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CAA News

Top News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard

As 2014 comes to a close, CAA would like to wish its members, subscribers, partners, and other visual-arts professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past twelve months, we would like to offer you a look at the most accessed articles from 2014.

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.)

The Three Letters of Recommendation You Must Have

I am currently a visiting assistant professor at a regional campus of a state university system. Should I still be including a letter of recommendation from my grad-school advisor in applications? I’m three years out of grad school, and my advisor is great—always updates the letter, takes into account new work I’ve published, and so on—but does it look bad (too “grad student-y”) to rely on an advisor’s letter at this point in my career? (Read more from Vitae.)

Scholarly Journal Retracts Sixty Articles, Smashes “Peer Review Ring”

Every now and then a scholarly journal retracts an article because of errors or outright fraud. In academic circles, and sometimes beyond, each retraction is a big deal. Now comes word of a journal retracting sixty articles at once. The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: a “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published. (Read more from the Washington Post.)

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.)

What’s the Most Common Mistake Artists Make?

Your question has set my head spinning. There are so many possibilities. So many mistakes that artists make—like not taking the business side of art seriously or only taking it seriously in the middle of a crisis when, as I mentioned in my last post, it is too late. Or romanticizing the “starving artist” notion. Or allowing themselves to become resentful of other artists’ success. (Read more from KCET.)

Dealing Direct: Do Artists Really Need Galleries?

When Haunch of Venison closed in 2013, the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos was left without a gallery in London or New York—the two cities where Haunch, which was bought by Christie’s in 2007, had spaces. Since her gallery closed, Vasconcelos’s career has been on an upward trajectory: she has represented Portugal at the Venice Biennale, unveiled public sculptures in Porto and Lisbon, and produced several new works for a retrospective at the Manchester Art Gallery. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Twelve Things You Should Never Say to an Artist

One of the hardest parts of being an artist is courting the seemingly endless barrage of awkward, inappropriate, and downright rude comments hurled your way. Whether it’s an intended compliment or an ignorant gaffe, some statements about l’arte are better left unsaid. Thus we’ve compiled an unofficial guide outlining what you definitely, positively should not say to an artist, whether friend or foe. (Read more from the Huffington Post.)

Good Art Is Popular Because It’s Good, Right?

In July of last year, a man named Sidney Sealine went to see the Mona Lisa in Paris. The idea was to spend some time with the picture, to see for himself the special spark that made the painting so famous. But he couldn’t even get close to Leonardo’s famous work. (Read more from National Public Radio.)

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.)

How to Avoid Being Published

I enjoyed Maureen Pirog’s recent piece “How to Get Published,” which is filled with common sense and good advice. Back in 2009, I too posted some publishing tips. I wish I could report that things have gotten better since then, but alas, from what I’ve observed with several journals, magazines, and newspapers with which I’m associated, writing in the humanities remains dire. Want to avoid being published? Here’s how. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Flipped Learning Skepticism: Do Students Want to Have Lectures?

Students in a flipped classroom are rebelling because they want you to lecture to them and to explain how to do everything so that they can earn a top grade in the class. Here are some responses to this issue that one could make. (Read more from Casting Out Nines.)

Creative Schools: The Artists Taking Art Education into Their Own Hands

Several artists and arts professionals, spotting the same or similar failures in the UK’s official education programs at both schools and universities, have taken matters into their own hands. If the government’s curriculum changes, funding cuts, and fees are barring the way to education for many aspiring artists, independent initiatives might offer alternative routes into the creative industry. Who’s leading the way? (Read more from Apollo.)

No Longer Appropriate?

“Appropriating” other artists’ work without consent is still common, but there is growing evidence—albeit rarely reported—that, although some artists may have started out as willing or unwitting outlaws, they decided that possibly infringing other artists’ copyright was legally unwise and potentially expensive, and they stopped. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Beyond the Relic Cult of Art

I am nostalgic for a time before the modern concept of art forgery had gelled, when it was possible to imagine many ways for artworks to exist out of their time. I love the culture of Renaissance art because it was not settled in its categories, and produced art out of that unsettlement. It knew forgery, but it wrinkled time in other ways as well. (Read more from the Brooklyn Rail.)

The Most Expensive Colleges in the Country Are Art Schools, not Ivies

I recently stumbled across this handy tool from the Department of Education, which generates lists of colleges by cost. The schools that usually get dinged for high tuition (and as a result, scare off low-income applicants) are the elite colleges. But many of those schools are quite rich and distribute a lot of financial aid. (Read more from the Washington Post.)

Whose Work Is It Really? On the Much-Maligned Role of the Artist’s Assistant

The job of artist’s assistant has a confusing reputation in the press. Articles about the ongoing saga of Jasper Johns’s civil suit against his longtime assistant for the theft and sale of $3.4 million of his drawings is a prime example of the way the media talks about the relationship between artist and assistant. The horrifyingly theft aside, one recent article about the incident presents the power difference between an artist and his assistant as tauntingly acute and palpable. (Read more from Artslant.)

Science and Art Meet, Unveiling Mystery and Cultural Tragedy

In the last decade, art conservators—the people who protect and preserve works of art—have begun practicing complicated science. Now they can tell more stories of the secret lives of artists, the chemistry behind great works, and why many of the most famous masterpieces no longer look anything like they did when they were painted. They also discovered that one form of paint may reduce great works of modern and Impressionist art into white canvases with smudges. (Read more from Inside Science.)

By Paying Artists Nothing, We Risk Severing the Pipeline of UK Talent

Contrary to public expectation, but not the experience of many in the sector, most galleries in the United Kingdom do not pay exhibiting artists. In the past three years, 71 percent of artists didn’t get a fee for contributions to publicly funded exhibitions. And this culture of nonpayment is actually stopping artists from accepting offers from galleries, with 63 percent forced to reject gallery offers because they can’t afford to work for nothing. (Read more from the Guardian.)

What They Never Told You about Consigning Your Art

Art consignment agreements are deceptively simple. This essay goes behind that simplicity to raise issues for art owners that are not fully addressed—or only imperfectly so—by the text of the usual agreement. Rescission by the auction house (undoing the sale long after the auction) is one of these issues. There are others. (Read more from Spencer’s Art Law Journal.)

Participatory Learning in the Art-History Classroom

In a participatory learning environment, learners get the opportunity to become part of a community of inquiry and explore abstract concepts in a nonhierarchical social context. Rather than the mere transmission and acquisition of knowledge, learning becomes relevant, engaging, and creative. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

77,000 Images of Tapestries and Italian Monuments Join the Open Content Program

The Getty Research Institute has just added more than 77,000 high-resolution images to the Open Content Program from two of its most often-used collections. The largest part of the new open-content release—more than 72,000 photographs—comes from the collection Foto Arte Minore: Max Hutzel photographs of art and architecture in Italy. (Read more from Getty Iris.)

What Twitter Changes Might Mean for Academics

Time-based organization works really well for many popular academic uses of Twitter—particularly conferences, where it’s easy to find an interesting panel or meet-up in the moment, while the rest of the timeline becomes one historical record of the conference interactions. However, it’s precisely the timeline that may be at risk. (Read more from ProfHacker.)

Indicting Higher Education in the Arts and Beyond

There’s one very clear take-away from the latest report released by the collective BFAMFAPhD: people who graduate with arts degrees regularly end up with a lot of debt and incredibly low prospects for earning a living as artists. Or, as they put it in the report, titled Artists Report Back: A National Study on the Lives of Arts Graduates and Working Artists, “the fantasy of future earnings in the arts cannot justify the high cost of degrees.” (Read more from Hyperallergic.)

Help Desk: Performance Anxiety

I am not trained as a visual artist—I hold my graduate degree in dance choreography and before that worked primarily in live theatrical concert dance. However, my focus shifted in grad school, where I started developing work in performance that should live in a gallery space. Now that I am out of school, I have a great new project in the works but no idea how to make it happen. What are the unspoken rules for approaching art spaces and museums with performance work? (Read more from Daily Serving.)

