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CAA News

Linda Downs, executive director and chief executive officer of the College Art Association (CAA), has announced her retirement, effective February 2016. Under her direction during her nine-year tenure, CAA celebrated its Centennial with a new visual identity and reestablished itself as the largest and most active association in the academic and museum visual-arts field. CAA has been a strong advocate on critical issues in the field, including workforce issues such as equity for part-time faculty, changing the restrictions on visas for international scholars and artists, and state and federal support for visual-arts higher education. CAA has made major improvements to its publications: current and archived issues of The Art Bulletin and Art Journal are now available online as a result of a copublishing partnership with Taylor & Francis; became a fully open-access online journal with an increased readership; and the Art Journal Open website was established, with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, to focus more on artists and to complement Art Journal articles in print.

Over thirty professional guidelines and standards were developed through the expertise of the Professional Practices Committee. A task force supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation was established to develop the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, which has greatly clarified what fair use is and how to utilize it for third-party images and materials in creative and scholarly work. CAA has changed its journal author contracts accordingly. Book and author subventions increased to approximately sixteen per year through the support of the Mellon Foundation, Terra Foundation for American Art, and Wyeth Foundation for American Art. International membership increased through the CAA/Getty International Program, which supported attendance and seminars on international issues at the past four Annual Conferences. The Professional Development Fellowships for Art Historians and Artists was reinstated. A new project, Resources for Academic Art Museum Professionals, that was initiated by the Museum Committee and funded by the Mellon Foundation will establish a social community forum to promote the exchange of information related to the integration of academic art museums into various academic disciplines of study. Following CAA’s strategic plan, task forces have been established to review the structure of the nine Professional Interest, Practices, and Standards Committees, provide guidelines for digital art and architectural history in promotion and tenure, transform and extend the Annual Conference, review the governance structure, and address greater inclusion and attention to design in programs and publications. CAA has laid the groundwork for transforming itself in directions that are critical to the support of the visual-arts field.

The CAA Board of Directors has expressed its admiration for Downs’s outstanding leadership. DeWitt Godfrey, board president, stated, “Linda has brought CAA to a new professional level of service to members and the visual-arts field. We wish her well in retirement and thank her for her dedicated service.”

CAA has organized a search committee and will retain a search firm to seek a new Executive Director.

About CAA

The College Art Association is dedicated to providing professional services and resources for artists, art historians, and students in the visual arts. CAA serves as an advocate and a resource for individuals and institutions, nationally and internationally, by offering forums to discuss the latest developments in the visual arts and art history through its Annual Conference, publications, exhibitions, website, and other programs, services, and events. CAA focuses on a wide range of advocacy issues, including education in the arts, freedom of expression, intellectual-property rights, cultural heritage and preservation, workforce topics in universities and museums, and access to networked information technologies. Representing its members’ professional needs since 1911, CAA is committed to the highest professional and ethical standards of scholarship, creativity, criticism, and teaching. Learn more about CAA at

For more information, please contact Nia Page, CAA director of membership, development, and marketing.

Filed under: People in the News

The College Art Association (CAA) has been awarded a $132,600 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of Resources for Academic Art Museum Professionals (RAAMP), a free, publicly accessible website that will collect, store, and share resources for professionals in academic art museums. RAAMP will promote scholarship, advocacy, and discussion related to academic art museums and their contributions to the educational mission of their parent institutions. CAA and its Museum Committee will develop RAAMP and manage its peer-generated content with the assistance of project partners, which include the Association for Academic Museums and Galleries (AAMG) and the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC).

Linda Downs, CAA executive director, said, “The RAAMP project was initiated by the CAA Museum Committee members N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University of Richmond and Celka Straughn, Andrew W. Mellon Director of Academic Programs at the Spencer Museum of Art who recognized the professional needs of academic art museum to share resources in order to better integrate museum collections into interdisciplinary study through a social community system. CAA is excited about this important initiative that will provide a prototype for similar forums.”

“Through its College and University Art Museums program, the Mellon Foundation has been a long-term supporter of the integration of college and university art museums into the curriculum and research cultures of their host institutions,” said Mariët Westermann, vice president of the Mellon Foundation. “We are therefore pleased to provide a grant to CAA for the creation of an online repository and exchange hub that will further strengthen the collaboration between academic museums and their campus communities.”

