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CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Dec 25, 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.

The World’s Most Famous Missing Painting

Vincenzo Peruggia was not the kind of criminal mastermind that makes up the majority of art thieves in Hollywood films. He was not a genius cat burglar. He managed to walk into the Louvre in Paris and walk out with the Leonardo painting after minimal preparation. But his theft created a sensation. (Read more from BBC News.)

Understanding Wood Supports for Art: A Brief History

Historically, wood panels were used for paintings long before the adoption of flexible fabric supports. Most of the earliest icons still intact from the second and third century as well as a large portion of the Renaissance paintings were created on solid wood panels. Many of Raphael’s paintings, for example, are painted on primed wood panels. The method for preparing the panels was laborious as the solid wood was first dried well and sanded very smooth. It was then covered with layers of ground made by mixing gypsum (pounded into powder) with hide glue made from animal skins. The panel was then sanded and burnished until it was smooth and ready for painting. (Read more from Just Paint.)

Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications

This report brings up to date and expands upon the association’s 2004 report, Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications. It reaffirms that report’s overriding principle: “Academic freedom, free inquiry, and freedom of expression within the academic community may be limited to no greater extent in electronic format than they are in print, save for the most unusual situation where the very nature of the medium itself might warrant unusual restrictions.” (Read more from the American Association of University Professors.)

The British Library Puts One Million Images into the Public Domain, Making Them Free to Reuse and Remix

Earlier this week, Oxford’s Bodleian Library announced that it had digitized a 550-year old copy of the Gutenberg Bible along with a number of other ancient bibles, some of them quite beautiful. Not to be outdone, the British Library came out with its own announcement on Thursday: “We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain.” (Read more from Open Culture.)

Fakers, Fakes, and Fake Fakers

Many years ago, I interviewed a forger named David Stein. He had been arrested for faking hundreds of drawings, gouaches, and watercolors by Matisse, Chagall, Picasso, Cézanne, Degas, Miró, and many others. One day, while he was out on bail, I asked him how an art forger creates works by well-known artists whose styles are so different. “The first thing you have to do is know intimately the artist you are imitating, not only to know him but also to like him, to love his art,” Stein said. (Read more from ARTnews.)

Job Placement Confusion

With tuition prices continuing to rise and greater numbers of graduates struggling in the job market, families, students and policy makers—most visibly President Obama—are increasingly questioning the “value” that colleges are providing. In response to that mounting pressure, more colleges and universities are turning to alumni outcome surveys. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

How to Score That Elusive Spousal Hire

The spousal/couple/dual-career search is, hands down, the most stressful kind of academic job search there is. And I know this viscerally, because I had an ex-husband with a PhD—in a different humanities field, but still—and can still remember the sick feeling in my stomach, the cold sweats late at night, the gut-wrenching anxiety as I contemplated just how in god’s name we were going to get both of us gainfully employed on the tenure track. (Read more from Vitae.)

Need for Leaders at DC Arts Institutions Could Be a Golden Opportunity or a Squandered One

The Kennedy Center recently announced that Deborah Rutter of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association will become its new president, but many high-profile Washington cultural and arts institutions are still searching for new leaders to fill their top posts. The Smithsonian Institution announced in October that its secretary, Wayne Clough, would be stepping down next year, and Richard Koshalek, the former director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, resigned in May after the demise of his seasonal inflatable structure project. (Read more from the Washington Post.)

LACMA Resurrects Art and Technology Program, Teams with Google

More than forty-five years ago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art created an experimental program to bring artists and technology companies together in the hopes of inspiring innovative thinking in the visual arts. Earlier this month museum announced that it is resurrecting the program in the form of a laboratory and has partnered with companies including Google and SpaceX. (Read more from the Los Angeles Times.)

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