The Adjunct Revolt: How Poor Professors Are Fighting Back

Mary-Faith Cerasoli has been reduced to “sleeping in her car, showering at college athletic centers and applying for food stamps,” the New York Times recently reported. Is she unemployed? No, in fact, she is a college professor—but an adjunct one, meaning she is hired on a short-term contract with no possibility of tenure. (Read more from the Atlantic.)

Are MFAs Ruining Art?

This summer has seen another bumper year of MA and MFA students. As ever, the work coming from international art schools is good, bad, and everywhere in between. There is also an increasing professionalization of the artists coming from the academic system. Degree-show presentations can resemble solo booths at art fairs. Often the work presented is ready to slip immediately into the gallery system. The question remains: Is this a good thing? (Read more from Artsy.)

On the False Democracy of Contemporary Art

Art claims that it expands into the sphere of social transformation and genuine democracy. Yet paradoxically, art’s ambition for direct social engagement and its self-abandonment loop back to the very territory of contemporary art, its archive machine, and its self-referential rhetoric of historicizing. Hence the question is: Are we really witnessing the anticapitalist transformation that excuses art’s self-sublation and its dissolution in newly transformed life? (Read more from e-flux Journal.)

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

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

Why Drawing Needs to Be a Curriculum Essential

Drawing has seen something of a renaissance in the last twenty years in the United Kingdom. From the Campaign for Drawing to the Drawing Research Network, and from the Drawing Room to the Rabley Drawing Centre, we’ve witnessed a proliferation of passion, effort, and energy matched by increased museum exhibitions, dedicated degree courses, professors, publications, and conferences. All of the above have been established in pursuit of understanding, developing, and promoting drawing, and many inside and outside the sector endure to evidence drawing as the most sophisticated means of thinking and communicating as well as an activity for everyone. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Filed under: CAA News

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 Art of Healing

Over the last few decades, a growing body of studies and anecdotal evidence that suggests art facilitates healing has driven the incorporation of art into medical settings. Nearly half of the healthcare institutions in the United States reported including arts in their programming, ranging from art and music therapy to featuring visual art in hospitals. (Read more from the University of California, San Francisco.)

Framing Tips: The Hard(ware) Facts

Framing tips on hardware may not seem exciting, but understanding the function and limitations of various types of screws, hangers, and wires will ensure that your framed drawings and paintings are properly supported when displayed. Take a little time to tackle the terminology and technicalities. Your art deserves nothing less. (Read more from the Artist’s Magazine.)

In Defense of Art School Graduates

What’s wrong with our industry that we are so quick to belittle formal education? Whenever the topic of an art degree arises, there’s an angry mob that amasses, collectively chanting how “useless” a degree is in photography and that the best school to learn from is the University of Hard Knocks. To really understand this issue, we have to first step back and look at the value of art and why photographers are so polarized on the term. (Read more from Fstoppers.)

Why You (Yes, You!) Should Write Book Reviews

The conventional wisdom is that graduate students shouldn’t take time to write academic book reviews. There’s just not enough in it for them, the thinking goes. As a sociologist who has studied the publishing industry, I disagree with the dismissive attitude many have toward book reviewing. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Want to Be Taken Seriously as a Scholar in the Humanities? Publish a Monograph

A decade ago, in my first year as lecturer in a humanities department, an eminent professor helped me secure a book contract with a top university press for my recently completed doctoral thesis. Another senior colleague stopped me in the corridor: “This is very rare,” she said. “And this is what gets you ahead in this game.” (Read more from the Guardian.)

Best Way for Professors to Get Good Student Evaluations? Be Male

Many in academia have long known about how the practice of student evaluations of professors is inherently biased against women. Just as polling data continues to show that a majority of Americans think being a man automatically makes you better in the boss department, many professors worry that students automatically rate male professors as smarter, more authoritative, and more awesome overall because they are men. Now, a new study shows that there is good reason for that concern. (Read more from Slate.)

What You Need to Know before Donating Art

For investors thinking about donating art, the most important thing to know is this: It isn’t as simple as … donating art. The benefits of a donation are clear. The owners may have a fondness for a particular museum or university they have in mind as a recipient, for instance. And the ego gratification is powerful. But ego aside, donors have a lot of factors to consider before making a decision. (Read more from the Wall Street Journal.)

Acrylics on Plastics

When a liquid comes into contact with any solid, new interfaces or boundaries are generated between these dissimilar materials. Although many factors exist which will promote or inhibit adhesion of the acrylic paint onto solid plastic, the most important element is the ability of the liquid to “wet-out” the solid onto which it is painted. (Read more from Just Paint.)

Filed under: CAA News

The 2014 Nominating Committee has selected the following slate of six candidates for election to the CAA Board of Directors for the 2015–2019 term. Voting begins in early January 2015. Please go to CAA’s website to read each candidate’s statement, biography, and endorsement – and watch their video comments – before casting your vote. The candidates are:

  • Derrick R. Cartwright, University of San Diego
  • Jawshing Arthur Liou, Indiana University
  • Chika Okeke-Agulu, Princeton University
  • Katerina Ruedi Ray, Bowling Green State University
  • Rachel Weiss, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Andrés Zervigón, Rutgers University

About the Board

The Board of Directors is charged with CAA’s long-term financial stability and strategic direction; it is also the Association’s governing body. The Board sets policy regarding all aspects of CAA’s activities, including publishing, the Annual Conference, awards and fellowships, advocacy, and committee procedures.

About the Election

CAA members may vote for no more than four (4) candidates (may include one write-in candidate who must be a CAA member). The four candidates receiving the most votes will be elected to the Board. CAA members may cast their votes and submit their proxies online only. CAA holds the Board election on its own website. To vote, members will need only to log into their CAA member account.

All voting must take place prior to 5:00 p. m. EST on Friday, February 13, 2015. During CAA’s 103rd Annual Conference, a computer for voting will be available in the conference registration area at the Hilton New York Midtown Hotel.

The results of the Board election will be announced at the close of CAA’s Annual Business Meeting to be held on Friday, February 13, 2015 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. (EST) in the Rendezvous Trianon Ballroom, 3rd Floor, Hilton New York Midtown Hotel, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10010. CAA’s President, DeWitt Godfrey, will preside.

Questions? Contact Vanessa Jalet, executive liaison, at (212) 392-4434 or

Filed under: Board of Directors, Governance

Smarthistory at Khan Academy recently received a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to accelerate the creation of content for the Smarthistory website. The grant funds three types of fellows:

Smarthistory is looking to fill these positions quickly—hopefully in advance of the CAA Annual Conference in New York. Deadline: January 5, 2015.

Filed under: Grants and Fellowships

Imprinting Agnes Martin Now Online

posted by Christopher Howard

Art Journal Open is pleased to announce the publication of Imprinting Agnes Martin, an artist’s project by Karen L. Schiff. This project presents work from Schiff’s ongoing series the Agnes Martin Obituary Project. For each work, Schiff creates a drawing using the shape of the text in an obituary of the artist Agnes Martin (1912–2004) as published in news sources from around the globe. For Imprinting Agnes Martin, Schiff, who works frequently with text in her practice, selected eight drawings from the series and wrote an introductory text.

The contemporary projects at Art Journal Open present artist’s works adapted specifically for the website’s platform. Art Journal Open welcomes texts and project proposals from artists, scholars, critics, curators, and others who share an interest in modern and contemporary art, design, pedagogy, and visual culture. For information on submitting a project or proposal, please visit the Art Journal Open submission guidelines. Send inquires to

Image: Karen L. Schiff, Agnes Martin, College Art Association News, March 2005, opening, 2005, graphite, pastel, ruby lith, and stylus on vellum, 12 x 18 inches. Collection of Sally and Wynn Kramarsky, New York (artwork © Karen L. Schiff)

Filed under: Art Journal, Artists

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.

Smithsonian’s Asian Art Collection Goes Online

The Smithsonian Institution’s museums of Asian art are due to release their entire collections online on January 1, 2015. More than forty thousand works, from ancient Chinese jades to thirteenth-century Syrian metalwork and nineteenth-century Korans, will be accessible through high-resolution images without copyright restrictions for noncommercial use. The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery are the first Smithsonian museums—and the only Asian art museums—to complete the labor-intensive process of digitizing and releasing their entire collections online. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Balling off Painting: MoMA Opens The Forever Now

At the Museum of Modern Art’s opening for The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World, most people had a hard time remembering when the last group show of young painters had happened at the museum. (Technically, the last full-on contemporary painting survey was in 1984.) With that in mind, no matter what anyone thinks about the show—or even the current state of painting in general—it could be argued that an exhibition of this nature was somewhat overdue. (Read more from ArtNews.)

New Art Now

At first glance, the three words “new,” “art,” and “now” might be considered synonyms. In order to be counted as art, an object or expression must be new, and its newness is strictly defined by the temporal limits of the present moment, now. But this is where the synonymy of the three terms starts to look like a contradiction. If contemporary art is art always happening “now,” can we ever really make sense of the present? (Read more from ArtReview.)

Unsustainable Postdocs

Postdoctoral fellowships make sense in theory: they offer recent PhDs, especially those aspiring to careers in academic research, a place to develop professionally and build a research profile before or while hitting the job market. But too often, these fellowships are underpaid, undermentored positions in which young academics languish during what are potentially their most creative, productive years. That’s the upshot of a new report that is highly critical of the structural factors driving the growth of postdoctoral ranks. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

The State of Professional Development in Higher Education

Earlier this year, Academic Impressions surveyed higher-education professionals to learn if institutions, on the whole, regard professional development as mission-critical, if investments in professional development is proactive or reactive, and if professional development is tied to performance appraisal. This report shares the findings. (Read more from Academic Impressions.)

Storming the Ivory Tower

All manner of treasure accumulates in the Ivory Tower, but too often that’s where valuable scholarship stays locked up, obscure and inaccessible. “Free the knowledge!” might be the rallying cry behind a creative new plan from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The federal agency, which bills itself as one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the country recently announced the Public Scholar program. Its goal is to motivate scholars to publish nonfiction books for general readers rather than for each other. (Read more from the Washington Post.)

Is a Museum a Database? Institutional Conditions in Net Utopia

The museum is pressured into adapting to the logic of the database from all sides, and we begin to entertain questions of absurd technological determinism. Is a museum a database? While this may be a ridiculous provocation on its face, we have seen that anxious cultural institutions are among the first to uncritically adopt the metabolism of database, to transform the institution into an indexed site of transmission. (Read more from e-flux journal.)

Can We Create a Culture That Values Good Teaching?

How might we create a culture that esteems effective teaching? The value of such a thing ought to be clear, if only because it would blunt some of the frequent public criticisms of universities for a too-narrow focus on research. But creating a teaching culture hasn’t proved so easy. It’s not that campuses don’t harbor great teachers—even the most research-intensive universities do. But those professors usually tend their personal classroom gardens on their own. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

Filed under: CAA News

Recipients of the 2015 Awards for Distinction

posted by Emmanuel Lemakis

CAA has announced the recipients of the 2015 Awards for Distinction, which honor the outstanding achievements and accomplishments of individual artists, art historians, authors, conservators, curators, and critics whose efforts transcend their individual disciplines and contribute to the profession as a whole and to the world at large.

CAA will formally recognize the eleven honorees at a special awards ceremony to be held during Convocation at the 103rd Annual Conference in New York, on Wednesday evening, February 11, 2015, 5:30–7:00 PM. Led by DeWitt Godfrey, president of the CAA Board of Directors, the awards ceremony will take place in the Hilton New York Midtown’s East Ballroom. Convocation and the awards ceremony are free and open to the public. The Hilton New York Midtown is located at 1335 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue), New York, NY 10010.

The 2015 Annual Conference—presenting scholarly sessions, panel discussions, career-development workshops, a Book and Trade Fair, and more—is the largest gathering of artists, scholars, students, and arts professionals in the United States.

Charles Rufus Morey Book Award
Megan Holmes
The Miraculous Image in Renaissance Florence
Yale University Press, 2013

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award
Susan Weber, ed.
William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain
Bard Graduate Center and Yale University Press, 2013

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions
Lynn Boland, et al.
Cercle et Carré and the International Spirit of Abstract Art
Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, 2013

Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize
Douglas Brine
Jan van Eyck, Canon Joris van der Paele, and the Art of Commemoration
The Art Bulletin, September 2014

Art Journal Award
Anna Chave
Art Journal, Winter 2014

Distinguished Feminist Award
Amelia Jones, University of Southern California

Distinguished Teaching of Art Award
Richard Brown, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award
Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu, Seton Hall University

Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work
Charles Gaines
Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974–1989
Studio Museum in Harlem

Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement
Keith Sonnier

CAA/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation
Melanie Gifford, National Gallery of Art

Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art
Lucy R. Lippard

Morey and Barr Award Finalists

CAA recognizes the 2015 finalists for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award and the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for their distinctive achievements:

Charles Rufus Morey Book Award

  • Matthew C. Hunter, Wicked Intelligence: Visual Art and the Science of Experiment in Restoration London (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013)
  • Karl Whittington, Body-Worlds: Opicinus de Canistris and the Medieval Cartographic Imagination (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2014)
  • Catherine Zuromskis, Snapshot Photography: The Lives of Images (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013)

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award

  • Kimberly A. Jones, et al., Degas/Cassatt (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art and DelMonico Books, 2014)


For more information on the 2015 Awards for Distinction, please contact Emmanuel Lemakis, CAA director of programs. Visit the Awards section of the CAA website to read about past recipients.

This was an exciting year for CAA’s publications—for the very first time The Art Bulletin and Art Journal were published online using a multi-media platform that allows authors to include video and hyperlinks directly in their essays, and became fully open-access with broader interactive functionality coming soon. Most important, the journals continued to bring readers more of what they expect from the world’s leading publisher of art history journals: exceptional in-depth scholarship exploring the full range of the visual arts, in formats as diverse as long-form essays, innovative artists’ projects, and critical reviews. It is the support of readers like you that enable CAA to carry out this vital work.

Because you share our mission of advancing the highest standards of intellectual engagement in the arts, please make a tax-deductible gift to the Publications Fund today.

Here are some recent highlights from CAA publications:

In The Art Bulletin:

  • Continued support of the long-form, peer-reviewed essay, including John K. Papadopoulos reinterpreting the Greek fifth-century BCE Motya Youth, Douglas Brine on the architectural and cultural context of a Jan van Eyck painting, Aaron Wile identifying a distinctly modern sense of self in Wattaeu’s fête galantes, and Joseph Siry on Frank Lloyd Wright’s theater for Dallas
  • In the recurring “Whither Art History?” Cheng-Hua Wang examines artistic interaction between China and Europe in the early modern period
  • Reviews of books on a wide variety of topics, from Maya art to sixteenth-century sculpture in Florence, from the politics of Mughal architecture to the materiality of color

In Art Journal:

  • Projects by artists such as the sculptor Conrad Bakker, the British animator Jonathan Hodgson, and Karen Schiff, whose colorful drawings intervened in the very fabric of the printed journal
  • A forum devoted to conceptual art in Latin America in the 1970s, a time of political oppression and upheaval, featuring four essays in the original Spanish and Portuguese with facing-page English translations
  • The journal’s open-access website relaunched with a new name, Art Journal Open, and a new editor, the new-media scholar and curator Gloria Hwang Sutton
  • Reviews of monographs on the artists Forrest Bess; books by Claire Bishop, Tom Finkelpearl, and Lev Manovich; and a Le Corbusier exhibition at MoMA


  • New Field Editor position established for reviews covering Digital Humanities and Art History
  • Over 150 book and exhibition reviews across many subject areas and geographic regions

With your support, CAA publications will continue to delight, challenge, and engage readers for many years to come. Contributors who give at a level of $250 or higher are prominently acknowledged in the publication they support for four consecutive issues, as well as on the publication’s website for one year and through CAA News. On behalf of the scholars, critics, and artists who publish in the journals, we thank you for your continued commitment to maintaining a strong and spirited forum for the visual-arts community.

With best regards,





Suzanne Preston Blier
Vice President for Publications

Finalists for the 2015 Morey and Barr Awards

posted by Lauren Stark

CAA is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2015 Charles Rufus Morey Book Award and the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award. The winners of both prizes, along with the recipients of ten other Awards for Distinction, will be announced in mid-December and presented during Convocation in New York, in conjunction with the 103rd Annual Conference.

Charles Rufus Morey Book Award

The Charles Rufus Morey Book Award honors an especially distinguished book in the history of art, published in any language between September 1, 2013, and August 31, 2014. The four finalists for 2015 are:

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award

The Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for museum scholarship is presented to the author(s) of an especially distinguished catalogue in the history of art, published between September 1, 2013, and August 31, 2014, under the auspices of a museum, library, or collection. The two finalists for 2015 are:

  • Kimberly A. Jones, et al., Degas/Cassatt (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art and DelMonico Books, 2014)
  • Susan Weber, ed., William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain (New York: Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013)

The Barr jury did not shortlist any books for the second Barr Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, or Collections.

The presentation of the 2015 Awards for Distinction will take place on Wednesday evening, February 11, 5:30–7:00 PM, at the New York Hilton Midtown. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about CAA’s Awards for Distinction, please contact Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs and archivist.

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.

What’s a “Work for Hire” and Why Should You Care?

A provost learns to his dismay that the university shares copyright ownership of a popular MOOC with the professor who created it. A professor finds to her surprise that students who helped produce an animation to illustrate a lecture are co-owners of the copyright. Yet another professor, who wrote and put together a video for his course, is shocked to learn that the university that employs him and the company that produced the video share copyright ownership of it—without him. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Artists Call the Shots

When Gustave Courbet organized an exhibition of his work in 1855, it was a radical act—but now artist-curators are everywhere. That raises some questions: Do the restrictions faced by institutional curators lead to more historically accurate exhibitions? Does the pluralist attitude that fosters artist-curated shows open the door to curatorial misconceptions? Are artists simply more likely to get it wrong than academic curators? (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Help Desk: Participatory Project

I’m an artist working with a poor family on a participatory project at a local museum. The family is Latino, and the project is about the members’ perceptions on art. Who might I talk to or where might I look for similar projects, or even guidance on working with this population? I’m neither Latino nor poor. (Read more from Daily Serving.)

Are Museums The Best Place to Appreciate Art?

Philippe de Montebello, the longest-serving director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in its history, discusses how and why we look at art. In his new book, Rendez-vous with Art, he reflects on the importance of museums but wonders if they might be the worst possible places to look at art. (Read more from WNYC.)

Where the Time Goes

New data about time to degree in PhD programs from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences complicate some current reform efforts to help students get through graduate school faster. At the same time, the data suggest that real time to degree is shorter than many people think it is, and that it’s decreasing in some disciplines—albeit slowly. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

War Can Both Inspire and Inhibit Artistic Creativity

War can inhibit creativity. Societies engaged in conflict have fewer resources to spend on art; they also often restrict the freedom artists require. On the other hand, war can inspire creativity. Patriotic creators might feel an impulse—or receive an order—to create works intended to unite and galvanize the citizenry. Given those cross-currents, no wonder researchers have found an “ambiguous and counterintuitive relationship between war and the arts,” in the words of Karol Jan Borowiecki of the University of Southern Denmark. (Read more from Pacific Standard.)

Are There Banner Works of Art on Instagram?

For me, Instagram is a land of the midnight sun, a wide-open place that’s always lit up, bristling with visions, pictures, strangers, shooting stars, screwballs, and well-known artists posting images from everywhere, together creating this immense abstract missive or amazing rebus that seems to speak just to me, the curious curator of my own lit-up Instagramland. (Read more from Vulture.)

Learning to Love the Conference

In 2012, I was all set for the most important conference of my life. All three major branches of musicology would be there: theorists, musicologists, and ethnomusicologists. It was going to be my last real year on the academic job market, and, despite my rapidly aging degree, I was well positioned. I had conference interviews. I had meetings scheduled with publishers. I was going to put everything into that conference. (Read more from Vitae.)

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