College Art Association

CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Feb 26, 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.

Orr’s Plan Would Protect DIA Artwork, but It’s Not a Done Deal Yet

The fate of the Detroit Institute of Arts remains in limbo in the wake of the recent release of Kevyn Orr’s restructuring plan for Detroit’s finances. While Orr’s plan incorporates the fundamentals of a much-talked-about deal to prevent the forced sale of any masterpieces and to separate the city-owned museum into an independent charitable trust, several critical steps remain before a final settlement would guarantee the museum safe harbor in Detroit’s historic bankruptcy. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

Photographers Band Together to Protect Work in “Fair Use” Cases

To many photographers, a federal appeals court ruling last spring that permitted Richard Prince to use someone else’s photographs in his art was akin to slapping a “Steal This” label on their work, but photographers are pushing back. Several membership and trade organizations have banded together recently to press their cause in Congress and the courts. (Read more from the New York Times.)

No Longer Appropriate?

“Appropriating” other artists’ work without consent is still common, but there is growing evidence—albeit rarely reported—that, although some artists may have started out as willing or unwitting outlaws, they decided that possibly infringing other artists’ copyright was legally unwise and potentially expensive, and they stopped. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Protest Action Erupts inside the Guggenheim Museum

Last weekend, over forty protesters staged an intervention inside the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan during Saturday night’s pay-what-you-wish admission hours. Unfurling Mylar banners, dropping leaflets, chanting words, handing out information to museum visitors, and drawing attention with a baritone bugle, the group highlighted the labor conditions on Saadiyat Island in the United Arab Emirates, where Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a franchise of New York’s Guggenheim, is being built. (Read more from ArtLeaks.)

Eminent Domain

A gallery’s street address says a lot more than its web address. We’ll assume that a gallery at 555 West 24th Street in Chelsea sells more expensive art, represents more well-known artists, and is more influential on the market than, say, the residential address of an artist-run apartment gallery in Bed Stuy. A web address can’t connote this same kind of prestige differential. There are no neighborhoods on the internet, and the cost of rent is always somewhere from $1 to $15 a month. (Read more from the New Inquiry.)

People Lose Their Minds over Obama’s Art History Apology

President Barack Obama’s apology to the art historian Ann Collins Johns has created a frenzy of media coverage, including some inexplicably strange responses. When was the last time you heard art history discussed in mainstream news publications and news channels? Crickets. Exactly. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)

In Defense of Art History: Against the Neoliberal Imagination

Obama’s recent statement about art-history majors echoes a crude opinion of the American ruling class—all that is not of immediate and utilitarian interest to the profit system is to be shunned—and underlines a common conception of education and culture and highlights the ongoing onslaught on the humanities and liberal arts. The corporate education model being pushed heavily on public schools, state universities, and city colleges—schools that serve students from largely working-class and poor backgrounds—grants little weight to these subjects. (Read more from Red Wedge.)

The End of the Corcoran Gallery of Art

If the Corcoran Gallery of Art had to be swallowed up by a larger and healthier institution to survive, we might celebrate last week’s announcement that its collection will be devoured by the National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery is hands down the most prestigious and respected steward of fine art in Washington, and its reputation is international. But this is not a swallowing of the Corcoran—this is the end of the Corcoran and its final dismemberment. (Read more from the Washington Post.)

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