College Art Association

CAA News Today

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Diversity Practices highlights a number of exhibitions, events, and activities that support the development of global perspectives on art and visual culture and deepen our appreciation of political and cultural heterogeneity as educational and professional values.

February 2014

As Cosmopolitans & Strangers: Mexican Art of the Jewish Diaspora from the Permanent Collection
National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 W. 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608
January 16–August 3, 2014

This NMMA Permanent Collection exhibition explores the notion of both “insiders and outsiders” and the struggle between preservation and integration among the Jewish communities in Mexico. Furthermore, the exhibition provides a unique opportunity to challenge established notions of Mexicanidad (Mexicaness), as these artists of Jewish heritage have been integral to the evolution of a modern Mexican visual culture. The diverse experiences that have cultivated Mexican identity now raise questions of citizenship and immigration.

Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China
Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028
December 11, 2013–April 6, 2014

The first major exhibition of Chinese contemporary art ever mounted by the Metropolitan, Ink Art explores how contemporary works from a non-Western culture may be displayed in an encyclopedic art museum. Presented in the Museum’s permanent galleries for Chinese art, the exhibition features artworks that may best be understood as part of the continuum of China’s traditional culture. These works may also be appreciated from the perspective of global art, but by examining them through the lens of Chinese historical artistic paradigms, layers of meaning and cultural significance that might otherwise go unnoticed are revealed. Ultimately, both points of view contribute to a more enriched understanding of these artists’ creative processes.

For more than two millennia, ink has been the principal medium of painting and calligraphy in China. Since the early twentieth century, however, the primacy of the “ink art” tradition has increasingly been challenged by new media and practices introduced from the West. Ink Art examines the creative output of a selection of Chinese artists from the 1980s to the present who have fundamentally altered inherited Chinese tradition while maintaining an underlying identification with the expressive language of the culture’s past.

Featuring some seventy works by thirty-five artists in various media—paintings, calligraphy, photographs, woodblock prints, video, and sculpture—created during the past three decades, the exhibition is organized thematically into four parts: The Written Word, New Landscapes, Abstraction, and Beyond the Brush. Although all of the artists have challenged, subverted, or otherwise transformed their sources through new modes of expression, Ink Art seeks to demonstrate that China’s ancient pattern of seeking cultural renewal through the reinterpretation of past models remains a viable creative path.

Fútbol: The Beautiful Game
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
February 2–July 20, 2014

The exhibition examines football—nicknamed “the beautiful game” by one sports commentator—and its significance in societies around the world. As a subject, football touches on issues of nationalism and identity, globalism and mass spectacle, as well as the common human experience shared by spectators from many cultures. Celebrating the sport on the eve of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the exhibition includes approximately thirty artists from around the world who work in video, photography, painting and sculpture. Two room-sized video installations—Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, by the artists Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon, and Volta by Stephen Dean—anchor the exhibition. Other works by artists including Miguel Calderon (whose 2004 video Mexico v. Brasil represents a 17-0 victory for Mexico), Robin Rhode, Kehinde Wiley, and Andy Warhol provide a sense of the miraculous possibilities of the sport as universal conversation piece.

Filed under: CDP Highlights

CAA invites nominations and self-nominations for two individuals to serve on the caa.reviews Editorial Board for a four-year term, July 1, 2014–June 30, 2018. Candidates may be artists, art historians, art critics, art educators, curators, or other professionals in the visual arts with stature in the field and experience in writing or editing book and/or exhibition reviews; institutional affiliation is not required. The journal also seeks candidates with a strong record of scholarship and at least one published book or the equivalent who are committed to the imaginative development of caa.reviews. An online journal, caa.reviews is devoted to the peer review of new books, museum exhibitions, and projects relevant to art history, visual studies, and the arts.

The editorial board advises the editor-in-chief of and field editors for caa.reviews and helps them to identify books and exhibitions for review and to solicit reviewers, articles, and other content for the journal. The group also guides the journal’s editorial program, may propose new initiatives for it, and may support fundraising efforts on its behalf. Members also assist the editor-in-chief to keep abreast of trends and issues in the field by attending and reporting on sessions at the CAA Annual Conference and at other academic conferences, symposia, and events.

The caa.reviews Editorial Board meets three times a year: twice in New York in the spring and fall and once at the CAA Annual Conference in February. CAA reimburses members for travel and lodging expenses for the two New York meetings in accordance with its travel policy, but members pay these expenses to attend the conference. Members of all editorial boards volunteer their services to CAA without compensation.