RAAMP aims to strengthen the educational mission of academic museums and their parent institutions by providing a dynamic repository of resources, by functioning as a site for news and information, and by supporting public discussion through online forums. The anticipated primary users of RAAMP include academic museum staff: administrators, educators, curators, directors, and conservators. The site would also be a significant asset for university and college administrators, faculty and staff in art and art-history departments, undergraduate and graduate students, and scholars of academic museums. Because RAAMP’s content addresses particular demographic groups—higher education and the visual arts—that are also served by nonacademic museums, the project would be valuable to museum professionals from any institution or background.

RAAMP would specifically benefit users seeking publications, information, research, case studies, professional development, and networking opportunities. Support from the Mellon Foundation will help CAA to determine types of content that would be most beneficial to RAAMP’s audience and contributors, how best to deliver and share this content, and how to facilitate dialogue related to the project’s mission.

DeWitt Godfrey, CAA president and professor of art and art history at Colgate University, said, “This is an important step for the Association to strengthen ties with academic art museums throughout the United States.”

RAAMP was conceived during a 2013 CAA Annual Conference session organized by the Museum Committee, titled “The Position of Academic Programs in Campus Art Museums: What, Why, Who, and Where To?” Session attendees expressed the need to better and more efficiently share information, strategies, and best practices for communicating academic museums’ educational contributions to their parent institutions. Many museums have created innovative programs and practices to serve their campus communities and fully integrate their collections and activities into the academic mission of their college or university. Museums have also worked to apply quantitative and qualitative metrics for mission success.

Leading the project as principal investigators will be: N. Elizabeth Schlatter, deputy director and curator of exhibitions at the University of Richmond Museums in Virginia and a member of CAA’s Museum Committee; and Celka Straughn, Andrew W. Mellon Director of Academic Programs at the University of Kansas’s Spencer Museum of Art and a member of CAA’s Museum Committee. “We are excited to work with colleagues to further develop this accessible resource that reflects that many innovative activities happening at academic museums today. We hope it will serve academic art museums to promote collaboration and demonstrate their educational and scholarly contributions.”

About CAA

The College Art Association is dedicated to providing professional services and resources for artists, art historians, and students in the visual arts. CAA serves as an advocate and a resource for individuals and institutions nationally and internationally by offering forums to discuss the latest developments in the visual arts and art history through its Annual Conference, publications, exhibitions, website, and other programs, services, and events. CAA focuses on a wide range of advocacy issues, including education in the arts, freedom of expression, intellectual-property rights, cultural heritage and preservation, workforce topics in universities and museums, and access to networked information technologies. Representing its members’ professional needs since 1911, CAA is committed to the highest professional and ethical standards of scholarship, creativity, criticism, and teaching. Learn more about CAA at

For more information please contact Nia Page, CAA director of membership, development, and marketing.

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.

Questions to Ask before Applying to an Artist Opportunity

Breaking into the art world is a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. To be a successful artist, you must be determined, hardworking, and passionate about your field of work. It also helps to understand how the art world does business: how to find the opportunity that is the best fit for you, how to avoid predatory scams, and how to build your résumé for the future. (Read more from the New York Foundation for the Arts.)

Before Applying to an Artist Opportunity: Beware the Ides of Arts

One of the biggest problems facing artists today is the multitude of scams and schemes, especially those on the internet. And no, it’s not just the foreign princes looking to transfer money. Every artist wants to be discovered and make it big, but that doesn’t mean you should hastily leap into opportunity without looking first. (Read more from the New York Foundation for the Arts.)

Is It Okay to Haggle with an Art Gallery?

There’s a painting that I’d like to purchase from a smaller gallery here in town, but it’s out of my budget. Not by much, but in order to buy it, the price needs to come down. Can I try to negotiate with the gallery? I come from the business side of things, so that’s a normal practice for my realm, but I don’t want to anger anyone, or seem rude. (Read more from Burnaway.)

Grant Dispute Throws an Unwritten Rule of Academic Poaching out the Window

Among research universities a longstanding gentlemen’s agreement has held that a scientist who moves from one institution to another is allowed to carry any grant support along to his or her new home. Now, with universities counting every dollar, that bit of protocol may become a quaint courtesy of days gone by. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Saying Yes

While it’s true that new hires need to learn to say no so they don’t get overwhelmed and fall behind on their scholarship, it’s also important to decide which opportunities to accept or decline. What are the offers worth saying yes to? When might saying no really be declining a valuable opportunity? Are there ways that saying yes to certain opportunities might help to advance, rather than take time away from, your own research agenda? (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Where Does Innovative Teaching Come From?

There’s a long-standing tradition of informal sharing of pedagogical innovation among K–12 teachers and a whole line of research on this phenomenon, which is known as teacher leadership. The same type of informal faculty leadership exists in higher education as well, but there is very little research on this topic, according to Pete Turner, education faculty member and director of the Teacher Education Institute at Estrella Mountain Community College. (Read more from Faculty Focus.)

Why Collect Artist’s Books and Zines?

The Brooklyn-based publisher Blonde Art Books recently organized its third annual Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair (BABZ), a three-day event featuring a few dozen independent publishers, alongside workshops and performances. The presence of something like BABZ is not particularly surprising: a market for do-it-yourself printed matter still exists, whether at art-book fairs, at stores like Printed Matter, or in university library collections. What drives collectors to keep these venues running? What, or who, fuels the market? (Read more from Artslant.)

In Conversation: Peter Schjeldahl with Jarrett Earnest

In the pantheon of art writers, Peter Schjeldahl holds a special place as one of the greatest living critics. As an art critic for the New Yorker since 1998, he is alive to the nuanced movements of his own feelings, which he charts over the course of each review. This summer he met with the Rail’s Jarrett Earnest to discuss the interconnections between seeing, feeling, and writing. (Read more from the Brooklyn Rail.)

Filed under: CAA News

Smarthistory Seeks Short Essays

posted by Christopher Howard

Smarthistory is working to provide essays and videos on the 250 objects that are part of the new AP art-history curriculum, launching fall 2015. We have eighteen objects left ranging from prehistoric to contemporary work. If you are interested in contributing a brief introductory essay on one of these, please drop us an email: and

Here’s what missing (images can be found on this list):

  • Apollo 11 Cave Stones (State Museum Namibia)
  • Running horned woman, 6000–4000 BCE, Algeria
  • Hall of the Bulls, Lascaux, France, 15,000–13,000 BCE
  • Anthropomorphic stele (El-Maakir-Qaryat al-Kaafa), fourth millennium BCE (Riyadh)
  • Terracotta fragment, Lapita, Solomon Islands, Reef Islands, 1000 BCE (University of Auckland
  • Michel Tuffery, Pisupo Lua Afe (Corned Beef 2000), 1994 (MNZM/Museum of New Zealand)
  • Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, 1997
  • Magdalena Abakanowicz, Androgyne III, 1985, burlap, resin, wood, nails, and string (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
  • Portrait mask (Mblo), Baule peoples (Côte d’Ivoire), late nineteenth or early twentieth century
  • Lukasa (memory board), Mbudye Society, Luba peoples, (DR Congo), ca. nineteenth or early twentieth century
  • Night Attack on the Sanjô Palace, Kamakura Period, Japan, ca. 1250–1300 CE (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
  • Ambum Stone, Papua New Guinea, ca. 1500 BCE (National Gallery of Australia)
  • Nan Madol, Pohnpei, Micronesia, Saudeleur Dynasty. ca. 700–1600 CE
  • ‘Ahu ‘ula (feather cape), Hawaiian, late eighteenth century
  • Tamati Waka Nene, Gottfried Lindauer, 1890 CE, oil on canvas
  • Malagan display and mask, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea, ca. twentieth century (University Museum, Pennsylvania)

We are also looking for contributions from art historians on other broadly taught topics.

Filed under: Art History

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.

Great Colleges to Work For 2015

This special issue features results of the Chronicle’s eighth annual Great Colleges to Work For survey, based on responses from nearly 44,000 campus employees. The survey found that at colleges recognized for a strong workplace culture, employees were more likely to feel acknowledged, supported, well informed by their leaders, and engaged in a common mission. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

UK Copyright Amendment Provokes Controversy in the Art and Design World

The British government has recently moved to repeal section 52 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Removing this section would increase the copyright duration for artistic designs—as opposed to traditional artistic works—from twenty-five years from the year the designs were first marketed to the more common term of life of the author plus seventy years. The new arrangement has stirred up controversy in the process. (Read more from Center for Art Law.)

Help Desk: Selling Out

Recently a design firm approached me about a project that involves artists painting on small refrigerators from which energy drinks will be sold. There will be a gallery exhibition of these fridges before they are distributed to various retail outlets in major cities around the country. The pay is pretty good, though not what I would ideally get for a painting of that size. Will I be committing an ethical transgression if I participate in this promotion? (Read more from Daily Serving.)

Peter J. Cohen Trumpets the Art of Amateur Photography

Waiting for a companion at a Chelsea flea market in New York in the early 1990s, Peter J. Cohen thumbed through a bin of bygone snapshots, torn out of discarded family albums. He didn’t know what attracted him to the images—he’d never been interested in vintage photography and wasn’t the type to reach for a camera to document his own life—but, on a whim, he purchased five of them for $8. When he got home and inspected the photographs more closely, he knew right away that he wanted to return to the flea market to buy more. (Read more from the Boston Globe.)

You Can’t Hurry Greatness

In 1990, the psychologist John Hayes proposed the “ten-year rule,” arguing that even someone with enormous creative potential needs to spend a decade working on his or her craft before producing work of lasting merit. In a newly published paper, Richard Hass of Philadelphia University and Robert Weisberg of Temple University reevaluate this rule by looking at the careers of some of America’s most enduringly popular artists: five composers from the Great American Songbook era. (Read more from Pacific Standard.)

Mentoring as a Tenure Criterion

Purdue University, like most colleges and universities, evaluates faculty members up for tenure on their accomplishments in research, teaching, and service. Like most research universities, research has tended to be prominent. But university administrators recently told the Purdue board of plans to make significant changes in those criteria. Coming first will be an expectation that faculty members are active mentors to undergraduates, especially to at-risk students. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Museums’ Disturbing Transformation: Relentless Commercialization

For-profit art dealers are organizing shows for nonprofit museums. Museum professionals are organizing shows for commercial art fairs and galleries. Museum collections are being monetized, rented out for profit to other museums and private corporations. Corporations are co-organizing museum shows. In fact, so commonplace is the boundary-blurring that few any longer notice. (Read more from the Los Angeles Times.)

Modeling the Behavior We Expect in Class

We should be thinking about social learning theory in the context of the college classroom. Although so-called observational learning now has widespread acceptance and a fair amount has been written about the benefits of modeling in the grade-school classroom, there is surprisingly little out there on the topic for college instructors. (Read more from Vitae.)

Filed under: CAA News

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 fifth year of a program that enables applicants from outside the United States to attend the 104th Annual Conference in Washington, DC, which takes place February 3–6, 2016. 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 2016 Annual Conference. The grant covers travel expenses, hotel accommodations for eight nights, per diems, conference registrations, and one-year CAA memberships. Extended deadline: August 26, 2015.

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 2016 Annual Conference. To qualify for the grant, students must be current CAA members. Successful applicants will also receive a complimentary conference registration. Deadline: September 18, 2015.

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 2016 Annual Conference. To qualify for the grant, applicants must be current CAA members. Successful applicants will also receive a complimentary conference registration. Deadline: September 18, 2015.

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.

Improvements to CAA’s Annual Conference

posted by Linda Downs

CAA’s Annual Conference provides an important platform for the dissemination of new research and creative work. It also provides opportunities for networking, hosts workshops on crucial career topics, tackles pressing issues in the field, and provides an opportunity for institutions to interview candidates for open positions. In an effort to serve its members more effectively, CAA has established a Task Force on the Annual Conference to address ways of providing more occasions for members to exchange work and scholarship. The task force will also investigate greater uses of technology to extend the conference beyond its physical location and increased networking opportunities for professionals in the visual arts. The changes announced below are only the first round of a more thorough redesign of the conference, a very much renewed and improved version of which will be introduced in the coming years.

In preparation for the next Annual Conference, to be held February 3–6, 2016, in Washington, DC, and in an effort to strengthen the Annual Conference while providing an even greater value to the membership and our profession, members of the CAA Board of Directors and the Task Force on the Annual Conference have recommended and approved the following changes:

  • Allowing members to present papers and chair sessions in consecutive years at the Annual Conference
  • Extending the Annual Conference through low-cost webinars to accommodate those affected by reductions in funds for professional travel. CAA will offer webinars on a regular basis that will highlight the content generated by members
  • Conference registration, opening in early October 2015, will have only one advance registration period that will end on December 21, 2015
  • A new discounted registration fee for CAA members who are part-time faculty or are independent artists and scholars
  • Institutional members may purchase specially discounted student memberships and register their students for the conference at deeper discounts during the advance registration period. These discounts will not be available onsite
  • CAA members will be hired to be room monitors and to work at CAA’s registration area for a stipend and free conference registration rather than hiring temporary staff to fill these roles
  • Providing a conference that serves members. Everyone who participates (i.e., presenter, speaker, chair) must be a current CAA member at the time of the conference
  • All participants will need to either register for the entire conference or purchase a single-time-slot ticket for the session in which they are participating. This change applies to sessions led by all CAA affiliated societies and special-interest groups

CAA must proactively respond to the escalating costs of producing the Annual Conference. Ever-increasing expenses include staffing the conference, union rates at hotels, guaranteeing minimum numbers of attendees, and providing audiovisual equipment and WiFi. In the past, many sessions were offered without requiring CAA membership or conference registration. CAA can no longer subsidize the attendance and participation of nonmembers and nonregistrants. In order for CAA to maintain the high quality of the conference and to meet the needs of its members, we ask for your support as we introduce these changes to improve the conference experience.

The 2016 Annual Conference in Washington, DC, will be outstanding. The keynote speaker will be David Adjaye, architect of the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall and newly designated architect of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Richard J. Powell is CAA’s Distinguished Scholar, and Joyce Scott is the Distinguished Artist who will be interviewed. CAA will sponsor an MFA exhibition with student artists from around the region and host a reception for all CAA members at the Katzen Art Center at American University. In addition, the Annual Conference Committee for the DC meeting is preparing special tours to artists’ studios and museums and organizing special events.

Washington is home to a host of outstanding museums and other cultural institutions, and CAA has not held a conference there since 1991. We are very pleased to bring the conference to Washington, DC, and grateful for the support of our membership and institutions in that region. You will not want to miss this exciting event! Please refer to for ongoing updates and news about the 2016 Annual Conference.

Filed under: Annual Conference, Membership

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.

Trigger Warning Diffused

Students at Crafton Hills College who sign up for a course on the graphic novel next year will encounter works such as Fun Home and Persepolis without being first warned on the syllabus that they might be offended. That’s the way it has been at the college, but officials at the California community college said in June that a trigger warning would be added to the syllabus after one student and her parents complained about those two novels as well as two others. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Speaking for the “Quitters” and “Failures”

In the eyes of many academics, as Leonard Cassuto recently pointed out, I am considered a failure because I did not earn a doctorate. Meanwhile, American universities are awarding more doctorates than ever. And yet I have something most of those newly minted PhDs will never have: a full-time, tenured teaching job. (Read more from Chronicle of Higher Education.)

The Booming World of Architecture That Only Exists in Pixels

There’s a long tradition of great architects never building a single thing. They’re called paper architects, because their work is purely two-dimensional. But today, you might look for them working somewhere else: video-game design and three-dimensional visualization. An architectural visualization artist named Ronen Bekerman has been at the center of that shift. (Read more from Gizmodo.)

Help Desk: How to Lob a Pitch

How do I pitch an art article to an editor? I have begun a writing practice that is not reviewing art as much as just reflecting on art, science, and visual culture in essay-length posts. I would love to share them but don’t even know where to start. (Read more from Daily Serving.)

Art Critics Need to Get Serious If They Want to Thrive Online

Amazon announced last month that it would change its payment structure for independent writers who publish directly on the online retailer’s different Kindle platforms, giving out royalties according to the number of pages read by Kindle users, rather than per book downloaded. A per-page payscale privileges a certain kind of writing, one that relies on cliffhangers and withholding information, but this attitude fails to echo the complexities, possibilities, and variety of web-based publishing platforms. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Collector Fights for African Art

Sindika Dokolo, a Congolese businessman and art collector, is on a crusade to force Western museums, art dealers, and auction houses to return Africa’s art, particularly works that might have been removed illegally during the colonial era. “Works that used to be clearly in African museums must absolutely return to Africa,” Dokolo said. “There are works that disappeared from Africa and are now circulating on the world market based on obvious lies about how they got there.” (Read more from the New York Times.)

