superstar artist whose work is worth millions of dollars, but Shift remains relatively obscure. Though many places would envy our big Serra, last month the Ontario Conservation Review Board decided not to support King Township’s request that Serra’s work be protected under the Ontario Heritage Act, so its future remains uncertain. (Read more at the Toronto Star.)

Dating and Job Hunting

Last January, I returned mentally and emotionally exhausted from the American Historical Association meeting. I had been lucky to have had a few interviews, and all I could do was refresh my email every few minutes, hoping for any updates. I toggled over to Facebook and quickly posted the status, “If the academic job market is like dating (and it totally is) I hope to be engaged by Valentine’s Day.” The likes and comments poured in from family and friends. (Read more at Inside Higher Ed.)

Masterpieces on Loan Leave MFA Walls Lacking

Visitors to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, this holiday season can see the celebrity and fashion photographs of Mario Testino. But if they wander off into the permanent collection galleries, they won’t find the museum’s most famous Renoir, Dance at Bougival. Nor will they see any of the museum’s five paintings by Cezanne, five of its six great paintings by Manet, its most distinctive Monet, or its two greatest van Goghs. Some of these works have been lent to serious and scholarly museum shows in the United States, Japan, and Europe. Agreeing to such loans is common practice and builds goodwill for when the museum asks to borrow for its own exhibitions. (Read more at the Boston Globe.)

Filed under: CAA News

Robert Storr Is Convocation Speaker

posted by Christopher Howard

Robert Storr, dean of the Yale University School of Art and a former senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), will deliver the keynote address during Convocation at the 2013 Annual Conference in New York. Convocation, which includes the presentation of the 2013 CAA Awards for Distinction, will take place on Wednesday evening, February 13, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. Free and open to the public, the event will be held in the East Ballroom, on the second floor of the Hilton New York in midtown Manhattan.

Storr joined the Department of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA in 1990, where he has organized solo exhibitions on Elizabeth Murray (2005–6), Max Beckmann (2003), Gerhard Richter (2002), Chuck Close (1998), Tony Smith (1998), and Robert Ryman (1993–94). He also coordinated the Projects series at the museum from 1990 to 2000. More recently, Storr served as commissioner of the 2007 Venice Biennale, which was titled Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense. He was the first American invited to the position.

A painter and a critic, Storr has written on art for Art in America, where he has been a contributing editor since 1981, and for Frieze, where he wrote a regular column from 2004 to 2011. In addition to publishing books on Close and Philip Guston, he has recently completed Intimate Geometries: The Work and Life of Louise Bourgeois (forthcoming).

Storr earned a BA from Swarthmore College in 1972 and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1978. The recipient of numerous grants, awards, and honors, he has lectured at colleges and universities throughout the northeastern United States. Storr began his official academic career in 2002, leaving MoMA to become the first Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. Storr joined Yale in 2006 as dean and was recently reappointed to that position for a second five-year term. He is also professor of painting and printmaking at his school.

Storr has intersected with CAA at various points throughout his career. He has chaired several Annual Conference sessions and has spoken on even more. He served on the Art Journal Editorial Board from 1985 to 1995 and, with the attorney Barbara Hoffman, guest edited two issues on censorship and the visual arts, in fall and winter 1991. A ever-passionate advocate, Storr took up the issue again in 2011, writing a piece in Frieze on the Hide/Seek controversy.

On Tuesday, February 12, a day before Convocation, Storr will participate on a panel, titled “Hands On,” at the New York Studio School in Greenwich Village. Joining him will be the art historians Svetlana Alpers, professor emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, and David Rosand, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History Emeritus at Columbia University, who will discuss the connections between making art and writing about it. David Cohen, an art critic and the editor of, will moderate. The event, starting at 6:30 PM, is free and open to the public; seating, however, may be limited.

Image: Robert Storr (photograph by Herbert Lotz)

CAA is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of its International Travel Grant Program, generously funded by the Getty Foundation. Twenty art historians, including professors, curators, and artists who teach art history, will attend the upcoming Annual Conference in New York, taking place February 13–16, 2013. This is the second consecutive year that CAA has received a Getty grant to support the program.

Please read the full article to learn more about the twenty recipients, who come from the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

In addition to covering travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and per diems, the CAA International Travel Grant Program includes conference registration and a one-year CAA membership. At the conference, the twenty recipients will be paired with hosts, who will introduce them to CAA and to specific colleagues who share their interests. CAA is grateful to the National Committee for the History of Art (NCHA) for its generous support in underwriting the hosts’ expenses. Members of CAA’s International Committee have agreed to serve as hosts, along with representatives from NCHA and CAA’s Board of Directors. This year, the program will begin with a one-day preconference for grant recipients and their hosts in New York on February 12.