Candidates must be current CAA members and should not be serving on the editorial board of a competitive journal or on another CAA editorial board or committee. Nominators should ascertain their nominee’s willingness to serve before submitting a name; self-nominations are also welcome. Please send a statement describing your interest in and qualifications for appointment, a CV, and your contact information to: caa.reviews Editorial Board, College Art Association, 50 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10004; or email the documents to Alyssa Pavley, CAA editorial assistant. Deadline: April 15, 2014.

CAA invites nominations and self-nominations for three individuals to join the caa.reviews Council of Field Editors, which commissions reviews within an area of expertise or geographic region, for a three-year term: July 1, 2014–June 30, 2017. An online journal, caa.reviews is devoted to the peer review of new books, museum exhibitions, and projects relevant to art history, visual studies, and the arts.

The journal seeks two field editors for books in two areas: Chinese art and ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern art. In addition, one field editor is needed to commission reviews of exhibitions in the Northeast, covering modern and contemporary art. Candidates may be artists, art historians, critics, curators, or other professionals in the visual arts; institutional affiliation is not required.

Working with the caa.reviews editor-in-chief, the caa.reviews Editorial Board, and CAA’s staff editor, each field editor selects content to be reviewed, commissions reviewers, and reviews manuscripts for publication. Field editors for books are expected to keep abreast of newly published and important books and related media in his or her field of expertise, and those for exhibitions should be aware of current and upcoming exhibitions (and other related projects) in their geographic regions.

The Council of Field Editors meets annually at the CAA Annual Conference. Field editors must pay travel and lodging expenses to attend the conference. Members of all CAA committees and editorial boards volunteer their services without compensation.

Candidates must be current CAA members and should not be serving on the editorial board of a competitive journal or on another CAA editorial board or committee. Nominators should ascertain their nominee’s willingness to serve before submitting a name; self-nominations are also welcome. Please send a statement describing your interest in and qualifications for appointment, a CV, and your contact information to: caa.reviews Editorial Board, College Art Association, 50 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10004; or email the documents to Alyssa Pavley, CAA editorial assistant. Deadline: April 15, 2014.

Filed under: caa.reviews, Publications, Service

The Art Bulletin Seeks a Reviews Editor

posted by February 06, 2014

The Art Bulletin Editorial Board invites nominations and self-nominations for the position of reviews editor for a three-year term, July 1, 2015–June 30, 2018, with service as incoming reviews editor designate in 2014–15. Candidates should be art scholars with stature in the field and experience in editing book and/or exhibition reviews; institutional affiliation is not required. Candidates should be published authors of at least one book.

The Art Bulletin features leading scholarship in the English language in all aspects of art history as practiced in the academy, museums, and other institutions. From its founding in 1913, the quarterly journal has published, through rigorous peer review, scholarly articles and critical reviews of the highest quality in all areas and periods of the history of art.

Working with the editorial board, the reviews editor is responsible for commissioning all book and exhibition reviews in The Art Bulletin. He or she selects books and exhibitions for review, commissions reviewers, and determines the appropriate length and character of reviews. The reviews editor also works with authors and CAA’s editorial director in the development and preparation of review manuscripts for publication. He or she is expected to keep abreast of newly published and important books and recent exhibitions in the fields of art history, criticism, theory, visual studies, and museum publishing. The three-year term includes membership on the Art Bulletin Editorial Board.

The reviews editor attends the three annual meetings of the Art Bulletin Editorial Board—held twice in New York in the spring and fall and once at the CAA Annual Conference in February—and submits an annual report to CAA’s Publications Committee. CAA reimburses the reviews editor for travel and lodging expenses for the two New York meetings in accordance with its travel policy, but he or she pays these expenses to attend the conference.

Candidates must be current CAA members and should not be serving on the editorial board of a competitive journal or on another CAA editorial board or committee. Nominators should ascertain their nominee’s willingness to serve before submitting a name; self-nominations are also welcome. Please send a statement describing your interest in and qualifications for appointment, a CV, and at least one letter of recommendation to: Art Bulletin Reviews Editor Search, College Art Association, 50 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10004; or email the documents to Joe Hannan, CAA editorial director. Deadline extended: April 16, 2014; finalists will be interviewed on the afternoon of Friday, May 2, in New York.

CAA and the Monuments Men

posted by February 06, 2014

The American Council of Learned Societies held a premiere showing of George Clooney’s Monuments Men, the Hollywood film based on Robert Edsel’s The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. The film demonstrates the contributions of art historians who investigated the thousands of art works and archival manuscripts looted by the Nazis and secretly stored in mines around Germany during the WWII. Members of ACLS initiated the interest in saving European monuments during WWII and many CAA members participated.

Former CAA President (1952-1955), Professor Lane Faison who chaired the Art History Department at Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts from 1940-1969 that, during his time, graduated so many students who became museum directors (Thomas Kerns, Glenn Lowry, Roger Mandle, Earl Powell) served in the Office of Strategic Services (later to become the CIA) in 1945 assigned to a group called the Art Looting Investigation Unit to find out what the Nazi’s had done with the art that they had stolen. He was one of three art historian officers including James S. Plaut and Theodore Rousseau who collected evidence for the Nuremburg Trials. The Monuments Men relied on these extensive lists to track down the stolen work.

Jack Hyland, CAA’s Treasurer, investment banker, media advisor and author (see www.jackwhyland.com) of a thriller The Moses Virus: A Novel and Evangelism’s First Modern Media Star: Reverend Bill Stidger (a biography of his grandfather who was the model for Elmer Gantry) interviewed Lane Faison on his 90th birthday for the July 1998 CAA News article: “People of the Eye” [http://www.collegeart.org/pdf/LaneFaisonInterview.pdf]. The article covers, in part, CAA President Faison’s recollections of being a Monuments Man.

What a thrill it was to see at last a Hollywood film where art historians are portrayed as heroes on the silver screen –granted a bit past their prime but able to screw up their courage to capture a sniper, lose their lives in defense of Michaelangelo’s Bruge Madonna, and retrieve the entire Ghent Alterpiece just ahead of the looting Russians. The film is complete with patriotic music and outstanding images of the original works of art instead of the typical reproductions. The major facts are adhered to and the reality is driven home that many people died in the effort to retrieve the art important to world heritage with little support from the military, Congress and the White House.

Filed under: Film

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.

No Laughing Matter: President’s Quip about Art History Pricks Some Ears

Art history caught some unwelcome attention from President Obama in a recent speech emphasizing the need for job training. To reinforce his point that manufacturing jobs pay off, Obama said that young people who train for them could outearn art-history majors. The remark drew laughter from the president’s audience in Wisconsin, but some in higher education felt slighted. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Experts Say Academics Are Timid about Fair-Use Laws

Professionals in the visual arts—including art historians—let real and perceived fears about copyright law get in the way of their work, finds a new report from CAA. And while the fundamentally visual nature of their discipline raises particular concerns among scholars of art, artists, editors, and museum curators, experts say their fears are shared across academe—although some disciplines have worked to develop codes to help scholars navigate the murky waters of fair use. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Teaching for the First Time? Read “Purposeful Pedagogy”

Most doctoral students enter the classroom without any formal teaching experience or pedagogical training. Instead, they are often provided, at best, a quick orientation that offers tricks before entering the undergrad classroom as teachers. As a result, graduate students begin teaching without any support or training to help them be successful. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

A Modigliani? Who Says So?

Three daunting facts confront anyone interested in buying one of Amedeo Modigliani’s distinctive elongated portraits. They tend to have multimillion price tags; they are a favorite of forgers; and despite an abundance of experts, no inventory of his works is considered both trustworthy and complete. (Read more from New York Times.)

DIA’s $100 Million Pledge to Rescue Fund Helps Clear Path to Bankruptcy Resolution

In a whirlwind day that marks a turning point in Detroit’s historic bankruptcy, the Detroit Institute of Arts pledged $100 million to a growing rescue fund to protect pensions and art, and emergency manager Kevyn Orr released to major creditors an early version of the massive restructuring proposal for the city’s estimated $18.5 billion in debt and liabilities. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

Now Starts the Hard Work for DIA: Raise $100 Million to Meet Its Pledge

The Detroit Institute of Arts has pledged $100 million to the growing rescue fund to shore up municipal pensions, shield its treasures from sale, and spin the city-owned museum into an independent nonprofit. But now DIA leaders have to go out and make good on their word and raise the money. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

Adjuncts Gain Traction with Congressional Attention

Maria C. Maisto went to Capitol Hill last fall to correct what she saw as a misperception about colleges’ response to the nation’s new healthcare law. By the time she left, she had accomplished something bigger. She had gotten lawmakers talking about higher education’s reliance on adjuncts and how their working conditions make it difficult for them to do their best work. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

New Report Urges More Emphasis in Adjunct Faculty Conditions during Accreditation

Accreditors “can and should be doing more” on site visits and in their standards to address concerns about adjunct faculty employment and its effect on student learning, says a report from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. “Campuses often do not evaluate the type of support they have in place to help faculty perform to their highest capabilities,” the report says. “The negative student learning outcomes [associated with overreliance on adjunct faculty] that have been documented have occurred in part because institutions have not updated or changed.” (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Filed under: CAA News

Registrants for the 2014 Annual Conference in Chicago can now download a PDF of Abstracts 2014, which summarizes the contents of hundreds of papers and talks that were presented in program sessions. They can also search the online 2014 Directory of Attendees, which contains the names and contact information of those who registered by the early and advance deadlines.

Reading the abstracts in advance can help you plan your daily schedule at the conference. Program sessions are alphabetized by the chair’s last name and appear in the contents pages (4–10). An index in the back of the publication names all the speakers. Alternatively, use your Adobe Reader to conduct a keyword search for terms relevant to your interests. Similarly, the Directory of Attendees helps with networking during and communication after the conference.

To access the two publications, registrants can log into their CAA account, click the “Conference Registrant Information” image, and then click the Abstracts and/or Directory of Attendees icon. The Abstracts and Directory of Attendees are part of the registration package; there is no added cost to paid or complimentary registrants for access to these publications.

Conference attendees who purchase single-time slot tickets, or those who want the Abstracts but are not coming to Chicago, may attain the document for a charge: $30 for CAA members and $35 for nonmembers. The Abstracts and Directory of Attendees will remain on the CAA website for download or sale through July 31, 2014.

Beginning with the 2010 conference in Chicago, CAA offers its Abstracts exclusively as a PDF download. Past issues of the printed publication from 1999 to 2009 are also available. The cost per copy is $30 for CAA members and $35 for nonmembers. For more information and to order, please contact Roberta Lawson, CAA office coordinator.

Filed under: Annual Conference, Publications

On Saturday, January 25, 2014, New York’s Eyebeam Art + Technology Center held a panel discussion on fair use, art, and copyright online. The three speakers were Patricia Aufderheide, Codirector of the Center for Social Media at American University and one of the Principal Investigators for CAA’s Fair Use Initiative (http://www.cmsimpact.org/fair-use), Elisa Kreisinger, video artist and artist-in-residence at Eyebeam and Public Knowledge (http://elisakreisinger.wordpress.com/), and Michael Weinberg, Co-Vice President of Public Knowledge, a digital advocacy group in Washington DC (http://publicknowledge.org/).

Kreisinger began the discussion by presenting her work Mad Men: Set Me Free, a video based on dialogue among the female characters in the television series and remixed into an effective and witty feminist presentation. Kreisinger recounted the challenge she faced posting her video on YouTube, when the hosting site automatically took down the piece because of a scanning system that alerted Mad Men’s producer, Lionsgate Films, about the work. Lionsgate has an ongoing policy with YouTube that asks the company to remove anything from the site that uses their films and TV shows. Kreisinger is in the process of appealing this action. She organized Eyebeam’s panel in order to air her concerns and engage two advocates of the fair use principles that are part of the copyright law to open the discussion on what artists can do in similar situations. Kreisinger stated that when she was faced with YouTube takedowns, Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi’s book, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright, was very helpful in guiding her actions. Especially as an artist working on her own, the book helped her prepare a fair use defense of using sections of the television series for her work.

Kreisinger then asked Aufderheide and Weinberg to discuss the principle of fair use. They described the original intent of copyright law: to promote the dissemination of creative work while attributing credit and ownership to the originator. The complexity of copyright law can be daunting to individual creators of new work. Fair use was instituted to allow users of copyrighted works greater leeway of access and use in certain circumstances. Reclaiming Fair Use discusses what the courts focus on in disputes regarding copyright and fair use: transformativeness (did you re-use the material for a new purpose, and thus add value to the work?) and appropriateness (did you use the right amount of the work, which could be up to 100% if you have a go od reason?). These questions set the priorities, for today’s courts, for interpreting the traditional “four factors” that the law sets down to consider: the character of the new use, the nature of the original work, the amount, and effect on market value.

But many artists don’t know their rights. Aufderheide discussed the Issues Report recently-released by CAA (http://www.collegeart.org/pdf/FairUseIssuesReport.pdf), which summarized 100 recent interviews with art historians, artists, museum curators, editors and publishers regarding issues with third-party images in creative and scholarly work. As she and Peter Jaszi, professor of law at American University, wrote in the report, 34% of the visual arts professionals interviewed altered or abandoned a work because of copyright: 21% were artists, 38.3% were art historians and curators and 57% were editors and publishers. This indicates a critical loss of creative and scholarly work due to complications and costs of copyright and licensing images. There is no doubt that confusion about the lawful use of fair use has led to a reluctance to employ it; this in turn has had a chilling effect on the visual arts community.

Kreisinger had completed a survey of digital artists, especially remixers, and discovered that many said they did know they had fair use rights, but found them blocked by scanning systems used by hosting platforms such as YouTube that identify copyrighted work. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 protects Internet hosts from monetary liability if they take down work that copyright holders claim infringes on their rights in a work. The automated systems finding digital matches do not discriminate between fair use and infringement. Sometimes artists’ work, even when employed under fair use, was matched with advertising according to a previous contract between Google and copyright holders, and sometimes it was taken down.  For many artists, it feels like a David and Goliath situation.

Both Aufderheide and Weinberg acknowledged the frustrating situation of the ad matches, and emphasized the importance of bringing counter-takedown notices when your work has been unfairly taken down. Most takedowns happen as a result of automatic searches of databases, which don’t distinguish fair uses from infringing uses. So counter-takedowns are crucial to keeping work circulating. Artists, they noted, get tired of contesting sometimes-bogus claims, but persistence is critical to preventing private censorship.

Aufderheide noted that it is hard to push back against a takedown notice unless you are sure you are within your fair use rights. In some fields, codes of best practices exist, identifying common practices that employ fair use, asserting the rationale for that employment and also showing fair use’s limits in those situations. The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video is one such code; another is the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use. Both have been used by remixers making counter-takedown arguments.

The College Art Association has decided to create a code of best practices in fair use for the visual arts communities. Over the next six months Aufderheide and Jaszi will be conducting discussion groups to continue to develop a code of best practices in utilizing fair use for creative and scholarly work. These discussions will be held in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. with art historians, artists, museum curators, editors, publishers, visual resources officers and gallerists. They will provide a basis for the development of a code of best practices, which will be reviewed by CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property, its Task Force on Fair Use, and a Legal Advisory Committee. Once finalized, the code of best practices will be presented to the CAA Board of Directors for approval and widely disseminated.

Filed under: Copyright, Intellectual Property

CAA is giving away free movie tickets to special screenings of The Monuments Men, directed by and starring George Clooney, in four cities across the United States to its members. The organization has ten tickets (five pairs) for the New York screening; ten tickets (five pairs) for Los Angeles; six tickets (three pairs) for Chicago; and six tickets (three pairs) for Houston.

Please send your name, the name of your guest, your city, and your CAA User/Member ID# to caanews@collegeart.org by 3:00 PM EST today. Winners will be notified after 4:00 PM.

The Monuments Men were a group of approximately 345 men and women from thirteen nations who comprised the MFAA section during World War II. Many were museum directors, curators, art historians, artists, architects, and educators—and also members of CAA. Together they worked to protect monuments and other cultural treasures from the destruction of World War II. In the last year of the war, they tracked, located, and in the years that followed returned more than five million artistic and cultural items stolen by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Their role in preserving cultural treasures was without precedent.

All four screenings will take place this Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at 7:30 PM. Here are the locations:

  • New York screening: AMC Loews West 34th Street 14, 312 West 34th Street, Manhattan
  • Los Angeles screening: Edwards Long Beach 26 and IMAX, 7501 Carson Boulevard, Long Beach
  • Chicago screening: AMC Showplace Cicero 14, 4779 West Cermak Road
  • Houston screening: AMC Gulf Pointe 30, 11801 South Sam Houston Parkway East

Tickets to The Monuments Men are guaranteed, not first-come, first-served. CAA will send the winners’ names to the film promoter, who will put them on the VIP list. You will not need printed tickets.

Watch the Trailer

 

Filed under: Film, Membership

Creating a strong online presence is the key to a successful career. During this special workshop for CAA, to be held on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 3:00–4:00 PM EST, representatives from Wix.com will go over the fundamentals for creating a personal online brand. They will also explain how to choose the best social channels, visual branding, and website creation with Wix.com, a no-code, visual drag-and-drop editor that uses the latest HTML5 technology to help you build the best website possible. With Wix you can have a beautiful, free website in just a few hours.

Filed under: Online Resources, Webinars