CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Feb 19, 2014

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.

Obama Picks Low-Profile Arts Center Executive to Chair the NEA

Opting for arts-administration and fundraising credentials over star power, the White House announced last week that President Obama will nominate Jane Chu, president and chief executive of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, as the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. (Read more from the Los Angeles Times.)

The Monuments Men Did More Than Rescue Nazi-Looted Art

The greatest Rubens altarpiece in America is in Ohio, at the Toledo Museum of Art. We have the Monuments Men to thank for that. George Clooney’s galumphing all-star movie The Monuments Men did not impress the critics—“inert,” lamented the Los Angeles Times movie critic Kenneth Turan—but the real-life story of soldiers sent to protect and rescue Europe’s great artworks during and after World War II is impressive. So was its aftermath. (Read more from the Los Angeles Times.)

How American Museums Protected Their Art from the Nazis

Last weekend, George Clooney’s newest film, The Monuments Men, arrived in theaters, highlighting a fascinating chapter in World War II. Beginning in 1943, the Monuments Men dutifully retrieved canvases and confiscated heirlooms stashed in salt mines and inconspicuous locations across the continent (and later Japan). Given the inconceivable scope of the cultural upheaval, it’s understandable that one element of the story remains largely overlooked: the precautions taken to protect artworks on American soil. (Read more from the Atlantic.)

Who Owns This Image?

CAA, an organization of about fourteen thousand artists, scholars, and curators, recently released a report on the state of fair use in the visual arts. The association commissioned Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, a law professor at American, to be the principal investigators, who found that most professionals have no idea how to employ fair use. As a result, they wrote: “Their work is constrained and censored, most powerfully by themselves, because of that confusion and the resulting fear and anxiety.” (Read more from the New Yorker.)

When Cost Cutting and Staff Costs Are Passed Off as Reductions in Administrative Bloat

At the end of December, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Steve Herbert titled “Colleges Trim Staffing Bloat.” So, if you did not read any further than the title, you might think that all of the attention to administrative bloat as a cost-driver in American higher education was finally producing some results. Think again. (Read more from Academe Blog.)

Great Art Needs an Audience

As the virtual replaces the physical and the world gets globalized, we’ve been hearing that art galleries, settled in a single place, are bound to be on their way out. Collectors are now more likely to buy at a fair than from a dealer’s home base; some may do their art shopping online. A few midrange dealers, especially, are already closing their galleries, to conduct all their business in private, at fairs, or by JPEG. I believe that these changes put art itself at risk. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Art at Arm’s Length: A History of the Selfie

We live in the age of the selfie. A fast self-portrait, made with a smartphone’s camera and immediately distributed and inscribed into a network, is an instant visual communication of where we are, what we’re doing, who we think we are, and who we think is watching. Selfies have changed aspects of social interaction, body language, self-awareness, privacy, and humor, altering temporality, irony, and public behavior. (Read more from Vulture.)

Creativity Becomes an Academic Discipline

The world may be full of problems, but students presenting projects for Introduction to Creative Studies have uncovered a bunch you probably haven’t thought of. Elie Fortune, a freshman, revealed his Sneaks ’n Geeks app to identify the brand of killer sneakers you spot on the street. Jason Cathcart, a senior, sported a bulky martial-arts uniform with sparring pads he had sewn in. No more forgetting them at home. (Read more from the New York Times.)

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