CAA is delighted by the range of interests and accomplishments of this year’s grant recipients and looks forward to welcoming them in New York.

Image: Ding Ning, a professor and vice dean of the School of Arts at Peking University in China, is a 2013 travel-grant recipient.

Finalists for the 2013 Morey and Barr Awards

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2013 Charles Rufus Morey Book Award and the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award. The winners of both prizes, along with the recipients of ten other Awards for Distinction, will be announced in January and presented during Convocation in New York, in conjunction with the 101st Annual Conference.

The Charles Rufus Morey Book Award honors an especially distinguished book in the history of art, published in any language between September 1, 2011, and August 31, 2012. The four finalists are:

  • Esra Akcan, Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey, and the Modern House (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012)
  • Mary K. Coffey, How a Revolutionary Art Became Official Culture: Murals, Museums, and the Mexican State (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012)
  • Cynthia Hahn, Strange Beauty: Issues in the Making and Meaning of Reliquaries, 400–circa 1204 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012)
  • J. P. Park, Art by the Book: Painting Manuals and the Leisure Life in Late Ming China (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012)

The Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for museum scholarship is presented to the author(s) of an especially distinguished catalogue in the history of art, published between September 1, 2011, and August 31, 2012, under the auspices of a museum, library, or collection. The two finalists are:

  • Philipp Kaiser and Miwon Kwon, eds., Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 (Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2012)
  • Luke Syson with Larry Keith, Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan (London: National Gallery, 2011)

The Barr jury has shortlisted a second Barr Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, or Collections. The two finalists are:

  • Joanne Pillsbury, Miriam Doutriaux, Reiko Ishihara-Brito, and Alexandre Tokovinine, eds., Ancient Maya Art at Dumbarton Oaks (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2012)
  • Anne T. Woollett, Yvonne Szafran, and Alan Phenix, Drama and Devotion: Heemskerck’s “Ecce Homo” Altarpiece from Warsaw (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2012)

The presentation of the 2013 Awards for Distinction will take place on Wednesday evening, February 13, 5:30–7:00 PM, at the Hilton New York. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about CAA’s Awards for Distinction, please contact Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs and archivist.

Students and emerging professionals have the opportunity to sign up for a twenty-minute practice interview at the 2013 Annual Conference in New York. Organized by the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee, Mock Interview Sessions give participants the chance to practice their interview skills one on one with a seasoned professional, improve their effectiveness during interviews, and hone their elevator speech. Interviewers also provide candid feedback on application packets.

Mock Interview Sessions are offered free of charge; you must be a CAA member to participate. Sessions are filled by appointment only and scheduled for Thursday, February 14, 10:00 AM–NOON and 4:00–6:00 PM; and Friday, February 15, 10:00 AM–NOON and 4:00–6:00 PM. Conference registration, while encouraged, is not necessary to participate.

To apply, download, complete, and send the Mock Interview Sessions form to Jennifer Stoneking-Stewart, chair of the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee. You may enroll in one twenty-minute session. Deadline extended: February 13, 2013.

You will be notified of your appointment day and time by email. Please bring your application packet, including cover letter, CV, and other materials related to jobs in your field. The Student and Emerging Professionals Committee will make every effort to accommodate all applicants; however, space is limited.

Onsite enrollment will be limited and first-come, first-served. Sign up in the Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge starting on Thursday, February 14, at 8:00 AM.

Call for Mock Interviewers at the Conference

posted by Christopher Howard

For the 2013 Annual Conference in New York, the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee seeks established professionals to volunteer as practice interviewers for the Mock Interview Sessions. Participating as an interviewer is an excellent way to serve the field and to assist with the professional development of the next generation of artists and scholars.

In these sessions, interviewers pose as a prospective employer, speaking with individuals in a scenario similar to the Interview Hall at the conference. Each session is composed of approximately 10–15 minutes of interview questions and a quick review of the application packet, followed by 5–10 minutes of candid feedback. Whenever possible, the committee matches interviewers and interviewees based on medium or discipline.

Interested candidates must be current CAA members and prepared to give six successive twenty-minute interviews with feedback in a two-hour period on one or both of these days: Thursday, February 14, 10:00 AM–NOON and 4:00–6:00 PM; and Friday, February 15, 10:00 AM–NOON and 4:00–6:00 PM. Conference registration, while encouraged, is not required to be a mock interviewer. Desired for the sessions are art historians, art educators, designers, museum-studies professionals, critics, curators, and studio artists with tenure and/or experience on a search committee. You may volunteer for one, two, three, or all four Mock Interview Sessions.