A Done Deal, Obama to Create Basin and Range Monument

A vast sweep of rural Nevada marked by lonely desert valleys, craggy mountain ranges, and ancient and modern art will become the newest addition to the nation’s inventory of protected landscapes. President Barack Obama will sign a proclamation designating the Basin and Range National Monument on 704,000 acres of Lincoln and Nye counties in Nevada, the White House announced. The artist Michael Heizer has spent decades creating a massive earthen sculpture, called City, in the midst of the newly protected area. (Read more from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.)

Is Adjuncting the “Kiss of Death”?

Numerous commentators have observed that being an adjunct, as a recent essay put it, “actually seems to decrease your chances of securing a tenure-track position.” Some have even gone so far as to label adjuncting a career destroyer, the proverbial “kiss of death.” But is it really? (Read more from Vitae.)

Filed under: CAA News

In a fundamental change in scholarly publishing practice, the College Art Association has announced new standard contracts with contributors to its lead journals. These new contracts encourage scholars and artists contributing to its journals to employ fair use for third-party works in copyright (such as images and quoted text) according to the principles and limitations outlined in CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. This is in contrast to previous contracts for the CAA journals, which (like other standard contracts in the field) required contributors to obtain permissions for most illustrations and other third-party works. By adhering to the principles of fair use in this new policy, CAA leads the way for other scholarly publications and presses to similarly embrace the doctrine of fair use.

In its new author agreements, CAA states that after careful review of the Code the author must determine whether or not fair use may be invoked. If the conclusion is in the affirmative, CAA will publish without requiring third-party permission; in addition, the agreements state that the author need not indemnify CAA for claims of copyright infringement with respect to the use of a third-party work which he or she has determined is a fair use. The author’s signature on the document certifies that she or he has read the Code and considered the limitations of fair use as outlined in an addendum to the agreement. Authors will still need to obtain permission for third-party works that are not utilized under fair use.

In announcing the new policy, Linda Downs, executive director of CAA, stated “CAA is enormously proud to be a leader in the reliance on fair use in its publications. The decision is the result of two years of research in the field, consolidating the opinions of professionals throughout the visual arts community as well as legal experts into a straightforward set of principles and limitations that make it much easier to use copyrighted materials in our work. As of today, CAA journal authors are no longer required to seek permission for use of all third-party images and texts for their articles if they review the best practices code in each instance and demonstrate that their use complies with its principles and limitations. Any risk that might occur in utilizing fair use will be borne by CAA, not the authors.”

The new contracts are available in the Publications section of the CAA website.

Only months after its release, major visual arts organizations continue to endorse CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) each voted in April to endorse CAA’s set of principles regarding best practices in the fair use of copyrighted materials. In June, the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and Association of Research Libraries (ARL) also voted to endorse.

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes, and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by vocation or avocation, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national, and international programs.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, is the higher education association for librarians, committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. Founded in 1940 and representing nearly 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL is dedicated to enhancing the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching, and research. As Mary Ellen K. Davis, executive director of ACRL, stated: “The Code will serve as a valuable open-access resource for our higher education stakeholders.” Both organizations are disseminating the Code to their members.

The mission of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) is to foster excellence in art and design librarianship and image management. Founded in 1972, it has a membership of 1,000 that includes architecture and art librarians, visual resources professionals, artists, curators, educators, publishers, students, and others throughout North America interested in visual arts information. In a written statement, the ARLIS board wrote, “The ARLIS/NA Executive Board endorses the College Art Association’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, an important document that will advance visual arts scholarship and creative practice in this digital age. The Code is a strong step away from a permissions culture that hinders many members of the larger community.”

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of the leading research libraries in the US and Canada. Comprising more than 125 libraries at comprehensive, research-intensive institutions, its mission is to shape and influence forces affecting the future of research libraries in the process of scholarly communication. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations.[3]

Groups that previously have endorsed the Code include the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and the American Library Association (ALA).

These endorsements come in addition to early support for the Code from the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), both of which have recommended it to their members. In a letter to CAA, Susan Taylor, president of AAMD, and Christine Anagnos, its executive director, wrote: “AAMD believes the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts is an excellent contribution to the field and a great point of departure for best practices in the fair use of copyrighted materials…. AAMD believes this document has the potential to be a valuable aid to all professionals in the visual arts and will recommend it to our membership.”

CAA welcomes other endorsements, and encourages organizations in the field to recommend the Code to members.  CAA representatives are happy to address questions and to make educational presentations. To make arrangements for a presentation, whether by webinar, conference call, or in person, please contact me at The Code and supporting materials are available at

The creation of CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

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