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CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Oct 16, 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.

Were the First Artists Mostly Women?

Women made most of the oldest-known cave paintings, suggests a new analysis of ancient handprints. Most scholars had assumed these ancient artists were predominantly men, so the finding overturns decades of archaeological dogma. The archaeologist Dean Snow analyzed hand stencils found in eight cave sites in France and Spain. By comparing the relative lengths of certain fingers, he determined that three-quarters of the handprints were female. (Read more in National Geographic.)

How to Pronounce Artists’ Names, Vol. 1

The art world isn’t really as snobbish as depicted in movies and TV shows like Bravo’s Gallery Girls, and it’s apt to be liberally forgiving of most uncouth behavior … with one notable exception: you can’t get away with mispronouncing artists’ names. To ensure you avoid such embarrassments, consult this handy guide to pronouncing some of the thorniest artist names out there. (Read more from Artspace.)

Who Holds the Rights?

Faculty must defend their rights to their intellectual property, which are increasingly under threat, according to a draft report released by the American Association of University Professors. The report, called “Defending the Freedom to Innovate: Faculty Intellectual Property Rights after Stanford v. Roche,” argues that university attempts to assert ownership over faculty intellectual property have accelerated since—and in response to—that 2011 US Supreme Court decision. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Why the Detroit Institute of Arts Is One Asset That Kevyn Orr Shouldn’t Touch

Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr has taken on a Herculean task. He must untangle decades of mismanagement and bureaucratic negligence and devise a way for the city to meet its obligations to, among others, private contractors and hundreds of police officers, firefighters, and civil servants. To do so, he must view every potential solution and option dispassionately in order to elaborate a fair and balanced plan to pay the staggering debt. What he should not do is view the stunning collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts as a fungible asset, available to satisfy the city’s creditors. (Read more in the Detroit Free Press.)

Hunting Detroit’s Masterworks of Architecture before They Go Extinct

Though Detroit has recently been looking like it was hit by a convoy of mile-wide firenados, there remain signs of architectural grandeur illustrating why it was once known as the Paris of the Midwest. Perhaps nowhere is this faded beauty more palpable than in the large-format photography of Philip Jarmain, a Vancouver native who’s spent three years shooting Detroit’s sublime edifices, sometimes just months before they were wiped out by bulldozers. (Read more in Atlantic Cities.)

AbEx Fakes Scandal Silences the Experts

The crisis around fake Abstract Expressionist works sold in New York—around forty of which were handled by the now-defunct Knoedler Gallery—has sent shockwaves through the art market and is having a chilling effect on scholars. As well as a federal investigation, there has been a slew of civil lawsuits. (Read more in the Art Newspaper.)

Should Academics Write for Free?

In 2006, I published my first article in an academic journal, a lengthy analysis debunking the existence of an Uzbek terrorist organization. I called my mother to tell her the news. “Great,” she said. “What are they paying you?” “Nothing.” She laughed. Then she realized I was serious. (Read more in Chronicle Vitae.)

Why No Nobel Prize for Art?

Science, literature, and peace are recognized—but why is there not a Nobel prize for art? Since the Nobel was first awarded in 1901, it has always included literature in its mainly scientific and political mission. This reflects the hierarchy of the arts at the beginning of the twentieth century. (Read more in the Guardian.)

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