Please send your name, affiliation, position, contact information, and the days and times that you are available to Jennifer Stoneking-Stewart, chair of the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee. Deadline extended: February 1, 2013.

The Mock Interview Sessions are not intended as a screening process by institutions seeking new hires.

Survey of Faculty Who Teach Online

posted by Christopher Howard

The Coalition on Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL X) and the United Association for Labor Education (UALE) seek participation in the On Line Teaching Working Conditions Survey from all faculty members who teach online for the purpose of gaining information on wages and working conditions. The organizers hope that the results will lead to organizing for improvements. CAA encourages you to take the survey and to forward its link to any relevant lists or individuals.

The survey is for anyone teaching online in colleges or universities. The project committee aims to collect a range of working conditions: how much people get paid, how many hours they work, whether they have union representation, how many students they have in a class, and so on. When the committee collects enough responses to get a sense of what’s out there, it will categorize the examples as “good,” “bad,” and “ugly” in an attempt to establish some kind of standard of what decent working conditions for online teachers—who are suspected to be largely contingent—might look like.

If you do not want to give your name when completing the survey, simply type in random letters in the box for the first question. No names of individuals will appear in the final (or draft) report, and no raw data will be circulated outside the committee that is working on the project. However, the group does need the name of your institution, the one through which you are teaching the class with the working conditions that you are describing.

Please complete this survey even if you filled out the previous draft survey. The current one has been updated to reflect comments that the organizers received from those who took the previous survey.

For more information on the survey or the project, please contact Helena Worthen for COCAL X and UALE’s On-Line Teaching Working Group.

Filed under: Advocacy, Research, Surveys, Workforce

The 2012–13 Nominating Committee has announced a slate of six candidates for the annual election of CAA members to serve on the Board of Directors for a four-year term (2013–17). Voting will begin when the webpages for the election, which will include the candidates’ statements, biographies, endorsements, and video presentations, are published in January 2013.

The six candidates are:

  • Elizabeth Conner, Artist and Instructor of Studio Art, University of Washington Tacoma
  • Constance Cortez, Associate Professor, School of Art, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Texas Tech University
  • Jennifer Milam, Associate Professor, Department of Art History and Film Studies, University of Sydney
  • Debra Riley Parr, Associate Professor of Art and Design History and Chair of Fashion Studies, Columbia College Chicago
  • Sheila Pepe, Acting Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, School of Art and Design, Pratt Institute
  • John Richardson, Professor and Chair, Department of Art and Art History, Wayne State University

If you have questions about the Nominating Committee, the candidates, or the voting process, please contact Vanessa Jalet, CAA executive liaison.

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 November 2012 include several important exhibitions in New York, New Jersey, and Nebraska, and in Germany. The first is Creeping Ornamentalism, a prescient, timely installation by Susan Hamburger that focuses on the destruction caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011 in New Jersey, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

In New York, the Brooklyn Museum boasts two stellar shows, Materializing “Six Years”: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art and Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe, and two commercial galleries are showing the work of Sandra Ramos and Penny Slinger. Out west, the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha is showing prints by numerous women artists in Under Pressure. Across the Atlantic, Kunstverein Hamburg presents Kiki Kogelnik: I Have Seen the Future.

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.

Image: Susan Hamburger, detail of a cartouche in the installation of Creeping Ornamentalism, 2012, acrylic-painted collage on paper with foam-board molding, dimensions variable (artwork © Susan Hamburger; photograph provided by the Visual Art Center of New Jersey)

Filed under: Committees, Exhibitions

Update on CAA after Superstorm Sandy

posted by Christopher Howard

Wednesday afternoon update: CAA staffers will return to the office on Thursday, November 8.

As of Tuesday morning, November 6, CAA’s building at 50 Broadway in lower Manhattan has electric power, but the telephones, internet, and heat are not operable. The office will remain closed until further notice. The situation, however, is being reviewed several times a day.

The full CAA staff, which lives throughout the New York, New Jersey, and Long Island regions, is safe.

The senior staff held a conference call on Sunday to discuss options for working. Email is being supported offsite on an emergency and temporary basis. Consequently, there are delays in the transmission of emails—some messages may not be delivered. It will take time to repair telephone service. The building superintendent’s office at 50 Broadway cannot yet determine  when heat will be restored.

CAA’s website and conference site are functioning normally. People may continue registering for the conference, workshops, opening reception, and tours; they may also renew their membership or join the organization.

If you are an artist, scholar, or other professional in the visual arts who has been affected by Superstorm Sandy, please consult the list of disaster resources posted by the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Filed under: Membership

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