College Art Association

CAA News Today

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

This week, Jessie Van der Laan, an instructor of art at Walters State Community College, in Morristown, TN, and Melissa Haviland, an artist and professor living in Athens, OH, discuss teaching online.

Filed under: CAA Conversations

New in

posted by November 24, 2017


Christina Neilson discusses Lorenzo Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise” by Amy Bloch. Read the full review at

Sarah Gordon reviews Nature’s Truth by Anne Helmreich. Read the full review at

Nancy Scott on The Civil War in Art and Memory edited by Kirk Savage can be found in full at

Judah Cohen writes about Jewish Treasures of the Caribbean, an exhibition at the Wyatt Gallery. Read the full review at

Audrey Goodman discusses Enchanting the Desert by Nicholas Bauch. Read the full review at

Sarah Cohen reviews The Cry of Nature by Stephen Eisenman. Read the full review at

Diana Kleiner writes about The Genesis of Roman Architecture by John North Hopkins. Read the full review at

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The CAA Board in Action

posted by November 22, 2017

CAA board members at the 105th Annual Conference in New York, 2017. Photo: Ben Fractenberg

This has been a busy time for the CAA Board of Directors. In the end of October, they attended a two-day meeting and retreat, addressing a variety of issues facing the organization and the field.

Under the leadership of President Suzanne Preston Blier, the Board looked at potential changes to the governance structure, updates on finances and membership enrollment, the impact of the Annual Conference, the recent staff reorganization and progress on our 2015-2020 strategic plan.

In addition to hearing detailed reports from the various committees, the Board spent time on the process to rebrand and rename the Association. We have narrowed down the choices and members will be asked for their input in the coming weeks. Many thanks to the 800 members who responded to the survey this summer. That survey feedback was valuable in directing our thinking. We are hopeful that a new name and identity will be launched at the 106th Annual Conference in Los Angeles in February 2018.

The board also elected new officers: Jim Hopfensberger was elected to succeed Suzanne Blier. She finishes her term as president in Spring 2018. Melissa Potter was elected secretary and Peter Lukehart was elected treasurer.

Roberto Tejada was elected to serve in the newly created office of vice president of Diversity and Inclusion.

Filed under: Board of Directors

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by November 22, 2017

Salvator Mundi on view at Christie’s. Image: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

Each week CAA News summarizes articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Why A $450 Million Painting Attributed To Leonardo Da Vinci Worries Art Historians

The artwork has been hotly debated for years, but its sale signals one thing absolutely. (Huffington Post)

Arts Alumni Deeply Engaged in Their Communities

A report released by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project demonstrates that arts majors – whether they went on to work in the arts or not – continue to strengthen the arts in their local communities. (SNAAP)

Olga Viso, Embattled Leader of Walker Art Center, Steps Down

In a surprise announcement, the Walker said Viso will leave by year end. (The New York Times)

Paying for the Job Search

Fordham’s English department is giving those finishing doctorates $4,500 each. (Inside Higher Ed)

Explore Guernica with a Sprawling Visual Timeline

A website launched by Madrid’s Reina Sofia museum serves as an interactive library. (Hyperallergic)

How Picasso Bled the Women in His Life for Art

“For [Picasso] there are only two kinds of women: goddesses and doormats.” (The Paris Review)

Found: The Last Piece of a Jigsaw Masterpiece by René Magritte

The fourth and final part of a painting ends an 80-year mystery. (Atlas Obscura)


Filed under: CAA News

For many years, CAA’s Annual Conference has been a good place for prospective academic employers and job candidates to meet and talk about working together.

Over the years, CAA has developed standards and guidelines for candidates and interviews. Those guidelines were last updated in 2015.

At the Annual Conference in 2018 and going forward, interviewing will take place in our newly created Cultural and Academic Network Hall. There will be plenty of spaces for interviews to be conducted.

As a supporter of the highest standards in professional practices, CAA does not condone or support employment interviews occurring in hotel guest rooms. If presented with the possibility of a professional interview in a hotel guest room, candidates should feel free to inform prospective employers that CAA has created interview rooms in the Cultural and Academic Network Hall and express their preference that the interview be conducted there.

UPDATE, November 28, 2017: If anyone doesn’t feel comfortable raising the issue with a prospective employer, they can reach out in confidence to Hunter O’Hanian, executive director of CAA, who will contact the employer and let them know that we have received a general concern about a hotel room interview and offer the prospective employer the opportunity to conduct the interview in the Cultural and Academic Network Hall.

The 2018 Annual Conference takes place February 21-24, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA. Click here to explore the conference schedule.

Advocacy Works

posted by November 20, 2017

Supported by the NEH, Louisville’s Cultural Pass Program gives youth the chance to take art classes, in addition to providing them access to museums and other institutions. Image: Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government

Last week, I attended a talk by Stephen Kidd, the executive director of the National Humanities Alliance. Steve reported that despite the White House’s attempt to zero out the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the current House budget proposes level funding for the Title VI programs and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Their budget also envisions $145 million for the NEH, only a $5 million cut from last year.

