CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Dec 11, 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.

Want to Help DIA Art and Detroit Pensions? Now You Can

Inspired by the philanthropist A. Paul Schaap’s $5 million pledge, a local foundation said it created a fund so the public can contribute tax-deductible money to help protect the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection and city pensions. The Free Press also confirmed that DIA has joined federally mediated talks—which include leaders from at least ten national and local charitable foundations—to create a $500 million fund that could be leveraged for the same dual purpose of shielding the art collection and lessening pension cuts. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

Don’t Loot Detroit’s Art Museum to Pay the City’s Creditors

Last week a federal judge ruled that Detroit was eligible to enter Chapter 9 bankruptcy—the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. That same day, we got a price tag for how much the collection of the threatened Detroit Institute of Arts, one of the country’s oldest and best museums, is likely worth. For months, salivating creditors have circled the museum while the institution has tried to keep them at bay. Now, for better and for worse, we have a price tag. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Fate of Detroit Hangs in the Balance

With a ruling by a federal judge last week that Detroit is eligible to enter bankruptcy, the fate of the city’s art collection—one of the finest in the country—now moves front and center in the legal battle over the city’s future. But the judge, Steven W. Rhodes, questioned for the first time the push by some of the city’s largest creditors to sell paintings and sculpture from the Detroit Institute of Arts. While he did not say specifically that the art should be spared, Judge Rhodes, in a brief mention of DIA by name, said that such a sale would not have helped Detroit avoid bankruptcy. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Invisible No Longer

In 1993 the book The Invisible Faculty commanded the attention of college officials from around the country, seizing on what was then a fast-growing but barely examined trend reshaping the higher-education landscape: the burgeoning role of adjunct, part-time professors being hired as college administrators scoured budgets for ways to cut costs. Two decades later, adjuncts—also called contingent faculty—are no longer invisible. They are squarely in the media spotlight, pushed there by the Affordable Care Act. (Read more from Community College Week.)

Street Artists Go to Court to Protect Their Work

A legal battle between a group of artists and the owners of 5Pointz, the Long Island City graffiti complex, has challenged the way street art is viewed as an ephemeral medium. The case, which the lawyer representing the artists says is not over despite the murals being whitewashed last month, is the first to examine whether authorized graffiti is protected under United States law. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

The Latest Leonardo Debate

The discovery of a previously unknown painting by Leonardo never fails to stir up the experts, the press, and the public. After all, only fifteen to twenty paintings—finished and unfinished—are generally attributed to him. In early October, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported the existence of a painting closely resembling Leonardo’s colored chalk and pastel drawing of the noblewoman Isabella d’Este in the Louvre. (Read more from ARTnews.)

The Overexposed Museum

For some time, art museums have been expending considerable amounts of energy and other resources on a broad campaign of public engagement designed to establish a stronger bond between themselves and the public, and thus cement the museum’s place as an essential—even indispensable—component of public life. Social media promotes their programs and addresses the public in other ways, crowdsourcing guides them in their acquisition and exhibition decisions, and crowdfunding helps pay for them. So far this campaign seems to be paying dividends. (Read more from the New Criterion.)

Inside the Box

In the United States we are raised to appreciate the accomplishments of inventors and thinkers—creative people whose ideas have transformed our world. We celebrate the famously imaginative, the greatest artists and innovators from van Gogh to Steve Jobs. Viewing the world creatively is supposed to be an asset, even a virtue. It’s all a lie: most people don’t actually like creativity. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: people are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise. (Read more from Slate.)

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