College Art Association

CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Jun 26, 2013

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.

Humanities Committee Sounds an Alarm

A new national corps of “master teachers” trained in the humanities and social sciences and increased support for research in “endangered” liberal-arts subjects are among the recommendations of a major report delivered last week on Capitol Hill. The report comes amid concern about low humanities enrollments and worries that the Obama administration’s emphasis on science education risks diminishing a huge source of the nation’s intellectual strength. (Read more in the New York Times.)

The Humanities “Crisis”—Are Museums and Higher Education Doing All They Can?

Our public museums and libraries and our colleges and universities occupy a privileged cultural space and have earned respect born of their missions to foster and disseminate knowledge. By historical standards, public museums and libraries have been open institutions, and more people than ever are taking advantage of higher education. But what is possible in terms of scale and what constitutes “open” have moved fast and far recently. To date, most museums, colleges, and universities have not yet embraced the radical expansion to their missions that is now possible. (Read more in e-Literate.)

Do Unpaid Internships Lead to Jobs? Not for College Students

The common defense of the unpaid internship is that, even if the role doesn’t exactly pay, it will pay off eventually in the form of a job. Turns out, the data suggests that defense is wrong, at least when it comes to college students. For three years, the National Association of Colleges and Employers has asked graduating seniors if they’ve received a job offer and if they’ve ever had either a paid or unpaid internship. And for three years, it’s reached the same conclusion: unpaid internships don’t seem to give college kids much of a leg up when it comes time to look for employment. (Read more in the Atlantic.)

What Job-Placement Data Would Be Useful?

What data on the job placement of PhDs would be most useful to prospective graduate students and job candidates? “Any data at all,” came the reply from one respondent to an informal survey on graduate-school placement. The sense of frustration with the lack of reliable information was clear in the responses. The survey asked, “What data would be the most useful to you on the job-placement rates of individual PhD programs?” One respondent replied, “honest data; no lies.” Another wrote: “Any data would have been nice. I was given the impression that a PhD would lead to a job, but now I know that isn’t the case at all.” (Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Half of Faculty Say Their Job Is More Difficult Today Than Five Years Ago

If you find yourself working longer hours or maybe feeling a bit more stressed at the end of the day, you’re not alone. Fifty percent of college faculty who completed the annual Faculty Focus reader survey said that their job is more difficult than it was five years ago. Only nine percent said their job is less difficult, while 33 percent said it’s about the same. (Read more in Faculty Focus.)

Arts and Culture Was Fastest-Growing Philanthropic Cause in 2012

Arts and culture was Americans’ fastest-growing charitable cause in 2012, rising an estimated 7.8 percent to $14.44 billion, according to a leading annual research report on charitable giving. Donations to education rose second fastest, with a 7 percent gain, according to the latest edition of Giving USA, issued last week by the Chicago-based Giving Institute and its research partner, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. (Read more in the Los Angeles Times.)

Help Desk: Getting Schooled

I’m an artist in my mid-twenties who has absolutely no formal education. So far I’ve managed to be fairly happy with small but very meaningful visibility, knowing that art making is about process and that it takes time to find one’s self. But I’m starting to hit a wall regarding the growth of my practice and am worried that my lack of “training” might be the problem, so I’m considering going to art school. How important do you think education is in order for someone to be or to become a professional artist? (Read more in Daily Serving.)

Art Museums Better Hurry Up and Get Ready for the Future of 3D Printing

In his living room in San Diego right now, Cosmo Wenman has two life-sized reproductions of the British Museum’s Head of a Horse of Selene, a magnificently lifelike sculpture with flared nostrils that dates to about 432 BC. The original in Britain is made of marble, about three feet end to end. Wenman’s copies, created with an older digital camera and a MakerBot 3D printer, are clearly reproductions as soon as you lift them up. Created in plastic and coated in a bronze patina, they weigh about eight pounds each. (Read more in the Atlantic.)

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