Today, the Senate released a draft bill that provides $149.8 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities for Fiscal Year 2018. Providing the same funding level as FY 2017 and $2 million above FY 2016, this bill is a forceful rejection of the administration’s call to eliminate the NEH.

Steve pointed out that these developments are a direct result of the grassroots advocacy by many artists and scholars, in particular, members of organizations such as CAA. All told, more than 200,000 messages were sent to members of Congress and they clearly had an impact.

If you get a moment, take a look at NEH for All: The Mellon-funded project highlights the impact that NEA-funded projects have across the nation.

Many thanks for all of your advocacy!

Hunter O’Hanian
Executive Director and Chief Executive

Filed under: Advocacy

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

This week, Jason Bernagozzi, assistant professor of Electronic Arts at Colorado State University and co-founder of experimental media arts residency program Signal Culture, and Victoria Bradbury, a new media artist, researcher @CRUMB, and assistant professor of New Media at University of North Carolina Asheville, discuss teaching new media.

Filed under: CAA Conversations

New in

posted by November 17, 2017


Mark Rosen discusses Imagining the Americas in Medici Florence by Lia Markey. Read the full review at

Stephanie Porras reviews Jan Brueghel and the Senses of Scale by Elizabeth Alice Honig. Read the full review at


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Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a tax reform bill, titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” that harms the lower and middle class, and puts harsh financial burdens on college students and recent graduates of college. Additionally, the House bill contains a provision that would end the deduction of student loan interest for tax payers. Nearly 12 million people claimed this deduction in 2015.

“This is a very cynical approach to higher education,” said CAA executive director Hunter O’Hanian. “To tax students on money they don’t earn and not allow them to deduct the amount of their student loans will have a chilling effect on higher education in America. These are the future scholars of this country. They are the ones who will preserve our cultural heritage as a nation.  It is absurd to imagine that the US House of Representatives seeks to dumb-down future generations in this way. Everyone needs to contact their representatives in the House and Senate and strongly advocate that that this measure never becomes law.”

Under the House version of the bill, graduate students and doctoral candidates would be taxed on the waivers their schools provide them in return for working on campus as part of their professional development in their fields. The New York Times published a piece yesterday by Erin Rousseau, a graduate student at M.I.T., who receives nearly $50,000 in waivers each year. These waivers make school affordable for students, a financial support lifeline to those who otherwise would not be able to pursue graduate educations. The new House tax bill would increase Erin’s taxable income to an imaginary $80,000 a year, pushing her tax burden up by $10,000 a year.

With Congress aiming to pass this bill just as quickly as the House did, it is urgent to speak out now.

Click here to urge Congress to oppose this provision

Read more on the issue:

The House just passed its big tax bill. Here’s what is in it. (The Washington Post)

The House Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students (New York Times)

The Republican Tax Plan Could Financially Devastate Graduate Students (The Verge)

Filed under: Advocacy, Higher Education, Students

In June 2017, Scaffold, a sculpture by the artist Sam Durant, ignited protests among Dakota Sioux activists in Minneapolis where it was being installed at the Walker Art Center. After meeting with tribal elders, Durant and the Walker announced that the piece would be dismantled and burned in a Dakota ceremony. Announced recently, the Walker’s executive director Olga Viso will be stepping down at the end of 2017. Photo: Minneapolis Star Tribune/Zuma Press

As artists, designers, scholars, and other arts professionals, CAA members encompass an enormous range of voices and perspectives. Each of us has found an outlet for our intellectual and creative energies in a passionate commitment to a particular subfield or mode of cultural production.

We would like to open up a conversation about the relation between these two things: our diverse individual and collective positionalities and the subjects and questions we address in scholarly and artistic practices.

We find ourselves at a moment in which the individual and collective stakes of writers, artists, and curators are central to conversations, debates, and judgments about scholarly expertise and responsibility.

This call for dialogue and discussion emerges from conversations that began in CAA’s Publications committee and the editorial board of Art Journal; we are spurred in part by our observation that for some in the CAA community, these polarizations are having a chilling and possibly stunting, effect on the research and creative directions one might choose to engage. The ways this ripples out into the field in the years to come can be imagined, but has yet to be realized in full.

CAA is committed to the open exchange of ideas and to nurturing and supporting scholars and artists in all fields, regardless of their individual ethnic, gendered, sexual, class-based, religious, or regional and national identification. We also acknowledge the deep asymmetries within societies in North America and around the world, and seek to work actively and incisively to challenge the hierarchies that still characterize our disciplines, our scholarly practices, and our lives as artists.

  • What active and activist strategies and interventions might we pursue in the current polarized climate?
  • Are there limits to what topics scholars and artists should address given their specific positionalities?
  • Are there best practices to guide individuals in navigating these difficult waters with grace and attentiveness?
  • How can CAA support scholars and artists whose work might come under attack because their positionality differs from the parameters of their subject matter?

We invite your thoughts, input, experiences, and wisdom: we are initiating this conversation so we can think or rethink our practices with the benefit of as much input as possible.

Filed under: Advocacy, Surveys — Tags: