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The following email from Stephen Kidd, executive director of the National Humanities Alliance, was sent on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

Appropriations Committee Rescinds Proposed Cut to NEH

Dear Humanities Advocate,

Today, the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that rescinds the proposed $8 million cut to the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks to the many of you who responded to last week’s action alert, the amendment passed with substantial bipartisan support.

This is a very important step in preserving NEH’s capacity. In the coming weeks, we may need to call on you to contact your elected officials again as this funding bill proceeds through Congress and faces additional challenges.

Thanks in advance for your continued support!

Grigorii Iurevich Sternin: In Memoriam

posted by July 11, 2014

Alison Hilton is Wright Family Professor of Art History and director of the MA program in art and museum studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and Irina Karasik works at the State Russian Museum.

Grigorii Iurevich Sternin, a distinguished scholar of Russian nineteenth and early twentieth century art, chief scientific officer and senior researcher at the Institute of Art History of the Ministry of Culture, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts, died in Moscow on November 23, 2013. He was 86.

Sternin was among the most influential art historians of his generation, those who began their academic careers just after World War II, during the Cold War. Born in 1927, Sternin studied art history at Moscow State University, graduating in 1950, and continued his postgraduate work in the Department of Russian Art under the eminent professor A. A. Fedorov-Davydov. After defending his candidate’s dissertation on Russian book illustration of the 1840s in 1953, Sternin worked at one of Moscow’s leading art-history publishing houses, Iskusstvo (Art). He became a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR in 1957.

Sternin’s career is most closely connected with the Institute of Art History of the Ministry of Culture in Moscow, where he worked until the end of his life. He served as research scholar and head of the Sector on Fine Arts and Architecture of the Peoples of the USSR between 1962 and 1975, a difficult period marked by signs of liberalization that were not sustained, when artists, writers, and administrators of arts institutions faced obstacles that are hard to appreciate today. Perhaps as a way of finding a perspective on his own times, Sternin became interested in what made artistic innovation happen in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and this was the subject of his doctoral dissertation. “Artistic Life in Russia at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries” explored the many elements, some crucial and some tangential, that made up “artistic culture” in a period of complex political and social change. Sternin earned his doctorate in 1973 (in Russia this signifies substantial scholarly achievement beyond the first, candidate’s degree; it is roughly equivalent to full professorship).

Much of Sternin’s research continued to probe the interrelationships among the arts and other aspects of Russian culture. His publications, more than two hundred books and articles, are noted for their breadth of conception and their scrupulous attention to detail; many include chronicles of events with citations from artists’ writings and contemporary periodicals. Among his major works are: Khudozhestvennaia Zhizn’ Rossii na rubezhe XIX – XX vekov (Artistic Life in Russia at the Turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, 1970); Khudozhestvennaia zhizn’ Rossii nachala XX veka (Artistic Life in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, 1976); Vzaimosviaz’ iskusstv v khudozhestvennom razvitii vtoroi poloviny XIX veka; ideinye printsipy, strukturnye osobennosti (Interconnections of the arts in the artistic evolution of the second half of the 19th century; conceptual principles, structural peculiarities, edited volume, 1982); Russkaia khudozhestvennaia kul’tura vtoroi poloviny XIX – nachala XX veka (Russian Artistic Culture of the second half of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, 1984); Ilia Repin (with Elena Kirillina and others, 1985, 2011); Russkii modern (Russian Art Nouveau, with Elena Borisova, 1988); Khudozestvennaia Zhizn’ Rossii 1900-1910-kh godov (Artistic Life in Russia 1900–1910s, 1991); Khudozhestvennaia Zhizn’ Rossii vtoroi poloviny XIХ veka, 70-80-e gody (Artistic life in Russia in the second half of the 19th century: the 1870s-80s, 1997); Obrazy i liudi Serebrianogo veka (Images and People of the Silver Age, coauthored with L. S. Aleshina, 2002); Khudozhestvennaia Zhizn Rossii 30-40-kh godov 19-ogo veka (Artistic Life in Russia in the 1830s–40s, 2005), Dva veka: Ocherki russkoi khudozhestvennoi kul’tury (Two Centuries: Sketches of Russian Artistic Culture, 2007), Ot Repina do Grigor’eva (From Repin to Grigoriev, 2009). Sternin was an author and editor of the authoritative Istoriia Russkogo Iskusstva (History of Russian Art published by the Academy of Sciences, 1952–1964), specifically volume 10 on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; he was closely involved in the conception, editing, and writing of a new History of Russian Art (22 volumes planned) and was the editor of volume 14 on the first third of the nineteenth century, published in 2011.

The Russian scholarly community recognized Sternin’s contributions. He was named an Honored Artist of Russia in 1994, elected a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1997, and designated a Laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 2004. At the memorial service at the Institute of Art History in November 2013, colleagues and former students recalled his constant attention to human relationships, both as part of his approach to art history and in his daily life as a teacher and mentor. Generous in providing books, articles, and advice to his students and even to visiting researchers, he was also an astute critic. He could identify problems of interpretation and actively seek ways of finding solutions, without ever dictating or imposing his views. Sternin’s empathetic responsiveness to colleagues and students will be missed as much as his brilliance as a scholar.

He is survived by his wife, the art historian Liliia Stepanovna Aleshina.

Filed under: Obituaries

CAA offers Annual Conference Travel Grants to graduate students in art history and studio art and to international artists and scholars. In addition, the Getty Foundation has funded the third year of a program that enables applicants from outside the United States to attend the 2015 Annual Conference in New York, which takes place February 11–14, 2015. Applicants may apply for more than one grant but can only receive a single award.

CAA-Getty International Program

The CAA-Getty International Program, generously supported by the Getty Foundation, provides funding to fifteen art historians, museum curators, and artists who teach art history to attend the 103rd Annual Conference in New York. The grant covers travel expenses, hotel accommodations for eight nights, per diems, conference registrations, and one-year CAA memberships. The program will include a one-day preconference colloquium on international issues in art history on February 10, at which grant recipients will present and discuss their common professional interests and issues. Deadline: August 18, 2014.

CAA Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant

CAA will award a limited number of $250 Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants to advanced PhD and MFA graduate students as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to attend the 103rd Annual Conference in New York. To qualify for the grant, students must be current CAA members. Successful applicants will also receive complimentary conference registration. Deadline: September 14, 2014.

CAA International Member Conference Travel Grant

CAA will award a limited number of $500 International Member Conference Travel Grants to artists and scholars from outside the United States as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to attend the 103rd Annual Conference in New York. To qualify for the grant, applicants must be current CAA members. Successful applicants will also receive complimentary conference registration. Deadline: September 14, 2014.

Donate to the Annual Conference Travel Grants

CAA’s Annual Conference Travel Grants are funded solely by donations from CAA members—please contribute today. Charitable contributions are 100 percent tax deductible. CAA extends a warm thanks to those members who made voluntary contributions to this fund during the past twelve months.

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship. The following exhibitions and events should not be missed. Check the archive of CWA Picks at the bottom of the page, as several museum and gallery shows listed in previous months may still be on view or touring.

July 2014

Vlasta Delimar: This Is I
Museum of Contemporary Art
Avenija Dubrovnik 17,
10 000, Zagreb, Croatia
May 15–August 24, 2014

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb presents the first retrospective exhibition of Vlasta Delimar, one of the most significant multimedia and performance Croatian artists to have emerged from the postconceptualist scene in former Yugoslavia and Croatia in the 1970s. Controversial for her nudity—the excessiveness of the female body in a patriarchal society like Croatia rather than the shock of her nakedness in and of itself—Delimar has systematically and consistently used her body since the 1970s, along with artists such as Tomislav Gotovac and Antonio Lauer, as a radical means to extend the limits of visual art and freedom, and to express herself. “The complexity of a personality cannot be expressed without the physical, nor without the spiritual. Giving oneself means that there is no holding back,” says the artist, who denies that her work is underpinned by femaleness or feminist politics, part and parcel with her polemic disassociation from any ideology. Delimar, however, has used her body in performances to examine the status of woman as a social and creative being, often in her multiple roles as housewife, mother, artist, lover, and aging woman, while in performances with other artists, including her ex-partner Zelijko Herman, she has examined the relationship between male and female.

Along with works that span the past thirty-five years of her career, the artist is taking part in the exhibition with two performances: Invitation to Socialize and My Temporary Home. The latter originates from a 1980s series of works called “communications,” in which the artist turned her attention to her audience and its emotions. As a continuation of this practice and presented on a mobile stage, and on a different location each day, Invitation to Socialize has the artist, accompanied by her guests, talking about her art and the development of the artist-audience relationship over the last thirty years. Evoking the diaristic aspect of her work, My Temporary Home is a work in progress, the construction of the artist’s temporary working and living space within the museum for the duration of the exhibition as a personal space exposed and shared with the audience.

Marisol: Sculptures and Works on Paper
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
1934 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104
June 14–September 7, 2014

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art presents a much-awaited survey of the life and work of Marisol, one of the rare female stars of the sixties art scene in New York—the first girl with glamor, as once called by Andy Warhol, whose 1964 exhibition at Stable Gallery drew more than two thousand visitors per day. Best known for her stints of silence, or silent masquerades at the Club with which, as Carolee Schneemann remembers, she castigated the masculinism of the Abstract Expressionist world, and for her obsessive use of casts of her face and other body parts in sculptures that articulate feminist masquerades of femininity, Marisol is indeed one of the most important yet still understudied sculptors to emerge in late 1950s New York as much for the innovativeness of her multimedia assemblage sculptures (that combined painting, drawing, collage, traditional sculpting techniques, and found objects) as for the broad spectrum of her personal and political concerns that underpin her thematography, including its humor.

Born Maria Sol Escobar to Venezuelan parents in Paris, Marisol took her first art lessons in Los Angeles, where she had moved with her father when she was sixteen years old, upon the death of her mother in 1941. In 1949 she moved to Paris to study art at the École des Beaux-Arts. Disappointed by the institution’s conservatism, Marisol moved to New York in 1950 to study painting at the Art Students League, becoming a student of Hans Hoffmann and a member of the Abstract Expressionist and Beat circles before she decidedly turned to sculpture, or better yet its idiosyncratic reinvention that she begun in 1953.

Inspired by Marisol’s mixed-media sculpture The Family, which was commissioned by the Brooks Museum in 1969, and in hopes of reestablishing Marisol as a major figure in postwar American art, the exhibition brings together diverse works that range in date from 1955 to 1998 and elucidate Marisol’s artistic evolution, both in terms of subject matter and materials by including examples of the various media Marisol used (bronze casting, wood carving, assemblage, plaster casts, terracotta, drawing, and printmaking) as well as the many themes and subjects she considered. Among the themes explored in the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue are Marisol’s diverse influences (Neo-Dada, Surrealism, American and Latin American folk art, Precolumbian art, etc.); her relationship to postwar art and cultural movements (Pop, Minimalism, and feminism); her experimentation with materials; her extensive use of portraiture; her politically charged sculptures; and her identity as a female artist who was born in Paris of Venezuelan parents and lived most of her life in New York City.

After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality
Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
26 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013
June 5–August 3, 2014

Part of the All Out Arts Fresh Fruit Festival and curated by Alexis Heller, the exhibition After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality surveys the legacy of feminist art on the diverse ways contemporary transcultural queer artists represent the body to challenge past and present forms of oppression and envision a queer future. Bridging these historic and contemporary endeavors the exhibition honors the pioneers of gender-conscious art and highlights the evolution and plurality of feminist art in light of representations of queer bodies that subvert any binary understanding of gender. Featuring works that unsettle the mythologies and ideals surrounding lesbian and transgender bodies and foreground queer bodies obscured by invisibility by Laura Aguilar, Cathy Cade, Heather Cassils, Tee A. Corinne, Chitra Ganesh, Allyson Mitchell, Zanele Muholi, Catherine Opie, Sophia Wallace, and Chris E. Vargas, After Our Bodies Meet demonstrates how feminist artists have repositioned the political potential of activism into art, allowing critiques of the past to provide space for imagining new queer possibilities, while showcasing a diversity of practices and concerns.

Seeking to document and empower the burgeoning lesbian feminist community, for instance, works by Corinne and Cade emphasize the female body’s capacity for love, agency, and pleasure outside the heterosexual imagination. The South African artist and “visual activist” Muholi also preserves marginalized histories, bringing attention to underrepresented populations of black lesbian and transgender individuals, as well as the targeted violence that threatens their existence. For her ongoing series Faces and Phases, Muholi’s photographic portraits archive the diversity and resilience of her black queer community in South Africa and abroad, while Isilumo siyaluma (2006–11), a series of kaleidoscopic digital collages of menstrual blood stains, memorializes the rape and murder of black lesbians in South Africa. Cassils’s performance Becoming an Image (2012) also evokes the brutalization of queer bodies, as the artist’s mixed-martial-arts blows are imprinted onto a 1,500-pound block of clay. Wallace’s ongoing mixed-media project CLITERACY exposes the irony of society’s obsession with and ignorance of female sexuality. Inspired by Indian comic books, Hindu mythology, and American science fiction, Ganesh makes digital collages that draw from disparate materials and cultural sources to offer alternate narratives of female sexuality and power.

Teresa Margolles: La búsqueda
Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
Limmatstrasse 270, CH-8005, Zürich, Switzerland
May 24–August 17, 2014

The Migros Museum of Zurich presents La Busqueda, a display of work by the Mexican artist Teresa Margolles. This exhibition is the first institutional solo exhibition in Switzerland by the 2012 Prince Claus Laureate. Dealing with themes such as social exclusion, violence, and death, Margolles (b. 1963, Culiacán) addresses Ciudad Juárez as a place of crime. The artist examines the extreme violence in this northern Mexican border city where a mysterious series of female homicides has been ongoing since the early 1990s. Through a minimalist approach, Margolles’s works focus on how traces of these brutal crimes shape people’s everyday lives.

Since the early 1990s, Margolles has worked in the forensic medicine department of an autopsy facility in Mexico City, to which anonymous victims of violent crime are brought on a daily basis. By translating such vestiges into an exhibition space, the artist develops interplay between charged architectural fragments and displaced sounds within a grim realism. The mostly sculptural exhibition, curated by Rafael Gygax, includes two powerful installations/interventions—La busqueda (The Search) from 2014 and Mesa y dos bancos (Table and Two Benches) from 2013—that bring into this exhibition space sound, materials, and tragic remains from the Mexican border of Ciudad Juarez. Through her works, Margolles investigate how current events affect individual lives, evidencing the impermanence of things, humans and their relationships, while also suggests the urgency to develop new paths toward a concrete form of solidarity.

Chicago in L.A.: Judy Chicago’s Early Work, 1963–74
Brooklyn Museum
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Herstory Gallery, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238-6052
April 4–September 28, 2014

Surrounding Judy Chicago’s iconic installation The Dinner Party at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is the exhibition Chicago in L.A.: Judy Chicago’s Early Work, 1963–74, a comprehensive survey of the artist’s innovative explorations of painting, sculpture, and environmental performance that make up a less-familiar but highly significant body of early works.

When living in Los Angeles, Chicago was a participant in Finish Fetish. The growing industrialization of the West Coast influenced many artists to produce objects that were completely handcrafted and yet, with bright colors and high-gloss form of Minimalism, seemed to be machine-made. Chicago in L.A. includes approximately sixty paintings and sculptures made with sprayed acrylic lacquer, objects, drawings, prints, photographs, videos, and documentation of performances that span from 1963 to 1974, affirming the artist’s importance as a pioneer in the Californian art scene.

A series called The Rejection Quintet may serve as a meaningful introduction to The Dinner Party. In this series, Chicago exposes explicit vulvar drawings along an emotional handwritten journal of rejection and self-acceptance. Encouraged by her friend, the feminist art critic Lucy R. Lippard, Chicago dealt with her continuing frustration with trying to address female experience while seeking recognition and respect from male colleagues. Most significantly, The Rejection Quintet, within the rich and complex oeuvre of Chicago, invites viewers to reexamine The Dinner Party as a work that emerged from decades of artistic experimentation, not only technically and aesthetically, but also within the making and raising of a feminist community.

A Voice of One’s Own: On Women’s Fight for Suffrage and Human Recognition
Malmö Konstmuseum
Malmöhusvägen 6, 201 24, Malmö, Sweden
June 6–September 7, 2014

This summer, Malmö Konstmuseum and Moderna Museet Malmö have collaborated to present A Voice of One’s Own: On Women’s Fight for Suffrage and Human Recognition, a celebration of women’ fight and achievements for suffrage and a gender-equal society that was central to the women’s own manifestation at the Baltic Exhibition in Malmö a hundred years ago. In the summer of 1914, visitors came to see an art-and-industry fair that portrayed an upbeat view of future and progress. The fair also featured the Swedish Women’s Exhibition, where discussions were held not only about the situation of Swedish women, but also with the participation of several national women’s organizations. The term “feminist” came into use in Europe in the 1890s, as the women’s movement became more organized through discussion and debate clubs. Women artists’ work was exhibited, and women authors’ books were available in the library. Then, women’ voting was an urgent issue. Society was on the threshold of radical change and the Nordic countries were among the first to implement votes for women.

The exhibition includes the participation of Petra Bauer, Catti Brandelius, Kajsa Dahlberg, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, Roxy Farhat in collaboration with Shaza Albatal, and Grand Domestic Revolution Library/Casco. Some artists have looked back in history at the reform process that promoted women’s political, economic, and social rights since the local event in 1914, while others have focused in examining current issues relating the insertion for women in today’s society. Organized by Marika Reterswärd, Cecilia Widenheim, and Joa Ljungber, A Voice of One’s Own evidences current feminist discussions and is permeated by methods and strategies of organization that women communities have developed for a century toward a claim for their share of the public sphere.

Filed under: CWA Picks, Uncategorized — Tags:

Affiliated Society News for July 2014

posted by July 09, 2014

Association of Art Editors

Sponsored by the Association of Art Editors (AAE), the session “Did You Read That? Art Editing on the Web,” to be held at CAA’s 2015 Annual Conference in New York, will explore the current state of art editing on the web. Panelists will discuss the varying levels of work and practices involved in editing texts for publication online, from the mechanical and technical aspects (research, fact checking, making corrections after publishing) to larger conceptual and ethical matters (changing attitudes toward quality). Writers and editors today have access to a wide range of resources—from Google searches and Wikipedia to JSTOR and Oxford Art Online—that were unavailable (and even unimaginable) twenty or thirty years ago. How has the advent of such resources affected the editorial process?

This session, whose format will be a roundtable conversation, with the chair serving as an active interviewer rather than a passive moderator, will focus on specific examples and case studies rather than on generalizations and abstractions. Speakers, who may include authors, critics, editors, or publishers, will address personal and academic websites, online versions of printed publications, born-digital journals, and blogs; they may also consider the training of younger writers, critics, historians, and editors.

The chair seeks four participants for the session. Speakers are not required to present a paper prepared in advance, although a brief presentation of five to ten minutes can be accommodated. Please send a letter of interest, a CV, and your area(s) of professional interest and expertise to Christopher Howard. Deadline: July 31, 2014.

Community College Professors of Art and Art History

The Community College Professors of Art and Art History (CCPAAH) will host two sessions at conferences next year. “Foundations Flipped? Active Learning in Art History and the Studio” will be the topic of the 2015 session at the CAA Annual Conference in New York. Join CCPAAH for this session and its business meeting, which will be a “Project Exchange” that offers a chance to share best practices and ideas to use in your studio and art-history classes. “Beyond Good, Bad, and ‘I Like It’: A New Take on Critique” will be presented at next year’s Foundations in Art: Theory and Education (FATE) conference. For more details and to submit proposals, please see CCPAAH’s Facebook page. To become more involved in the organization, or if you have questions, please email

Historians of Islamic Art Association

The Historians of Islamic Art Association (HIAA) will hold its fourth biennial symposium at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Ontario, from October 16 to 18, 2014. The HIAA conference, a forum to present and discuss papers on various aspects of Islamic art history, is open to all regardless of nationality or academic affiliation. The overarching symposium theme will be “Forms of Knowledge and Cultures of Learning in Islamic Art.”

International Association of Word and Image Studies

The 2014 conference of the International Association of Word and Image Studies / Association Internationale pour l’Etude des Rapports entre Texte et Image (IAWIS/AIERTI) will be hosted for the first time by the Scottish Word and Image Group, fronted by the University of Dundee’s English program in the School of Humanities, as well as the school’s Museum Services. The conference, whose theme is “Riddles of Form: Exploration and Discovery in Word and Image,” will examine representation of science and technology in text, poetry, art, popular culture, film, print and digital media, and more. Dundee has a particular history and reputation for both science and art and is thus an ideal venue for the theme. The conference will specifically invoke Dundee’s scientific and cultural history through the foundational work of D’Arcy Thompson and Patrick Geddes, both polymathic visual thinkers with international reputations. It will also showcase the city’s history of polar exploration and technological innovation. The conference’s approach to “science,” however, is in no sense limited to the Anglophone tradition—defining the discipline in the narrow sense of the natural sciences—but will restore and celebrate the full range of science’s original humanistic associations. Keynote lecturers will include Martin Kemp (University of Oxford) and Murdo McDonald (University of Dundee). For further details and a provisional program, please visit the website.

International Sculpture Center

The International Sculpture Center (ISC) has recently launched re:sculpt, the rebranded and expanded ISC Blog. Thirteen new writers from Europe, Canada, and the United States will continue to bring fresh and timely sculpture news to readers every month. New categories—such as Public Art, Art & Action, and Environmental Art—will broaden coverage of art and sculpture around the world. For two years, posts on ISC Blog have sparked conversations with readers from all corners of the world. The new authors are excited to join the team and bring their vibrant arts communities to you!

National Art Education Association

The National Art Education Association (NAEA) offers practical curriculum resources and texts for your classes, including Exploration in Virtual Worlds: New Digital Multi-Media Literacy Investigations for Art Educators; Including Difference: A Communitarian Approach to Art Education in the Least Restrictive Environment; Practice Theory: Seeing the Power of Art Teacher Researchers; and Purposes, Principles, and Standards for School Art Programs. Visit the NAEA’s online bookstore to learn more about these titles.

The National Core Arts Standards are intended to be voluntary standards for adoption or adaption by states or districts. They consist of resources in relation to five artistic disciplines: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. The 2014 standards are web-based and include a series of supporting documents such as the Conceptual Framework for Arts Standards and Research by the College Board.

New Media Caucus

Artist Organized Art has published a conversation in which Pat Badani and Joshua Selman discuss proceedings from New Media Caucus (NMC) participation at the 2014 CAA Annual Conference as it applies to Media-N Journal, the NMC’s scholarly publication. The discussion relates to NMC panels and activities at the Hilton Chicago, as well as special NMC offsite events and exhibitions concurrent with the conference. Selman is president of Artist Organized Art, and Badani is NMC’s executive board officer and editor-in-chief of Media-N Journal.

Public Art Dialogue

The winter 2014 issue of the Public Art Dialogue Newsletter is now online and contains an interview with Public Art Dialogue (PAD) award recipient, Jack Becker, by Natasha Khandekar, as well as Marisa Lerer’s article “Staying In and Out of the Loop: Chicago’s Public Art.”

Volume four of PAD’s journal Public Art Dialogue, a special issue on murals, has been guest edited by Sarah Schrank and Sally Webster. It features the following articles: Kathryn E. O’Rourke, “Science and Sex in Diego Rivera’s Health Ministry Murals”; Monica Jovanovich-Kelley, “The Apotheosis of Power: Corporate Mural Commissions in Los Angeles during the 1930s”; Andrew Wasserman, “Beyond the Wall: Redefining City Walls’ ‘Gateway to Soho’”; Carolyn Loeb, “West Berlin Walls: Public Art and the Right to the City”; Rachel Heidenry, “The Murals of El Salvador: Reconstruction, Historical Memory, and Whitewashing”; Lu Pan, “Writing at the End of History: Reflections on Two Cases of Graffiti in Hong King”; Sierra Rooney, “What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation”; and Patricia C. Phillips, “Ambient Commons: Attention in the Age of Embodied Information.”

Society for Photographic Education

Society for Photographic Education (SPE) seeks curators, professors, gallerists, art historians, and scholars to review student and/or professional member portfolios at SPE’s fifty-second national conference, taking place March 12–15, 2015, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Portfolio reviewers receive discounted admission to the four-day event in exchange for their participation. For more information on the conference offerings, visit the SPE website. To express interest in serving as a portfolio reviewer, please send a message to

Society of Architectural Historians

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) elected board officers during the organization’s recent annual conference, which took place April 9–13, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Ken Breisch, assistant professor in the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture, is SAH president. Ken Oshima, associate professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington, is first vice president. Sandy Isenstadt, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Art History Department at the University of Delaware, has become second vice president. The new secretary is Gail Fenske, a professor in the School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation at Roger Williams University. Jan M. Grayson will serve as treasurer.

SAH has also appointed board members to serve 2014–17 terms: Christopher D. Armstrong, assistant professor and director of architectural studies, History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh; Luis M. Castañeda, assistant professor, Syracuse University; R. Scott Gill, PhD student, University of Texas at Austin; Greg Hise, professor of history, University of Nevada; and Cynthia Weese of Weese, Langley, Weese Architects.

Randall Mason, chair of the graduate program in historic preservation at the University of Pennsylvania, has agreed to chair the SAH Heritage Conservation Committee. Patricia Morton, associate professor and chair of the Department of the History of Art at the University of California, Riverside, is editor designate of JSAH.

Society of Historians of Eastern European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture

The Society of Historians of Eastern European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture (SHERA) invites proposals for its session, titled “Infiltrating the Pedagogical Canon,” for CAA’s 2015 Annual Conference in New York. As researcher-educators in specialized fields, how do we effectively incorporate the content of our scholarly work into our everyday teaching? In many art-history departments, opportunities to teach upper-division courses focused on our research are rare. This session invites papers on incorporating culturally specific art into standard art-history curricula, practical examples of curricular innovations involving global and transnational perspectives, and case studies of noncanonical objects or contexts that encourage discussions of both local and global perspectives. Submissions may deal with any chronological period. Submit abstracts of 500 words or less with a CV of 1–2 pages via email to Marie Gasper-Hulvat of Kent State University in Stark by July 14, 2014.

SHERA’s board now offers sponsored memberships for up to twenty students and unaffiliated scholars (such as retirees) from Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Russia. Sponsored memberships were established thanks to a generous initiative from a SHERA member that has been matched by funds from SHERA. To join at this level, go to the organization’s website, click “Join SHERA,” and scroll down to the line that says Sponsored Member.

Filed under: Affiliated Societies

The United States Senate today voted to confirm William D. “Bro” Adams as the 10th chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Adams is expected to begin as Chairman in the coming days.

Founded in 1965, the National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making institution of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.

Adams, president of Colby College in Waterville, Maine from 2000 until his retirement on June 30, 2014, is a committed advocate for liberal arts education and brings to the Endowment a long record of leadership in higher education and the humanities.

A native of Birmingham, Michigan, and son of an auto industry executive, Adams earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Colorado College and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz History of Consciousness Program. He studied in France as a Fulbright Scholar before beginning his career in higher education with appointments to teach political philosophy at Santa Clara University in California and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He went on to coordinate the Great Works in Western Culture program at Stanford University and to serve as vice president and Secretary of Wesleyan University. He became president of Bucknell University in 1995 and president of Colby College in 2000.

Adams’s formal education was interrupted by three years of service in the Army, including one year in Vietnam. It was partly that experience, he says, that motivated him to study and teach in the humanities. “It made me serious in a certain way,” he says. “And as a 20-year-old combat infantry advisor, I came face to face, acutely, with questions that writers, artists, philosophers, and musicians examine in their work — starting with, ‘What does it mean to be human?’”

In each of his professional roles, Adams has demonstrated a deep understanding of and commitment to the humanities as essential to education and to civic life. At Colby, for example, he led a $376-million capital campaign – the largest in Maine history – that included expansion of the Colby College Museum of Art and the gift of the $100-million Lunder Collection of American Art, the creation of a center for arts and humanities and a film studies program, and expansion of the College’s curriculum in creative writing and writing across the curriculum. He also spearheaded formal collaboration of the college with the Maine Film Center and chaired the Waterville Regional Arts and Community Center.

As senior president of the prestigious New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), Adams has been at the center of the national conversation on the cost and value of liberal arts education. “I see the power of what is happening on our campuses and among the alumni I meet across the country and around the world,” he says. “People who engage in a profound way with a broad range of disciplines – including, and in some cases especially, with the humanities — are preparing to engage the challenges of life. They are creative and flexible thinkers; they acquire the habits of mind needed to find solutions to important problems; they can even appreciate the value of making mistakes and changing their minds. I am convinced that this kind of study is not merely defensible but critical to our national welfare.”

Adams, nicknamed Bro by his father in honor of a friend who died in World War Two, is married to Lauren Sterling, philanthropy specialist at Educare Central Maine and has a daughter and a stepson. He currently resides in Falmouth, Maine.

Deputy Chairman Carole Watson has served as Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities since the departure of former Chairman James A. Leach.

Please join the conversation and offer your congratulations to Adams with #NEHBroAdams.

Arts Action Fund Breaking News 7-9-14

posted by July 09, 2014

The following email from Nina Ozlu Tunceli, executive director of Americans for the Arts, was sent on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

Arts Action Fund Breaking News 7-9-14

Today, U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA),  the new House Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, set the initial funding levels for the nation’s cultural agencies’ budgets for FY 2015.  The chairman was able to assign small increases to the Smithsonian and National Gallery of Art, but also made some cuts to each of the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities, as well as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

We now look to the Senate to restore these proposed cuts and hopefully provide an increase to each of these federal cultural agencies.  We’ve already prepared an easy-to-customize, pre-written letter for you to e-mail to your two Senators and House Representative. Please take two minutes to help us get the word out.

With your help, I am optimistic that we will be able to secure higher funding levels in the Senate, which coincidentally is voting to confirm new National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Bo Adams today.

The following email from Stephen Kidd, executive director of the National Humanities Alliance, was sent on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

Act Now! Proposed Cuts Would Bring NEH’s Funding to Its Lowest Level since 1972

Dear Humanities Advocate,

This morning, the House subcommittee that oversees funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities proposed to fund NEH at its lowest level since 1972. If enacted, this $8 million cut would bring NEH’s funding level to just $138 million for 2015.

It is time to stop the steady erosion of NEH’s capacity!

The subcommittee will be voting on the proposed cuts tomorrrow, so it is essential that you act now. Please contact your Member of Congress and urge them to oppose the proposed cut to the NEH.

Click here to send our message to your Representative today. They are waiting to hear from you.

Thanks for your help!

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.

Who Ought to Underwrite Publishing Scholars’ Books?

At almost any gathering of academic publishers or librarians, you’ll hear someone float the idea—sometimes phrased as a question—that the model for publishing scholarly monographs is broken. Two sets of ideas aired at the Association of American University Presses’ recent annual meeting don’t say the model is damaged beyond repair. But the proposals, both from groups outside the university-press community, suggest that it needs to be retrofitted, at the least. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

We Should Allow Failing Arts Organizations to Die

Arts organizations are already dying. In Detroit, in New York City, in the United Kingdom. From operas to art galleries. This is no longer an urban versus rural debate. A nonprofit versus for profit debate. A “one discipline is dying” but “others are inexplicably thriving” debate. This is a simple acknowledgement that the industry is in decline. And I think that not only should we allow it, we should encourage it. (Read more from Medium.)

Race, Gender, and Academic Jobs

I am currently the lowest-paid tenure-track faculty member in my department and was told by the man paid to manage me that if I wanted a raise I would probably need to get a new job or at least an offer that might prompt a counteroffer. So I went on the job market and was lucky enough to score a campus interview for an assistant professor position at a liberal arts college in an ideal location. Let’s just call this place Rich Liberal Arts College. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Does the Mojave Desert Need an Artist-Built Swimming Pool? Maybe

The art world loves a work of art that requires trekking to a remote location. There’s Spiral Jetty, one of the most iconic pieces of land art in existence, on the northern shores of the Great Salt Lake. New Mexico has Lightning Field, Walter de Maria’s installation of four hundred stainless-steel poles that serves as Minimal sculpture at most times and a veritable light show during lightning storms. These experiences are about long journeys, landscape, and meditation. Now there’s another piece to add to this list: Social Pool by the Austrian artist Alfredo Barsuglia, who was a resident at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles. (Read more from the Los Angeles Times.)

At Mellon, Signs of Change

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has a reputation for moving in mysterious ways. For forty-five years, it has steadily handed out money—lots of it—to sustain the humanities and the performing arts. As times have gotten tougher, Mellon’s deep pockets have become increasingly important. The foundation tends to attract an unusual level of anxiety and interest, like a rich uncle whose quirks and whims keep poorer relations on their toes. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

When Copy and Paste Reigned in the Age of Scrapbooking

Cutting, pasting, collating—this feels like a new behavior, a desperate attempt to cope with a radical case of information overload. But it’s actually a quite venerable urge. Indeed, back in the nineteenth century we had a similarly intense media barrage, and we used a very similar technology to handle it: the scrapbook. (Read more from the Smithsonian.)

By Design

There are toxic words in every field and, when it comes to design, two of the most ominous are “sculptural” and “artistic.” Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with design projects exhibiting either quality, but those that are described as doing so seldom do. Instead, they are likely to be any or all of the following: bland, silly, blingy, pretentious, shoddy, derivative, ugly, ridiculous, or unjustifiably expensive. (Read more from Frieze.)

Make Sure the Artists Are on Board

The artist-trustees at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles—John Baldessari, Catherine Opie, Barbara Kruger, and Ed Ruscha—went from filling what could have been seen as ­symbolic posts, demonstrating the ­museum’s commitment to living artists, to playing a critical role in the museum’s ­recent public-relations crisis and its recovery-in-progress. Other contemporary art museums are also making space for at least one artist on their boards. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Filed under: CAA News

The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Wendy Clark as director of Museums, Visual Arts, and Indemnity. Clark has served as acting director of Museums, Visual Arts, and Indemnity since November 2012 and will continue to manage the NEA’s grantmaking in this area, as well as the program’s special initiatives, such as Blue Star Museums.

NEA Deputy Chairman Patrice Walker Powell noted “Ms. Clark brings to this leadership position a wealth of knowledge and experience with the people and institutions that comprise the visual arts and museum field. She is an asset to our organization, an advocate for the field, and a long-term NEA leader.”

Clark has more than 20 years of experience managing various federal grant programs and special initiatives at the NEA in the fields of museums, visual arts, and design, including the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, Your Town, the American Masterpieces/Visual Arts Touring Program, the Rosa Parks Sculpture Competition for the Architect of the Capitol, and the Renna Scholarship Grants Program. Prior to her role as acting director, she was the museum specialist, working primarily on Art Works grants and special initiatives and advising hundreds of museums annually seeking funding for exhibitions, conservation, commissions, care of collections, educational outreach, and reinstallation projects. She has represented the agency annually at the American Alliance of Museums conference as both a presenter and exhibitor. Clark is a member of ArtTable, an organization dedicated to advancing women’s leadership in the visual arts field.

“I’m thrilled to help the nation’s museums and visual arts organizations—with  their aligned missions and divergent needs—continue  to present the work of excellent artists to the American people.  To be part of this community is an honor,” said Clark. “Museums have a tall and challenging order, increasingly called upon to be civic anchor, community gathering place, and stewards of our most prized cultural heritage. I remain energized and fulfilled by public service.”

Prior to coming to the NEA, Clark held positions at the Illinois Arts Council in public affairs, visual arts, and design. There she worked on a traveling exhibition program initiative, and a cultural facilities planning and design grant program called Building by Design, which was awarded a Federal Design Achievement Award by the NEA’s Presidential Design Awards jury. She was an NEA Fellow in arts administration, and was the chairman of the Design Review Committee for the Civic Association of Hollin Hills, a mid-century modern residential development designed by architect Charles Goodman and landscape architect Dan Kiley.

Clark has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and studied Elizabethan history, art, and literature at New College, Oxford University. She is originally from Dayton, Ohio.