CAA News Today

Reflections on the Annual Conference, the Year Past, and the Year to Come

posted by Anne Collins Goodyear — Mar 05, 2013

Anne Collins Goodyear is president of the CAA Board of Directors.

CAA’s Annual Conference was typically lively and rewarding. With nearly six thousand participants, representing all fifty states—and the District of Columbia—and fifty-three countries, CAA hosted well over two hundred sessions addressing a broad range of topics, including contemporary art practice, criticism, pedagogy, issues in museums, and the history of art. As participation in the conference by colleagues from around the world continues to grow, we were pleased to welcome twenty recipients of CAA International Travel Grants, generously supported by the Getty Foundation, and further discussed by Ann Albritton, Chair of CAA’s International Committee, in an article that will soon be published on the CAA website.

The conference took advantage of new technologies, providing, for the first time, wireless internet access free of charge to conference goers throughout the conference rooms, and making possible the broad spread use of Skype to involve panelists and respondents unable to be in New York. CAA also hosted its first ever THATCamp (The Humanities And Technology) on February 11 and 12, fully subscribed with seventy-five scholars, just before the official start of the conference. A follow up session held during the conference continued a stimulating discussion about the promise and current role of new technologies for art historians.

New technologies are shaping CAA’s publications, two of which celebrate major milestones this year. The Annual Conference enabled us to mark the centennial of The Art Bulletin and the fifteenth anniversary of—both of which were toasted with cake and champagne following our Annual Members’ Business Meeting. In connection with this, each publication, thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, has undertaken open-access online projects using the Scalar platform. Thelma Thomas, chair of the Art Bulletin Editorial Board, graciously demonstrated her online compilation “Publishing The Art Bulletin: Past, Present, and Future,” ( at the meeting. A forthcoming Scalar project by the editor-in chief, Sheryl Reiss, will address the exhibition Bernini: Sculpting in Clay at the Kimbell Art Museum.

As the terrain of scholarly publishing continues to evolve, the high cost of scholarly publications, due in large part to the necessity of obtaining copyright and other clearance permissions for reproductions, concerns all of us. CAA is thus deeply appreciative of a one-year Meiss/Mellon Author Grant for $69,698 to offer subventions to emerging scholars who are publishing monographs in art history and visual studies and to advertise the award. Applications for the first round of the Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award are now being accepted. The deadline for spring submissions is March 15, 2013. Fall applications are due October 1, 2013. For more information see:

The larger question of when copyrighted material may be used without licensing in accordance with the principles of fair use is at the heart of a major initiative by CAA to establish Fair Use Best Practice Guidelines, undertaken with the assistance of generous support from the Kress and Mellon Foundations. The project is addressed in greater depth in Jeffrey Cunard’s article, published today. See:

As the Strategic Plan for 2010–2015 draws to its conclusion (available at, the Board of Directors has now embarked, having convened a task force for the purpose, on the development of a 2015–2020 Strategic Plan. We are eager for your input into the plan and to hear from you about what you feel is working well within the organization and where our services could be strengthened. A related survey will be distributed later this year, and key issues will be discussed with the CAA membership next February at the 2014 Annual Members’ Business Meeting.

As always, CAA welcomes input from its membership on any topic of interest to the field. Please feel free to consult directly with the staff and board and/or to take advantage of CAA’s Facebook page to share your views. See: