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New Issue of Art Journal

posted by Christopher Howard

Sexing Sculpture: New Approaches to Theorizing the Object” is the forum topic in the latest issue of Art Journal, now in the mail to subscribers. The forum was organized by Jillian Hernandez and Susan Richmond and features essays by Rachel Middleman, Nicholas Hartigan and Joan Kee, and Gordon Hall; artist portfolios by Rachel Lachowicz and Lily Cox-Richard; and a conversation between Jennifer Doyle and David Getsy.

Jeanne Dunning’s “Tom Thumb, the New Oedipus,” this issue’s artist’s project, is the winner of the 2013 Art Journal Award. The jury that made the award wrote that the project “creatively and cleverly melds aspects of narrative storytelling, visual research, and textual analysis to cast new light on the enduring value of psychoanalytic models through a close reading of the folk-tale character Tom Thumb. It does so with humor and clarity, and is at once a pleasure to read and a careful prod to the imagination.”

Queer Formalisms: Jennifer Doyle and David Getsy in Conversation” is available as free content on Art Journal’s website. Also available in full online is Tina Rivers’s review of Are You Experienced? How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art by Ken Johnson and Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s, edited David S. Rubin.

Filed under: Art Journal, Publications

Millard Meiss Publication Fund Seeks Two Jury Members

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA seeks nominations and self-nominations from two individuals with specializations in medieval, Renaissance, or Baroque art to serve on the jury for the Millard Meiss Publication Fund for a four-year term, July 1, 2014–June 30, 2018. Candidates must be actively publishing scholars with demonstrated seniority and achievement; institutional affiliation is not required.

The Meiss jury awards grants twice a year to support the publication of book-length scholarly manuscripts in the history of art, visual studies, and related subjects that have been accepted by a publisher on their merits but cannot be published in the most desirable form without a subsidy. CAA reimburses jury members for travel and lodging expenses in accordance with its travel policy.

Candidates must be current CAA members and should not be serving on another CAA editorial board or committee. Jury members may not themselves apply for a grant in this program during their term of service. Nominators should ascertain their nominee’s willingness to serve before submitting a name; self-nominations are also welcome. Please send a letter describing your interest in and qualifications for appointment, a CV, and contact information to: Millard Meiss Publication Fund Jury, College Art Association, 50 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10004; or send all materials as email attachments to Alex Gershuny, CAA editorial manager. Deadline: May 10, 2014.

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard

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.

Cultural Capital Doesn’t Pay the Rent

Two adjunct professors—Miranda Merklein, who teaches English literature and composition, and Jessica Lawless, professor of gender and cultural studies—discuss career challenges, economic realities, and gender for an Inside Higher Ed column called “Adjuncts Interviewing Adjuncts.” (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Does the Academy Matter?

In mid-February, the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof kicked over an ivy-covered hornet’s nest when he complained that too many professors sequester themselves in the ivory tower amid “a culture that glorifies arcane unintelligibility while disdaining impact and audience.” The public, he wrote, would benefit from greater access to the wisdom of academics. “So, professors, don’t cloister yourselves like medieval monks—we need you!” (Read more from Foreign Policy.)

Lobbyists Set to Fight Royalty Bill for Artists

Lawyers for Sotheby’s auction house paid an unusual visit to a few lawmakers on Capitol Hill this month and brought along some high-powered lobbying muscle. They had come to complain about a new bill that even some supporters acknowledge faces a difficult road in this divided Congress: a proposal to give visual artists—or their estates—a cut of the profits when their work is resold at public auction. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Using Computer Vision to Increase the Research Potential of Photo Archives

Collaborating with the Frick Art Reference Library, John Resig used TinEye’s MatchEngine image-similarity service and developed software to analyze images of anonymous Italian art in the library’s photo archive. The result was extremely exciting: the program was able to automatically find similar images that weren’t previously known and confirm existing relationships. (Read more from John Resig.)

$1.6-Million Grant Will Better Prepare History PhDs for Range of Careers

The American Historical Association and four universities will split a $1.6-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation aimed at broadening the career paths of history PhDs. The grant comes as graduate students in history and across the humanities face a bleak job market and as graduate programs are under pressure to improve their students’ employment prospects. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

The Devil and the Art Dealer

It was the greatest art theft in history: 650,000 works looted from Europe by the Nazis, many of which were never recovered. But last November the world learned that German authorities had found a trove of 1,280 paintings, drawings, and prints worth more than a billion dollars in the Munich apartment of a haunted white-haired recluse. Amid an international uproar, Alex Shoumatoff follows a century-old trail to reveal the crimes—and obsessions—involved. (Read more from Vanity Fair.)

A Market Boom, but Only for Some

For the exhibitors at the twenty-seventh TEFAF Maastricht this month, a fair with its roots in old masters and antiques, the findings of Clare McAndrew’s annual report on the market as a whole—produced to coincide with the fair—were less encouraging than the headline figures suggest. McAndrew found that the fine-art and antiques market is almost back to the boom levels of 2007, but also that modern and contemporary art accounted for 75 percent of the value of the fine-art market, leaving many of TEFAF’s exhibitors in the minority. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

If You Can’t Make It to the Lecture

Janis Loewengart Yerington, an artist from Bolinas, California, became a fan of online museum lectures after seeing the touring Vermeer painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. “I enjoyed it so much when it was at the de Young, I followed its progress across the country,” she said. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Filed under: CAA News

On March 10–11, 2014, the United States Copyright Office (USCO) held a series of public roundtables in Washington, DC, exploring the question of “Orphan Works and Mass Digitization.”[1] Collectively, these discussion panels constituted a follow up to a Notice of Inquiry circulated by USCO in the fall of 2012, in response to which CAA filed reply comments in March 2013.[2] Given CAA’s long advocacy of legislation to offer protection to those individuals and institutions using orphan works, and after consulting with CAA members familiar with concerns related to orphan works,[3] I represented the organization in two sessions, one addressing the “Types of Works Subject to Orphan Works Legislation, Including Issues Related Specifically to Photographs” (Session 4) and the other “Types of Users and Uses Subject to Orphan Works Legislation” (Session 5).[4]

“Orphan works” constitute a class of materials for which no copyright owner can be located.[5] They have long posed a thorny challenge for scholars or artists who might seek to reproduce them, but who cannot locate the creator or a source from which to license them for purposes not considered “fair use.” As a publisher of leading journals—Art Bulletin and Art Journal, and—and an advocate for its members who might similarly seek to use orphan works, CAA has consistently argued in favor of orphan works legislation that 1) would significantly limit the liability of a user of an orphan work who had executed a diligent search for the work’s copyright owner, and 2) provide a safe harbor for not-for-profit cultural institutions, engaged in non-commercial activities, that had exercised similar care and that took steps to cease the infringement. At the same time, CAA has spoken to the importance of the attribution of the work and has argued that if a copyright holder comes forward that rights holder be entitled to a reasonable licensing fee if, indeed, the use is not considered “fair” as allowed under the law.

Consistent with positions taken by CAA previously, the organization argued that all copyrighted works, including photographs, should be protected by orphan works legislation. Photographs, which can be notoriously difficult to associate with their makers, have proven particularly tricky as a group of objects, actually being excepted from a directive, intended to facilitate the non-commercial public interest use of orphan works, passed by the European Union.[6] However, not to consider photographs as part of the larger category of orphan works would be extremely limiting from the perspective of CAA given the strong interest of its members in sources of visual information. Categorically excluding photographic and other works of visual art from orphan works eligibility would disadvantage users of images, including artists, scholars, and publishers, who would face continued risks of being sued for copyright infringement despite being unable to determine the identity of the copyright owner at the time of their use. The purpose of orphan works legislation is to mitigate the legal risk of using works that are part of our shared culture. It is because those risks can have chilling implications, adversely affecting creative work by artists and scholars, that CAA has been committed to support orphan works legislation.

Given the diverse range of purposes to which copies of orphan works might be put by its members, CAA has argued that both commercial and non-commercial uses of such material should be protected, given the extraordinary difficulty of teasing apart such interests. Because artists (like scholars) can be both creators and users of copyrighted items, they may seek to make and market work incorporating reproductions of orphan works. In similar fashion, academic or independent scholars or museum professionals make seek to illustrate orphan works in publications made available for sale. While recognizing that a voluntary registry (or registries) of copyrighted works, such as photographs might be useful, CAA does not endorse requiring such registration, nor does it feel that the terms of a “diligent search” for the holders of copyright of orphaned works should be prescribed, arguing instead that the best approach to such research would be better determined on a case-by-case basis.

Although previous legislation, S. 2913 (the Shawn Bentley Act) faltered in the House of Representatives in 2008, and was thus not enacted into law, USCO is now reexamining the potential value of pursuing orphan works legislation anew—both with regard to the occasional or isolated use of orphan works as well as mass digitization. These efforts reflect the influence of new technology and ongoing litigation, such as cases concerning Google Books and the HathiTrust, where mass digitization was found by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to constitute “fair use.”[7]

The growing reliance of many libraries and archives upon the principle of “fair use” as a justification for digitization has led USCO to consider whether this defense obviates the need for orphan works legislation. CAA has argued that this is not the case, recognizing that some uses of copyrighted material may not constitute “fair use.” Thus CAA continues to appreciate the value of such legislation to clarify the class known as “orphan works” to protect the needs of its membership, even as it advocates for the development of best practices guidelines for the fair use of copyrighted material.

CAA intends to submit comments related to the roundtable by USCO’s filing deadline of April 14th. Should any CAA members wish to offer thoughts related to this topic to be considered in relation to such a filing by CAA, please contact Executive Director Linda Downs ( or President Anne Collins Goodyear ( by April 7th.


[1] For more information on this event and other Notices of Inquiry by the US Copyright Office (USCO) on this topic, please see: Transcripts and video of the roundtables will be posted when they become available on the website of the USCO.

[2] CAA’s submission of these comments is described in CAA’s resources on “Intellectual Property and the Arts” which provides a link to these comments:

[3] For their generosity with their time and expertise, I thank Jeffrey P. Cunard, Christine L. Sundt, Judy Metro, Doralynn Pines, Eve Sinaiko, Linda Downs, and Betty Leigh Hutcheson. Chris Sundt and Jeff Cunard generously provided comments on earlier drafts of this posting, for which I am grateful. CAA’s long history of involvement with orphan works is detailed in CAA’s recent submission of comments, prepared by CAA counsel Jeffrey P. Cunard, on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization to USCO, in March 2013; please see:

[4] Due to the strong outpouring of interest in the topic, participation by each organization had to be limited, and CAA prioritized these sessions.

[5] Further discussion of orphan works can be found on CAA’s website under “Intellectual Property and the Arts,” at

[6] These challenges and the directive passed by the European Union are discussed in the February 10, 2014 USCO Notice of Inquiry for Orphan Works and Mass Digitization, available at See specifically the discussion of the topics raised by Session 4: “Types of Works Subject to Orphan Works Legislation, Including Issues Related Specifically to Photographs.”

[7] For more information on these decisions, including links to them, please see: See and Andrew Albanese, “Google Scanning is Fair Use Says Judge,” Publishers Weekly, October 11, 2012. I thank Chris Sundt for recommending these resources.

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard

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.

Actual Raises for Faculty

Tenured and tenure-track faculty members at four-year colleges and universities are receiving raises this year that exceed the increase in the cost of living, according to a study that was released by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. The study found that the median increase in base salary is 2.1 percent, and that the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index for the period was 1.5 percent. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Average Salaries of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty at Four-Year Colleges, 2013–14

Law, business, and engineering again topped the list of the most lucrative disciplines for professors. But professors of theology and religious vocations saw one of the largest increases in salary, about 8 percent from 2012–13 to 2013–14. Where did the humanities and visual arts rank this year? (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

DIA Grand Bargain Could Prove to Be a Work of Art, but Not a Done Deal

In 1919, with the Detroit Institute of Arts in dire financial straits and Detroit’s economy booming, museum leaders ceded ownership of the art and building to city hall in exchange for annual funding. Nearly a century later, history is preparing to do a somersault. Detroit is now bankrupt, DIA is more financially stable than it has been in decades, and the museum stands on the brink of being spun off into an independent charitable trust that would once again own the collection and building. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

No More Silence of the Scholars

A bill introduced in the New York State Legislature seeks to protect art experts from what it describes as “frivolous” lawsuits. The proposed legislation aims to make it more difficult for owners, auctioneers, and dealers to bring lawsuits against art historians simply because they do not like their opinions. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Museum Object Portfolio Performance

Most of us have some experience teaching with art “in the flesh”—in museums or galleries—rather than our usual fallback of classroom PowerPoint, Offline Image Viewer, which is ARTstor’s presentation technology, or Prezi presentations. And we often send students to a local museum or university gallery to write responses of one sort or another, giving them direct access to the original artwork. But in my undergraduate museum-studies class this semester, I wanted my students to consider the variety of ways that text can be used to introduce, augment, and/or constrain our response to the original object. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

The Ten Weirdest Artworks Ever

From sexy heels trussed and presented on a silver platter to Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde shark, the Guardian presents a tour through some of the strangest, most shocking surrealist art around. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Hoard d’Oeuvres: Art of the 1 Percent

Art collecting is the most esteemed form of shopping in our culture today. And in today’s digital economy, you can monitor this primal battle of achieving egos as it unfolds in real time, on computer screens. At auction you watch incomparable works of art vanish into exchange value: all that’s solid truly melts into air. The spectacle of yen, dollars, and euros mounting on the screen climaxes in the money shot: the sale price. (Read more from the Baffler.)

The Joys and Perils of Artistic Collaborations

Artists aren’t exactly known for their accommodating, easygoing ways. More often, it’s words such as “egocentric” and “introverted” that spring to mind. In reality, though, few artists work in total isolation, especially once they have achieved a certain level of success. Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst have teams of assistants making their work—yet these assistants can hardly be called collaborators. At the other end of the fame scale, collaboration is crucial for so-called emerging artists, through sharing materials and workspaces and exchanging ideas. (Read more from the Financial Times.)

Filed under: CAA News

New Faces for Art Journal

posted by Alyssa Pavley

Art Journal is inaugurating the new position of web editor. Following interviews in February and a strong recommendation from the journal’s editorial board, Anne Collins Goodyear, the president of CAA’s Board of Directors, has appointed Gloria Sutton to the position. The web editor will be responsible for the content and presentation of material on the journal’s website, which complements materials in the printed publication with freestanding projects, primarily by artists.

The step occurs as CAA moves to a partnership with Taylor & Francis, to publish all three of the organization’s journals: The Art Bulletin, Art Journal, and CAA members will select the journal(s) they would like to receive in print, and for the first time all three journals will available online, free to CAA members.

Of the new position, Sutton writes, “I am excited to help shape Art Journal’s online presence during this pivotal period and foster new intellectual exchanges among artists, scholars, critics, and curators of contemporary art.”

Sutton, who is assistant professor of contemporary art history and new media at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, will serve a three-year term as web editor. She is an art historian, curator, and author of many works on new media, including the book The Experience Machine: Stan VanDerBeek’s Movie-Drome and Expanded Cinema, to be published by MIT Press this fall. Sutton has curated exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, both in Los Angeles, California, and at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria.

Also joining the Art Journal Editorial Board is the art historian Kate Mondloch, whose research focuses on the cultural, social, and aesthetic possibilities of new technologies. She is an associate professor of contemporary art and theory at the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she directs the certificate program in new media and culture. Mondloch is the author of Screens: Viewing Media Installation Art (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010).

Filed under: Art Journal, People in the News

Call for Session Chairs for CIHA 2016

posted by Christopher Howard

From the International Committee of the History of Art (Comité International de l’Histoire de l’Art, known as CIHA) and from the conveners of the Beijing Committee for the Congress: Professors LaoZhu, Fan Di’an, and Shao Dazhen.

Terms: Concepts of Art History

The organizing committee for the thirty-fourth Congress in the History of Art, which will take place in Beijing, China, in September 2016, warmly invites expressions of interest from the international community of art historians. The concepts for the sessions are outlined below. We ask for expressions of interest from scholars who wish to develop these themes as session chairs.

Each session will have an international chair and a Chinese chair. A Chinese chair may be from Chinese mainland, Taiwan, or abroad. An early career researcher might serve as associate chair, if necessary. The two cochairs (and an early career researcher, if there is one) will act as a committee to define and refine the session’s concept for the preliminary congress in 2015, and to select presenters for the major congress in Beijing in 2016.

Applications for chairs may be made by academics or independent scholars. We want to remind applicants that no member of the CIHA board, and no one having been a chair in the Nuremberg Congress in 2012, can apply for serving as chair of a session at the Beijing Congress.

Applicants should:

  1. Be thoroughly acquainted with the most recent developments in the field of art history relevant to the topic of their session
  2. Be able to develop the chosen concept by organizing relevant symposia and workshops before 2016, to initiate dialogue and discussion, and to identify important issues for discussion at CIHA 2016 in Beijing
  3. Be able to identify global experts in the appropriate fields and to collaborate with them
  4. To be present at CIHA 2016 in Beijing

Applicants should send the following to the CIHA scientific secretary with copy to Chinese committee:

  1. Number and title of the proposed session
  2. 1–2 pages explaining the perspective they intend to give to the session and the main ideas they would like to be developed and discussed
  3. A first draft of the call for papers to be developed with the Chinese chair if the session is selected
  4. A short CV stressing the activities and publications related to the session

The deadline for applications is April 10, 2014.

The list of the chairs will be established during the CIHA board meeting in Marseilles, France (June 25, 2014) and immediately announced on CIHA website and the Beijing Congress website.

Session Themes

The sessions as defined by the National Committee of the People’s Republic of China and the International Committee for the History of Art are as follows:

1. Words and Concepts【语词与概念】

The word for “art” has varied etymological origins and connotations in different languages, whether in Greek and Latin, in French and Italian, or in Japanese, Arabic, or Chinese. In each culture the concept of art has evolved over time. In some languages, such as Aboriginal Australian languages, there are no words for “art” at all.

This section explores the main theme of the 2016 CIHA Congress, different concepts of art in diverse cultures. The topic strives to achieve three goals. The first is to respond to the latest development of art history as a global discipline. The section aims to explore, through diverse definitions, art that exposes its relationship to the respective cultural framework, and to the disparities of different cultures in various periods throughout history, so as to gain a more comprehensive understanding of art as an essential part of human culture.

2. The Rank of Art【标准与品评】

How do we rank art, create cannons, and define taste as part of contemporaneity? How do we experience disparities in the interpretation of art, namely, judgments of art’s value, and how do we evolve different criteria for evaluating art?

This section explores how different concepts of art are rooted in consciously defined value systems. By contrast to interpretations of art, which abide by traditions and their evolution in specific cultural settings, there are self-conscious value systems and criteria that are part of theoretical reflection, part of an understanding, of self-awareness, and of a conscious establishment of norms. Different from general ideas or interpretations about/on art, these ideas have certain intentionality. The evaluation and ranking of art affects the development of art by defining the trends of art or restraining some aspects of its growth. In other words, the disparities of art arise from the disparities of evaluation criteria. Moreover, the same art could take on further disparities just because of different evaluation criteria. The idea of the contemporaneity in ranking and judgment is always changing. A work of art could, for instance, acquire completely different evaluations when it is presented in different regions or settings, or viewed by different groups of people.

3. Imagination and Projection【想象与投射】

What is the productive gaze? The imagination and projection produced by art varies with cultures. These imaginations and projections produce spectacles and images that in reality do not exist.

The third section investigates the social and cultural foundations of artistic difference. Besides the notion that the emergence of a certain concept of art is restricted by specific social and historical circumstances, special attention will be given to the fact that some societies and realities, in disparate historical periods, have been mythologized or embodied in legend, or in literature, so that they appear to be especially imaginative or hallucinatory. The goals are to observe and understand works of art as an interactive process and to bring art to a new level of knowledge and cultural experience. The discussion focuses on two aspects of this topic: the first is on the issue of the relationship between the sociocultural background and the artistic concept(s) it produces; the second the fermentation and symbiosis between imaginative and hallucinatory symbolization and the contemporaneous artistic concepts. Looking at nature or artifacts, artists could project their own imagination on them, producing spectacles and artworks.

4. Appreciation and Utility【欣赏与实用】

Artworks and artifacts. Objects that have a spiritual or emotional impact on people are designated as artworks; objects for daily use and consumption are defined as artifacts. The boundaries between artworks and artifacts shift constantly: how are artworks and artifacts distinguished, and what is the conceptual reasoning behind such definitions?

This session is about how a culture understands the function of art. For this topic, we recommend a discussion focusing on the functions of works of art or artifacts and how the function of artworks and artifacts is determined by the social roles that they play. There are many aspects to a culture’s understanding of art and different avenues of research: artworks and artifacts are variously differentiated in different cultures and different eras. How the utility of artifacts is chosen and preserved in a culture, and how its spiritual aspect transforms it into a work of art. Moreover, this transformation process provides circumstantial evidence for concepts of art in different cultures.

5. Self-Awareness or Self-Affirmation【自觉与自律】

How does art record and define itself? The self-consciousness of “art for art’s sake” occurs at times in art history. Within particular cultural spheres, self-definitions of art can vary. Every culture seems to have produced some art for art’s sake.

This topic entails an exploration of how art is understood in different cultures. This topic differs from the fourth one in that the latter deals with the distinction and relation between artworks and artifacts (most artworks are produced for purposes and functions other than being art per se; rather, they are considered historically significant cultural artifacts and are collected and preserved) while this topic focuses mainly on works that are created as “art for art’s sake.”

How does the self-definition of art occur and to what effect? The discussion will focus on the development of art during a period of independent self-development of a culture, or prior to the significant and widespread exchanges and mutual influence among cultures. In the self-aware process of defining art, the concept of art undergoes continual construction (constructivism), artworks are “consciously” formed and made in this way rather than that their self-affirmed distinctions construct a crucial aspect of the cultural multiplicity.

6. Politics of Identity: Tradition and Origin【传统与渊源】

Art as identity. Identity for so-called tradition and original art by different cultures and nations. Identity has its roots in a respective historical and social background.

This topic entails an exploration of the issues of identity in the art of different cultures. There is the matter of selection and identification both in the field of an artistic tradition and of artistic creation and evaluation criteria, which forms a distinct tendency in different eras and cultures. Whereas certain choices and identifications would inflate the disparities in art, others would enhance convergence among different cultures or eras, leading to entirely different results. Identity touches on two levels, from the large (society) to the small (community). Both involve the use of art to construct identity. The characters of different types of communities manifest themselves exactly through defining the social boundaries: be it geographic, racial, gender based, or just imaginative, in which art plays a crucial role. The analysis of social framework reveals differing social groups and different forms of reception for artistic concepts. Under cultural exchange the identity of art can be the awakening of cultural self-consciousness of an oppressed or colonized culture, it can be the propagandizing expansion of nationalism or cultural strategies of imperialism. Within a culture the emphasis on identity may be seen in two entirely different ways. On the one hand it may become a tool of cultural awakening for the local people; on the other hand it may be exploited by the autocratic authority to control and discipline others. Therefore, the identity of art creates or bridges the difference between cultures. How to self-identify, however, and what kind of disparity may then result is worth further study.

7. Translation and Change【流传与嬗变】

Art history on the road. The Silk Route. The Danube. Changes in the concepts of art induce changes in the production of art. After a work of art is completed, through the process of collection, circulation, and transfer, it is evaluated, judged, and often recorded. This type of process and later interpretation can add meaning to art; it can also ascribe meanings that are different from or even conflict to the original ones; the new understandings and interpretations can lead to changes in the production of art.

The seventh topic deals with the study of changes in art and specially deals with the way culture is spread through contacts made on trade routes. This topic intends to explore the development of art, which is not subject to explicit outside influence in those nations and regions. In different circumstances, the developmental process of art not only takes a different direction, but the speed and magnitude of change differs greatly. It is suggested that in discussing these differences, in addition to impact of politics, economics, science, and technology in a society, as well as that of its spiritual background (religion, thought), special attention will be paid to the role played by the qualities inherent in art itself.

8. Art and Taboo【禁忌与教化】

For religious and political reasons, art is used as an important tool to educate and evangelize. On the one hand this particular use can cause positive changes to art, but on the other hand political and religious interference can also negatively affect established art and outsider art. Censorship is seen as taboo.

This topic considers the relationship between “art and power.” The discussion focuses on how art, as a resource, is made use of and manipulated by political and religious authorities and the consequences of their employment and manipulation. Art is exploited as a tool and weapon for political instruction, cultural cultivation, and religious preaching. The power that makes art a means of taboo and propaganda manifests itself in the form of strong influence (such as in religion), or in that of coercion (such as political propaganda), or in the usage of certain customs (such as traditional taboo) by the human being. Propaganda (dissemination) and education (socialization, evangelization) have at times been seen as two important functions of art.

9. Autonomy and Elusion【独立与超脱】

Art has its own independence, consciousness, and autonomy. It has an impact on the dialectic of power. Art functions as a way of eluding power in a harsh situation. Neither influenced by economy and society nor intervened by politics or religion. Each culture has developed its own particular approach to protect art’s independence, consciousness, and autonomy.

The topic considers the independence of art as a force in resisting authority. The resistance shown that art can be seen neutrally as art’s transgression of rules which themselves are the consolidation of power. The rules may be ideological constructions or social norms. To various degrees, art displays its inherent function of dispelling, resisting, and dissipating power. For those social groups without authority, art functions to confront power and acts as a tool for obtaining independence, freedom, and solace. Disparate social forces, especially those among disadvantaged groups and the ruling classes, use art to express their own political aspirations and state of mind. They employ art for gaining independence and demonstrating resistance. At the same time artists themselves possess, in all cultures and eras, a degree of freedom of creation that rejects rational control and established norms, and they consciously make use of it.

10. Gendered Practices【性别与妇女】

The status and function of gender differ in different cultures across time. The norms of dealing with gender issues in art and its progression within a single culture may change. The relationship between gendered space, status, and power in society and the artworks is a crucial set of concerns. Gender issues exhibit complex structures in different cultures and ethnicities.

This topic concerns gender issues in the art of different cultures. The status and power of genders are rooted in their corresponding social structures, which can be seen not only in the physical and social space occupied by different genders but also in the art that depicts the gender disparities and the art made by different genders. The discussion focuses on how art represents, manifests, regulates, or even rejects this social structure in varying ways, and how gender awareness of a specific social-cultural community influences the formation of artistic concepts. The relationship between gender and art in different cultures can vary significantly. In some cultures, gender and art are more closely linked than in others. In some cultures certain art forms are based entirely on gender distinction. (For example, nüshu, or “women’s writing,” a mysterious symbolic system and art form used by a certain group of women in Hunan province in southern China.) It is important to understand how sexual identities and gender are constructed by artworks and art practice.

11. Landscape and Spectacle【风景与奇观】

Reading the world. Landscape is an acknowledgement and a response of the human being to the natural world. In different artistic traditions, different landscape consciousnesses are formed. “Spectacles” and images of the world-diagram also have a corresponding relationship. Natural scenery, manmade wonders, and artistic experience are directly and indirectly affected by the history of art.

This topic considers landscape as both a geographical constraint and a cultural projection. The focus of the discussion is not on Guy Debord’s “spectacle” as image; instead, we view landscape or spectacle as a projection of the relationship between the environment, both natural and urban environment, and the reflection of this environment in the artistic tradition. This topic also touches upon relevant issues of landscape planning, urban and community design, and public art.

12. Garden and Courtyard【园林与庭院】

Gardens give expression to particular ideals and function as artistic metaphors in different cultures. A garden is related to geography, humanity, and customs of life.

The twelfth topic concerns gardens and courtyards as a universal art form for cultural expressions. In enclosed spaces gardens and courtyards present comprehensively human (re)presentations and expressions of nature and art in an orderly form. Gardens and courtyards draw us closer to nature and place one’s ideals without keeping away from the institutional framework (such as the palace) and urban life. Some proposed examples for discussion: in the history of art, there has existed a strong disparity between the traditions of French gardens and English gardens, and between the traditions of Chinese gardens and Japanese gardens.[1]

13. Transmission and Adoption【传播与接受】

The spread of art concepts: transmission and adoption. Art and artistic concepts flow between different cultures often due to economic and political situations, namely international relationships rather than by the nature of art itself. But transcultural practice sometimes exists outside the limits of the economic and political relationships. In different societies, art is transmitted in various ways and to various degrees.

This topic investigates the intercultural transmission of art. The transcultural spread of art is often a by-product of trade, mission, conflict, and war. Case studies on the transmission of art induced by intercultural expansion have been thoroughly discussed on the Montreal and Melbourne congresses. The reason for choosing this topic again is that we hope to further emphasize the transmission of different art and artistic concepts. To sharpen the discussion, we propose to switch the focus to the different modes, means, and methods of transmission and thus to study how new modes and means of transmission can expand the value of relativity and strengthen perceptible impact onto humanity. The new modes and means of transmission of art concepts thereby change and expand the original patterns of interest and shape to new forms of expression. For instance it can be explored in post-colonial studies how dominant cultures impose their art concepts and visions on the subalterns.

14. Othering and Foreignness【他者与陌生】

Strange and unfamiliar aesthetic of foreign art. Acceptance and rejection of foreign art, depending on one’s own perspective: On the one hand, cultures enjoy the novelty of a foreign culture’s sentiments; on the other hand, cultures possess an inertia that rejects and resists outside ideas and influences.

This topic considers how a culture views and evaluates a foreign and unfamiliar art. The discussion focuses on the reaction of a culture to the others “prior” to extensive exchanges and transmissions among them take place. Every culture encounters foreign and unfamiliar art. Even within a same culture there could be those “foreign” and unfamiliar aspects of art that are not from the cultural center or do not conform to the traditional cultural milieu. These unfamiliar or foreign aspects can be praised and cherished and at the same time belittled and excluded from the recipient’s cultural mainstream. This paradox is the premise that both gives rise to impact and determines the nature and extent of the (cultural) exchange.

15. Creative Misunderstanding【误解与曲用】

Misunderstanding can occasion creativity. The utility of misunderstanding. In art history, the capacity for creativity and the harm that misunderstandings and misinterpretations may do. This type of dual nature creates rich cultural phenomena within art history.

The focus here is on misunderstanding and misinterpretation in the history of art. It intends to further study the problem of the reception of foreign, heterodox and nontraditional cultures. The difference between topics 14 and 15 is that topic 14 deals with how to view and treat other cultures (reception of an existing culture) prior to actually engaging with them. Topic 15 focuses on the consequences of cultural exchange: “misunderstandings” lead to changes of cultural and individual behavior, which can be either creative or disruptive. Disruptions can be corrected and thereof lead further to the emergence of new creativity. Relevant to this theme is the nature of misunderstanding—whether as a conscious choice or merely a result caused by distance, no matter chronologically or spatially.

16. Commodity and Market【商品与市场】

The art market’s effect on art arises perhaps largely from the goals of commerce, and art commerce also embodies alienation and deviation from political power. This session investigates the interactions and disparities between art’s noncommercial nature (poetic quality) and the repeated transactions of artworks. It also compares the connections and differences between the value of mainstream art and kitsch.

This topic is about the art market as a special and dedicated way of exchange and as a form of cultural interaction. In the posteconomic globalization era, the ways in which market transactions work are changing. We propose to focus the discussion on how the changed patterns of the art market have altered to a large extent the patterns of the dissemination of art and how they have affected the evolvement of artistic concepts. The circulation and transactions of artworks are reflected in the globalized economy. On the one hand the differences between the boundaries of cultures are somewhat smoothed out in order to gain a broader market, while on the other hand artistic novelty and peculiarity are intentionally created, so as to increase competitiveness of the art commodities in the globalized setting and to raise the value of the collectible artworks and their consumability. The artistic creation is consequently targeted to specific purchasing demand and becomes part of the cultural industry. New means of communication are changing the ways of pricing art, imposing a real impact on the art market. Virtual works of art based on digital technology are both different from traditional artworks and from the artworks that can be reproduced by machine. These new media have subverted the concept of “original work” and outstripped the “copyright” definition for replication of work, which also has an impact on the development of art.

17. Display and Observation【展示与观看】

Performing difference by showing art. Effect of exhibition on art-historical concepts and methodologies. Exhibitions also change the concept of historical art strongly. Evolution of art-historical concepts and methodology as reflected in the collection, conservation, and presentation of art; the change in both the content and the methodology of presentation, as well as the meaning of the museum’s role as a “composer” of different art history.

Exhibition serves as a channel for communication between cultures and a means of illustrating differences. The concern of this topic roots in the impact of the exhibition on art historical concepts and methods. We suggest a discussion on the changes in the content and methods of displaying art and on the changes of the concept of museum and especially on how to apply these (changes) to structure knowledge and spread civilization by means of comparing cultures and using different cultural perspectives. In traditional cultures displaying art is often related to private connoisseurship, but in the contemporary environment, in which intercultural contact has expanded significantly and an art exhibition serves as a channel of communication and a means of exchange. It could be understood as the advent of “public space.” The display and clash of intercultural differences meet the needs of the exhibition and the viewer’s interests. How a curator brings together different regions, cultures, and styles into an exhibition in order to display historical differences, attract the viewers’ curiosity, create special hybridity, or contrast scenes to expand knowledge (a new understanding of history), to break through historical boundaries and create a wholly new culture, and how virtual artistic expressions on the internet are threatening traditional means of exhibition are all important issues to be discussed in this section.

18. Media and Visuality【媒体与视觉】

Propagation of artworks in the information age. With the popularization and application of the internet and various digital-storage techniques and applied technology, traditional art has been affected by a high degree of challenge and substitution. Visual culture is currently changing the structure and spirituality of people’s lives; it also broadens gradually the methods of art’s creation, the techniques of its propagation, and the scope of its acceptance.

This topic resumes the corresponding discussion at CIHA 2012. Traditional artistic media have helped forming cultural identities in different cultures, for instance, the marble statues for the ancient Greek, the oil painting for the European, the Ukiyo-e for the Japanese, and the ink and wash for the Chinese. In the information age the new methods of communication have significant impact on the visual arts under the different cultural traditions and realities. In addition to the general impact of new media and methodologies, we propose to focus the discussion on how temporal and geographical barriers between cultures and regions gradually lose their traditional significance in the midst of the new media and visual culture. “Common time” alters people’s sense of history and temporal experience; synchronization and juxtaposition of spaces, explored in theories on “spatial turn,” change their tradition consciousness and cultural identification. Groups with new media and their audience are no longer divided by identity concepts of traditional culture, nationality, ethnicity or region. Has modern media, in a sense, transformed people into “media art”?

19. History of Beauty vs. History of Art【审美与艺术史】

New connections and disparities between aesthetics and the history of art. Traditionally, art is often associated with beauty—as reality’s perfect, idealized, and manmade form. However, art is not equal to beauty. It is even more so in today’s society. An enormous disparity emerged between the history of beauty and the history of art. Art has broken through the boundaries of aesthetics, sensory, and emotion and entered a realm of social responsibility and intervention of the reality. In turn, art tries to seek, beyond philosophies, interpretation of freedom and understanding of human rights.

This section is a study on how the revolution in new means of communication has changed art history and aesthetics. We propose here to focus the discussion on the different relation between art and aesthetics in different cultures and how this relation is constructed, strengthened, broken, and reconstructed. In the information age this relation has changed. Art has transcended aesthetics and feelings and expanded its traditional scope to play a more direct role in society and reality and, further, to the ideological and philosophical quest for interpreting freedom and human rights. We can further discuss from here new directions and methodologies in the study of art history, as well as the new mode of thinking following the “pictorial turn.”

20. Professional Education and Aesthetic Education【专业与美育】

That disparities in art and art history bring changes in methodology and reforms of professional art education is an important concern for the development of contemporary art and art history. Nonprofessional art education is an education technique for the citizenry. Using art for aesthetic education through new media has become an important way for improving the citizens’ quality of life.

The topic is about disparities of art education in different cultures. We propose to focus the discussion on different forms of art education before the advent of information age and on reform of art education in the information age. In each culture traditional art education has its own specific emphases. For instance, differences are apparent in the forms of apprenticeship, the relationship between master and apprentice or between teacher and student, and the administration of the workshop. The changes brought by new media and technology deal with three issues: (1) new artistic concepts, new categories, and new methods demand new specialized arts education; (2) how have the revolutionary changes in concepts, categories, and methods altered methodologies in art education, whether these changes affect specialized and/or professional arts education and art education for the public; (3) how new artistic concepts, categories, and methodologies, together with new modes of communication and transmission, will affect the development of art history, for example, via the emerging digital humanities.

21. Connecting Art Histories and World Art【多元与世界】

The relationship between local art history and global art history. Aside from the disparate academic traditions of the East and the West (and of the South?), what cultural circles and academic traditions are there in the world? How has and can art history become an open global discipline.

This last topic discusses art history within a framework of global art history. This section deals with the further development of art history and the art history in view of interdisciplinary research. We hope to gain responses from their respective positions by participating scholars in order to further promote understanding of the disparities and commonalities in art and art history among different cultures throughout the world. For example, there is a remarkable difference between East Asian art history (as represented by the art of South Korea, Japan, China, etc.) and Western art history. Besides this there are many distinct cultural spheres and schools in the world that have their own art and art-historical terms. The scope of world art history recognizes and understands the differences among artistic terms of each individual people and specific time. It places art terms beyond any unified single standard and thereby contributes to a globalized art history to encompass all world art in its research purview. At the same time, in cooperation with other fields, art history takes on an interdisciplinary approach, which promises to lead art history toward a new future-oriented era. With new and open scholarship on issues, CIHA 2016 strives to further explore and develop new energy, new directions, and a new mission!

[1] The suggested topics outlined above are issues that concern the different developmental paths and artistic productions created in disparate cultures. These differences can be divided into “internal art problems” and “external art problems” on the basis of the relationship that art engages with. The external art problems focus on the relationship between art and social, historical, and other (political, economical, religious, ideological, and scientific factors surrounding the artistic production in any given society and culture. Internal problems of art center around aesthetic, expressive, and creative aspects of art, as well as a society or culture’s own visual tradition. The remaining topics listed below concern interaction and exchange between arts of different cultures across time. The issues were the center of discussion at the 31 Kongress of 2004 Montréal Sites and Territories of Art History; XXXI eCongres, Montreal, QC, Canada 32. Kongress 2008 Melbourne Crossing Cultures: Conflict-Migration-Convergence.

Filed under: Art History, International

The 2015 Call for Participation for the 103rd Annual Conference, taking place February 11–14, 2015, in New York, describes many of next year’s programs sessions. CAA and the session chairs invite your participation: please follow the instructions in the booklet to submit a proposal for a paper or presentation. This publication also includes a call for Poster Session proposals and describes the seven Open Forms sessions.

Listing more than one hundred panels, the 2015 Call for Participation is only available as a PDF download; CAA will not mail hard copies of this twenty-eight-page document.

The deadline for proposals of papers and presentations for the New York conference is Friday, May 9, 2014.

In addition to dozens of wide-ranging panels on art history, studio art, contemporary issues, and professional and educational practices, CAA conference attendees can expect participation from many area schools, museums, galleries, and other institutions. The Hilton New York is the conference headquarters, holding most sessions, Career Services, the Book and Trade Fair, ARTspace, special events, and more. Deadline: May 9, 2014.


For more information about proposals of papers and presentations for the 2015 Annual Conference, please contact Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs, at 212-392-4405.

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard

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 No-Fail Secret to Writing a Dissertation

As a former journalist, assistant professor, and seasoned dissertation-writing-workshop coach at New York University, I can promise you there is only one fail-safe method, one secret, one guaranteed trick that you need in order to finish your dissertation: write. (Read more from Vitae.)

Who Knew? Arts Education Fuels the Economy

In public-policy battles, you might hear that arts education is closely linked to greater academic achievement, social and civic engagement, and even job success later in life. But what about the economic value of an arts education? Here even the field’s most eloquent champions have been at a loss for words, or rather numbers. Until now. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Study Finds Gender Inequality in Art Museum Director’s Salaries

Fewer than 43 percent of art-museum directors are women, yet female directors, on average, are paid less than their male counterparts, according to a joint study from Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research and the Association of Art Museum Directors. The study also found that female directors at museums with budgets of more than $15 million earn 71 cents for every $1 that male directors earn. (Read more from Art and Seek.)

Arts Are Failing to Widen Access to Jobs

The cultural sector in the United Kingdom is failing to provide equal access to jobs, which is “stifling” the industry’s ability to grow and diversify, according to a new report written by leading skills-development body Creative and Cultural Skills. The report claims that employers are recruiting from too small a pool of applicants, which has resulted in unfair routes into work. (Read more from the Stage.)

Making History: Wikipedia Editing as Pedagogical and Public Intervention

On the first Saturday in February, the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art hosted an Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon in partnership with Project Continua and in tandem with a nationwide initiative organized by Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in New York. We were thrilled by the turnout and enthusiasm of the participants—who ranged from professors of art history and women’s literature to long-time editors of Wikipedia to novices in both categories—and wrote about several personal interactions and specific changes that made the day memorable and impactful on the museum’s blog. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

When Is an Artwork Finished?

In nineteenth-century England, Varnishing Day was traditionally the time when artists arrived at an exhibition to put the finishing touches on their works and seal them with a coat of varnish. J. M. W. Turner famously arrived at one such event in 1835, where he proceeded to squeeze lumps of color onto a half-finished canvas and, according to various accounts, work without a break, using his fingers and a palette knife to coax the surface to life. In the end, the painting Turner produced was one of two versions depicting the burning of the Houses of Parliament a few months earlier. (Read more from ARTnews.)

Help Desk: Selling Unconventional Work

I work for a gallery that has become known as a place for artists to take risks. While this is exciting and great, it is also frustrating—especially for the owner of the gallery, who has been in business for around twenty years and whose patience and enthusiasm, and subsequent income, is waning as a result of these artists’ unconventional and less-popular work. How do we use this reputation to our advantage and pitch new work to potential collectors. (Read more from Daily Serving.)

The Price of “Free”

You’ve probably seen the news. Getty Images—not to be confused with the Getty Museum or Getty Research Center—has made millions of its photos free. Well, not exactly. You have to use their embedded code, which includes branding, a bit of surveillance, and other moneymaking potential. When you embed these images, you’re giving Getty access to information about who sees the image on your page and you provide them ad space on your site, a little virtual real estate where they might someday put up billboards. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Filed under: CAA News

While the College Art Association (CAA) continues to affirm that the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is the terminal degree in visual arts and design practice, a growing number of PhD and other doctoral degree programs in the arts are being offered by institutions within the United States and abroad. Consistent with its commitment to offer guidance to its members, their institutions, and other professional arts organizations, CAA recognizes the need to develop a statement regarding terminal degree programs in the visual arts and design. In February 2013 CAA’s Professional Practices Committee (PPC) outlined a twenty-month course of action to develop a Statement on Terminal Degree Programs in the Visual Arts and Design. This process began with the formation of an ad hoc committee to lead the project.

The committee worked over the past year on collecting and comparing information about terminal degree programs and developing draft statements. The most recent draft was presented to members at the CAA Annual Conference in Chicago in February 2014. The session was extremely well attended and included an open discussion period and a mechanism for collecting post-conference feedback. In addition, the committee presented an earlier draft at the September 2013 National Council of Arts Administrators Annual Conference and many committee members attended an open hearing on the same subject at the October 2013 National Association of Schools of Art and Design Annual Meeting.

The committee continues its work on a timetable to submit a final draft statement for PPC review by June 1, 2014; for CAA staff and legal counsel review by September 1, 2014; and for CAA Board of Directors review in October 2014.

Please review the current draft statement. Members can offer responses, comments, and suggestions at until April 22, 2014. All submissions will be reviewed and considered. Please be aware that the committee will be unable to respond directly to members.




Linda Downs
Executive Director

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