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Juror Sought for the Millard Meiss Publication Fund

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA seeks nominations and self-nominations from an architectural historian or an art historian with a specialization in Islamic, East Asian, or contemporary art to serve on the jury for the Millard Meiss Publication Fund for a four-year term, ending on June 30, 2018. Candidates must be actively publishing scholars with demonstrated seniority and achievement; institutional affiliation is not required.

The Meiss jury awards subsidies to support the publication of book-length scholarly manuscripts in the history of art and related subjects. Members review manuscripts and grant applications twice a year and meet in New York in the spring and fall to select the awardees. 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: July 22, 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.

AAMD Sanctions Delaware Art Museum

AAMD is deeply troubled and saddened that the Delaware Art Museum has deaccessioned and sold a work of art from its collection to pay outstanding debt and build its operating endowment. Art museums collect works of art for the benefit of present and future generations. Responsible stewardship of a museum’s collection and the conservation, exhibition, and study of these works are the heart of a museum’s commitment to its community and to the public. (Read more from the Association of Art Museum Directors.)

Delaware Art Museum Painting Brings $4.25 Million

The Delaware Art Museum’s first painting up for auction, William Holman Hunt’s Isabella and the Pot of Basil, sold for $4.25 million last week, far short of Christie’s low estimate of $8.4 million. The 1868 work by the Pre-Raphaelite master sold within two minutes at Christie’s in London, with a starting bid of £1.9 million. (Read more from the Delaware News Journal.)

Humanities Funding Still in Recovery from Recession

Total funding for humanities research, education, and programs in the United States is still below prerecession levels, according to a new report released last week by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The report, The State of the Humanities: Funding 2014, gathers data on the array of funding sources, large and small, that underwrite the humanities, revealing that federal, state, and private support to the humanities are still recovering from the recession. (Read more from the National Endowment for the Humanities.)

Help Desk: To Apply Oneself

The annual application process for many residencies, fellowships, and publishing opportunities is tough. Should there be a limit on the number of times you apply for the same opportunity before you realize that they just aren’t interested in your practice? Or is it more valuable to demonstrate a little fortitude? (Read more from Daily Serving.)

No One Sits Here Anymore: How Spikes and Fences Erase Communal Life

Since the day it first opened, the windows of my neighborhood gym have been a gathering point for neighbors. They’re right at street level, and they’re big. Lots of us had sat on their deep windowsills for many years, most of all the Pakistanis who live in the surrounding area. Note that I wrote, “had sat,” because ever since Barcelona’s City Hall installed some giant metal plates, no one sits there anymore. The gatherings and chitchats are over. (Read more from Creative Time Reports.)

How Cities Use Design to Drive Homeless People Away

Earlier this month, someone tweeted a picture of a series of metal spikes built into the ground outside a London apartment building. The spikes were intended to discourage homeless people from sleeping in the area, and their presence sparked a public outcry. London’s mayor called the spikes “ugly, self defeating & stupid,” and the mayor of Montreal called similar spikes in his own city “unacceptable!!!!” Protesters poured concrete over a set of spikes outside a Tesco supermarket. Then, after a petition was signed by nearly 130,000 people, the spikes were removed from the London apartment building, the Tesco, and downtown Montreal. (Read more from the Atlantic.)

Should I Go to Art School?

You’ve sent me a tricky one, my dear. There are many personal factors that must be carefully considered by each individual, working in any artistic discipline, who is grappling with this question. While I have no way of knowing your personal capacities, I can certainly give you my general opinion … and you know I love doing that. (Read more from KCET.)

Hemingway: A Simple Online Tool for Better Short-Form Writing (Museum 2.0)

Exhibit labels. Promotional text. Grant proposals. For many arts and museum professionals, writing one-hundred-word chunks of text is a daily activity. Unfortunately, much of that writing is lousy. We have great references for better art writing but don’t always use them. Instead we pack sentences with highfalutin vocabulary, pepper them with clauses, and wrap them up in insider language. Recently, I discovered an online tool called Hemingway that can change that. Its intent is “to make your writing bold and clear.” (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

Filed under: CAA News

Update on the CAA Fair-Use Initiative

posted by Linda Downs

Professors Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi are now in the second phase of CAA’s Fair Use Initiative. The first phase, begun in January 2013, involved interviews with visual arts professionals regarding the use of third-party materials in their creative work and publications. The interviews were summarized by Aufderheide and Jaszi and published by CAA earlier this year:

This week, Aufderheide and Jaszi completed the last of ten discussion group meetings held over the past few weeks in New York, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles, in which visual arts professionals explored various situations where fair use can be invoked when using third-party materials and images. Each discussion group consisted of ten to twelve artists, art historians, museum directors, curators, and editors, who were presented with hypothetical scenarios based on the Issues Report. The ensuing discussions have been intense and extremely valuable, providing insights into broadly shared standards for relying on fair use when using copyrighted material.

In the third phase of the project Aufderheide and Jaszi will use the results of the discussion groups to synthesize a code of best practices. A preliminary draft will be reviewed by the Task Force on Fair Use, the Committee on Intellectual Property, the project advisors, and a Legal Advisory Committee before a final version is presented to the CAA Board of Directors for approval.

CAA is pleased to announce the appointment of new advisors to the Fair Use Initiative. Chris Sundt, Editor, Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation and past chair of the CAA Committee on Intellectual Property; and Paul Catanese, Director of Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA Program, Columbia College Chicago and past chair of the CAA New Media Caucus have agreed to serve in this capacity. The advisors will contribute to the review of the draft code, propose possible candidates for the legal review committee and assist in the dissemination of the code once the CAA Board of Directors has approved it.

A report on the Fair Use Initiative will be presented at the Annual Conference in New York in February 2015.

Filed under: Copyright, Intellectual Property

New Appointments to CAA’s Editorial Boards

posted by Christopher Howard

The president of CAA’s Board of Directors, DeWitt Godfrey, has made appointments to the editorial boards of CAA’s three scholarly journals, in consultation with the editorial boards and the vice president for publications, Suzanne Preston Blier. The appointments take effect on July 1, 2014.

Art Journal

Two new members-at-large have joined the Art Journal Editorial Board. Tirza True Latimer is an associate professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and chair of its graduate program in visual and critical studies. Janet Kraynak is an associate professor of contemporary art history at the New School in New York, with joint appointment at Parsons the New School for Design and Eugene Lang College. The terms for Latimer and Kraynak extend until June 30, 2018.

The Art Bulletin

The Art Bulletin has announced its next reviews editor: Nancy Um, associate professor in the Department of Art History at Binghamton University, State University of New York, and a scholar of Islamic art and visual culture. For the past year, Um has been a scholar in residence at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. From 2011 to 2014, she served as the inaugural reviews editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. Um is the author of The Merchant Houses of Mocha: Trade and Architecture in an Indian Ocean Port (University of Washington Press, 2009), as well as many essays and book chapters. Um will succeed Rachael DeLue of Princeton University, beginning a three-year-term as reviews editor on July 1, 2015, with the preceding year as reviews editor designate.

The Editorial Board welcomes two new members-at-large: Meredith Cohen and Suzanne Hudson. Cohen is a historian of the art, architecture, and urbanism of medieval Europe and an assistant professor of art history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Hudson is an assistant professor of art history and fine arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and currently serves as the field editor for exhibitions of modern and contemporary art on the West Coast. Both Cohen and Hudson will serve four-year terms on the editorial board, from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2018.

The Council of Field Editors has four new members. Phillip Bloom, an assistant professor of art history at the University of Indiana in Bloomington and a visiting researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo for 2013–14, will commission reviews of books on Chinese art. Edward A. Vazquez, assistant professor of history of art and architecture at Middlebury College in Vermont, will be the field editor for exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in the northeastern United States. Megan Cifarelli, an associate professor at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, and chair of her school’s program in art history, will assign reviews of books on ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern art for the journal. Finally, Pamela M. Fletcher, a professor of art history and codirector of the Digital and Computational Studies Initiative at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, joins to oversee reviews of digital projects in the visual arts.

The Strategic Plan 2015-2020 was approved by the directors and the following priorities were established by the new president, DeWitt Godfrey:

  • Advocate for workforce issues particularly for part-time faculty;
  • Review the Professional Interests, Practices and Standards committees to ensure addressing critical issues in the visual arts field;
  • Increase membership nationally, internationally and in terms of diversity; increase communication with members, including social communication;
  • Find ways of extending the annual conference to a larger group of members; and
  • Enhance utilization of digital capabilities by journal authors and promote digital expertise.

The directors are grateful to the Strategic Planning Task Force chaired by president emerita Anne Collins Goodyear and all the members who contributed to the development of this new plan.

The directors gratefully approved the endowment gift by Mary Douglas Edwards of $50,000 to support travel and registration to attend the CAA annual conference by women who are emerging scholars pursuing a doctoral degree or who have received their Ph.D. within two years prior to the submission of the application for the award of the grant and who will present research papers at an art history session at the conference with strong preference for papers on any topic pertaining to the art of ancient Greece or Rome, Medieval Europe from 400 – 1400, or Europe and North American from 1400 – 1950.

The directors approved the IRS Form 990 for Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2013.

The directors approved CAA joining the Partner Program of the Society of Architectural Historians.

The directors also approved the Resolution to commend the Women’s Art Journal requested by the Committee on Women in the Arts for the maintenance of high quality scholarship that serves as a forum for re-examining feminist concerns of the women’s art movement. A letter of commendation was sent to Joan Marter, Professor of Art History, Rutgers University and Editor, Women’s Art Journal.

The directors established a Task Force on Design, chaired by Debra Riley Parr, , to investigate and make recommendations to the directors on 1) tenure and promotion standards for designers; 2) CV guidelines for designers; 3) representation of design fields in all the professional committees; and 4) scheduling sessions at the annual conference on design issues.

The directors decided to evaluate the Professional- Development Fellowships in Art History and Visual Arts in light of the current job market and in the context of the Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and to temporarily suspend the program.

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 World’s Most Influential MFA Programs, Part 2

You may have noticed that our recent survey of ten of the world’s most influential MFA programs was heavily focused on the United States. That’s because we’re patriots. But numerous other art schools around the world have also made enormous impacts on the history of art, yielding generations of exalted alumni, boasting world-class faculty, and operating on a totally different scale and historical timeframe than schools of the US model. (Read more from Artspace Magazine.)

Foundations Add $13 Million to Grand Bargain Pot for DIA, Pensions

Two more leading national charitable foundations have pledged a combined $13 million to help the Detroit Institute of Arts reach its $100-million commitment to the grand bargain, which would protect the city-owned museum from having to sell its treasures while easing cuts to city pensioners in Detroit’s bankruptcy. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

Detroit, DIA, in Preparation for Court Battle, Hire Art Advising Firm

As legal jockeying continues in Detroit’s bankruptcy, the city and the Detroit Institute of Arts have jointly hired a New York art investment firm whose personnel could be called as expert witnesses to push back against creditors trying to force a sale of art in court. Artvest Partners, a company that advises attorneys, dealers, insurers, and collectors, has been engaged to provide a price range for the entire 66,000-piece collection at the city-owned museum and assess the viability and practicality of selling art or otherwise monetizing the collection. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

Shopkeepers of the World Unite

One evening last summer, far from New York City, I was cornered by a senior curator from a prestigious arts institution. The woman, who was urbane, stylish, and in her late thirties, had a pressing question. “You live in Los Angeles,” she noted. “Can you tell me, is Petra Cortright a feminist?” I squirmed as I considered how to avoid falling into this trap. (Read more from Artforum.)

Applying Rules of All Markets to Art

There’s a sentiment afloat in this frothy art market that rampant flipping and other practices among the creators, buyers, and sellers of art that were perhaps previously considered questionable are in fact entirely ethically neutral. This fairly widespread sentiment, that ethics don’t come into this matter, relies heavily on the assertion that such practices are entirely in line with the well-established rules of any market, and that art is no different from any other commodity and never has been. (Read more from Edward Winkleman.)

A Dereliction of Duty

In London, on June 17, Christie’s, the international auction house, will be offering for sale a painting by the English Pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt. Entitled Isabella and the Pot of Basil, it carries a presale estimate of $8.4 million to $13.4 million. Such sales—and such prices—are commonplace in today’s overheated art market. This one, however, is different because the seller, the Delaware Art Museum, is an institution that holds one of the finest collections of Pre-Raphaelite art outside Britain. Why would it choose to part with a work of such quality? (Read more from the Wall Street Journal.)

A Study Shows How Audiences Are Changing, but Should Data Guide Artistic Decisions?

No facet of society—not even the arts—is immune to the conversation about metrics, measurement, and big data. Last week in downtown Los Angeles, museum administrators, marketers, and cultural leaders gathered at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the presentation of “Culture Track 14,” hosted by the Music Center. Billed as revealing a “dramatically changed cultural landscape,” the 2014 study—and the conversations around it—drove home many particulars that audience members already assumed and other dynamics long at play. (Read more from the LA Weekly.)

Starbucks College Achievement Plan

Starbucks believes in the promise and pursuit of the American Dream. This fall, the company will make it possible for thousands of part- and full-time US partners to complete a college degree. In a first of its kind collaboration with Arizona State University, Starbucks will offer partners the opportunity to finish their bachelor’s degree with full tuition reimbursement. Partners may choose from forty undergraduate degree programs through Arizona State’s research driven and top-ranked program, delivered online. (Read more from Starbucks.)


Filed under: CAA News recently published the authors and titles of doctoral dissertations in art history and visual studies—both completed and in progress—from American and Canadian institutions for calendar year 2013. You may browse by listing date or by subject matter. Each entry identifies the student’s name, dissertation title, school, and advisor.

Each institution granting the PhD in art history and/or visual studies submits dissertation titles once a year to CAA for publication. The list also includes dissertations completed and in progress between 2002 and 2012, making basic information about their topics available through web searches.

Two Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Awards for Spring 2014

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA is pleased to announce the two recipients of the Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award for spring 2014. Thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CAA is supporting the work of emerging authors who are publishing monographs on the history of art and related subjects.

The spring 2014 grant recipients are:

  • Sonal Khullar, Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930–1990, University of California Press
  • Pepper Stetler, Stop Reading! Look! Modern Vision and the Weimar Photographic Book, University of Michigan Press

The purpose of the Meiss/Mellon subventions is to reduce the financial burden that authors carry when acquiring images for publication, including licensing and reproduction fees for both print and online publications. Authors must be current CAA members. Please review the application guidelines for more information. Deadline for the fall 2014 grant cycle: September 15, 2014.

This spring, CAA awarded grants to the publishers of eight books in art history and visual culture through the Millard Meiss Publication Fund. Thanks to the generous bequest of the late Prof. Millard Meiss, CAA gives these grants to support the publication of scholarly books in art history and related fields.

The grantees for spring 2014 are:

  • Una Roman D’Elia, Raphael’s Ostrich, Pennsylvania State University Press
  • Sonal Khullar, Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930–1990, University of California Press
  • Elizabeth Kindall, Geo-Narratives of a Filial Son: The Paintings and Travel Diaries of Huang Xiangjian (1609–1673), Harvard University Asia Center
  • Vered Maimon, The Photographic Imagination: Talbot and the Conception of Photography in the Early 19th Century, University of Minnesota Press
  • Pepper Stetler, Stop Reading! Look! Modern Vision and the Weimar Photographic Book, University of Michigan Press
  • Erik Thunø, The Apse Mosaic in Early Medieval Rome, Cambridge University Press
  • Jason Weems, Barnstorming the Prairies: Aerial Vision and Modernity in Rural America, 1920–1940, University of Minnesota Press
  • Marnin Young, Later Realism and the Politics of Time, Yale University Press

Books eligible for Meiss grants must already be under contract with a publisher and on a subject in the visual arts or art history. Authors must be current CAA members. Please review the application guidelines for more information. Deadline for the fall 2014 grant cycle: September 15, 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.

Ten of the Most Influential MFA Programs in the World

Artspace Magazine has tallied up the top ten master of fine arts programs in the world. While they may not be the cheapest avenues into the art world, these are, without a doubt, the top-ranked MFA programs for art students looking to add a gold star to the top of their CVs—and to build a ladder into the gallery sphere. Of course, there’s no “silver bullet” for instant postgraduate success. But there are certain programs that tend to spark the interest of curators, critics, and collectors alike. (Read more from Artspace Magazine.)

A Community of Artists: Radical Pedagogy at CalArts, 1969–72

A painter, a composer, a drama scholar, two directors, and two radical social scientists sat down at a table in 1969 to plot the future of the California Institute of the Arts. These were CalArts’ first administrators, and the challenge before them—and before the faculty they’d recruited for each of their departments or “schools” of art, film, theater/dance, music, design, and critical studies—was to actualize Walt Disney’s vision of bringing all of the arts together in one institution of higher learning, resulting in “a kind of cross-pollination that [would] bring out the best in its students.” (Read more from East of Borneo.)

Five-Year Plan

Criticizing humanities doctoral programs is easy. They take too long, they continue to emphasize training for tenure-track faculty positions in an era when such positions are scarce, they encourage the book model of dissertation at a time when books are hard to publish, even full funding isn’t always “full”—the list goes on. Solving the PhD predicament is much harder, but that’s what the Modern Language Association is attempting to do, or at least start to do, in a new report. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Are Lectures on the Way Out? Harvard Professor Proposes a Better Way to Teach

A teacher standing lecturing before a group of students is a form of human interaction that stretches back at least a millennium and a half. The roles are clear: the teacher with the knowledge tells the students who lack it everything they need to know. The teacher projects, the students absorb. The teacher speaks, the students listen. But just because it’s been that way for a long time doesn’t mean it’s the best way to teach. (Read more from Radio Boston.)

The Case for Banning Laptops in the Classroom

A colleague of mine in the Department of Computer Science at Dartmouth College recently sent an email to all of us on the faculty. The subject line read: “Ban computers in the classroom?” The note that followed was one sentence long: “I finally saw the light today and propose we ban the use of laptops in class.” While the sentiment in my colleague’s email was familiar, the source was surprising: it came from someone teaching a programming class, where computers are absolutely integral to learning and teaching. Surprise turned to something approaching shock when, in successive emails, I saw that his opinion was shared by many others in the department. (Read more from the New Yorker.)

New Legislation Would Protect Art Authenticators against “Nuisance” Lawsuits

Following decisions by the Keith Haring Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the estates of Pablo Picasso and Jean-Michel Basquiat to disband their authentication boards, the New York State legislature has introduced a bill to make lawsuits against art authenticators more difficult to win and to punish “nuisance” lawsuits. (Read more from Gallerist.)

The Case for Old-Fashioned Connoisseurship

Suddenly, connoisseurship seems to matter again. It always mattered to me personally, as someone who earns a living sniffing out misattributed pictures. But now interest is growing on a wider level and, amazingly, even among academic art historians. I’m asked to speak about it often, most recently at a conference at the Paul Mellon Centre in London. The pendulum is at last swinging away from the “authorship doesn’t matter” brigade. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

We Don’t Need the “New” Connoisseurs

There has lately been some dark talk in certain corners of the British art world about a crisis in connoisseurship and the need to revive traditional scholarship. The debate at the Paul Mellon Centre last month was, I imagine, intended to expose such murmurings to greater scrutiny and test their merits and demerits in a reasoned and open way. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Why Connoisseurship Matters

I recently went to speak at a Paul Mellon Centre conference on connoisseurship, called “Connoisseurship Now.” I was asked to be polemical—not usually a problem for me—and was paired in a session with Tate Britain’s lead curator for British art pre-1800, Martin Myrone, which was good fun, as I like him, and he’s decidedly skeptical about the point of connoisseurship, and even more so about those who practice it. (Read more from Art History News.)

Filed under: CAA News

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