College Art Association

CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Mar 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.

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