College Art Association

CAA News Today

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

Modern African Art Is Being Gentrified

I am tempted to think of contemporary African art as akin to an urban neighborhood undergoing gentrification. Now that it is high culture, investors are jostling to get a piece of the action, and private collections are growing in Africa and around the world. This is very good news for the African modernists who will benefit from the increased visibility. (Read more from the New York Times.)

The States Where Campus Free-Speech Bills Are Being Born

Last week Tennessee’s governor signed into law a measure that the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education called “the most comprehensive state legislation protecting free speech on college campuses that we’ve seen passed anywhere in the country.” That new law, among other things, bars public colleges from establishing “free-speech zones” and requires them to adopt broad statements of support for free expression. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Agnes Gund on Diversity in the Art World and the Future of MoMA

In addition to helping museums like MoMA and the Met keep their doors open, Agnes Gund has also been devoted to increasing the diversity of the people who walk through those doors, by funding avenues for art education that reach beyond the halls of private schools to less privileged students who don’t have the same elite cultural access. (Read more from Artnet News.)

Why Can’t the Art World Embrace Robert Rauschenberg’s Queer Community?

Like Merce Cunningham and John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg found beauty in everyday objects. Through close observation, the quotidian could bloom into something either sublime or subversive. This is a tenet of queer art, the ability to transform normativity into the unexpected. (Read more from Artsy.)

On Not Writing a Book Right Now

I recently stumbled across a 2016 Paris Review essay about Robert Caro that notes, “If there is a question that annoys Caro more than ‘Do you like Lyndon Johnson?’ it is ‘When will the next book be published?’” I understand. No question makes me cringe more than “What are you working on next?” (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Writing a Book Pre-Tenure

I wrote a book before I earned tenure—a feat, given the heavy teaching and service load at my institution. Because my situation is different from most tenure-track faculty, talking about my book’s journey isn’t useful for other academics. Instead, I want to share the most important things I learned when writing my first book pre-tenure. (Read more from Vitae.)

“What Are the Arts and Sciences?”

Dan Rockmore asks a seemingly simple question in the title of collection he has just edited, What Are the Arts and Sciences? A Guide for the Curious. But the book is about disciplines, and not just the arts and sciences as a group. Twenty-six of his colleagues at Dartmouth College wrote chapters, explaining their disciplines for the nonexpert. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

U Can’t Talk 2 Ur Professor Like This

After one too many students called me by my first name and sent me email that resembled a drunken late-night Facebook post, I took a very fogeyish step. I began attaching a page on etiquette to every syllabus: basic rules for how to address teachers and write polite, grammatically correct emails. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Filed under: CAA News

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

Damien Hirst Show Sparks Accusations of Cultural Appropriation

Damien Hirst launched his first major show of new works in ten years earlier this month in Venice, shortly ahead of the opening of the Venice Biennale. But along with massive crowds, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is attracting charges of cultural appropriation, with one of Hirst’s sculptures replicating a Nigerian work from the fourteenth century without proper historical context. (Read more from Artsy.) 

Cultural Appropriation and the Privilege of Creative Assumption

When the Canadian writer W. P. Kinsella died last year at age 81, many laudatory obituaries politely noted that he had been the subject of controversy involving cultural appropriation in the 1980s. Critics, both white and Indigenous, had objected vociferously to Kinsella’s “Indian” stories, in which the writer used a first-person narrator to tell funny tales of reserve life that included bumbling white bureaucrats and native tricksters. (Read more from the Globe and Mail.)

Words Fly on Free-Speech Bill

Numerous states are considering legislation designed to ensure free speech on college campuses, following violent protests over speakers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Middlebury College. Some of the bills would, controversially, mandate punishing students who disrupt campus speakers and require institutions to keep mum on political issues—and perhaps nowhere has the debate been as contentious as in Wisconsin. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Student Rights and the Role of Faculty

Despite the few reasonable similarities between students and customers, it’s still a hair-raising comparison for most faculty. I wonder if we might look at the issue more constructively by considering it from the vantage of student rights. (Read more from Faculty Focus.)

For Robert Rauschenberg, No Artist Is an Island

We tend to think of artists as natural loners, off in their studios, wrestling with their inner selves. But Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends, which opens soon at the Museum of Modern Art, points us in a different direction. It situates Rauschenberg’s work amid that of two dozen fellow artists who provided an audience for one another in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s. (Read more from the New York Times.)

The Arts Brand

“Branding” is a somewhat confusing topic. Briefly, our “brand” is the public’s awareness and perception of our organizations and the goods and services we offer. It is the sum of their perceptions and experiences and is created by all the various parts of our organizations. (Read more from Barry’s Blog.)

Demystifying the Journal Article

One of the most important parts of professionalization is publishing your research. Much of what I’ve learned about publishing comes from submitting papers to journals, incorporating reviewer comments, workshopping papers, and having conversations with colleagues and mentors. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Artists’ Commissions, Tech Gift, and Guns: The Legal Issues Facing US Museums

What’s keeping museum lawyers up at night? The new future. That was the message at the annual meeting of over two hundred museum professionals and lawyers in Dallas. They discussed how to stay out of trouble when commissioning installation and performance art, how to prepare for changes to US tax law, and how best to collaborate with technology companies. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Filed under: CAA News

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

In Higher Ed, Adjuncts May Have Most to Lose if Obamacare Is Repealed

Perhaps no group working on college campuses had more at stake in last week’s vote in the US House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act than contingent faculty members. Full-time faculty and staff members can typically count on their institutions to provide health insurance, but most part-time professors are on their own. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Defying Trump, Bipartisan Deal Would Boost Funding for NEA and NEH (with Strings Attached)

Far from slashing or even zeroing the budgets for the NEA and NEH, a bipartisan budget agreement to avoid a government shutdown—which, at this writing, awaits final passage and President Trump’s signature—includes moderate increases culture-related institutions and programs. (Read more from CultureGrrl.)

The NEA Really Isn’t “Welfare for Rich, Liberal Élites”

Killing the NEA has long been a cause célèbre for budget hawks and social conservatives. But contrary to claims from Trump and Fox News, and to the insecurities of artists, the NEA is not a federal spigot for decadent city élites. Rather, its grant-making effectively spans the country and helps rural, not–New York, not-wealthy, Trump-friendly districts. (Read more from the New Yorker.)

Beyond Aesthetic: Art That Wills Change 

Last weekend, seven artists from around the world gathered in the Logan Center for the Arts to address a weighty question: “What Is an Artistic Practice of Human Rights?” Through a multiday summit that explored issues such as US criminal policies, the refugee crisis, and the hypocrisy of governments, the artists not only formed a community among themselves, but constructed a discourse with the audience. (Read more from the Chicago Maroon.)

Help Desk: The Penis Award

I am a midcareer (female) artist married to an established (male) artist. Throughout our relationship, I have endured innumerable comments and actions that validate my husband and cast me into the shadows. The sexism of the art world astounds me, but I’m not sure what I can do. (Read more from Daily Serving.)

Ten Art Schools That Promise a Healthy Return on Investment

A career in the arts is not generally thought of as a pathway to a great salary, job security and financial fortune. But where you go to school to get your degree can have an impact. With that in mind, Forbes examined a recent report from PayScale.com, a salary, benefits, and compensation information company based in Seattle. (Read more from Forbes.)

A Fair-Use Primer for Graduate Students

When I try to imagine what a Campbell’s Soup can looks like, I am not sure if what I see is the actual object or one of Andy Warhol’s famous works. These iconic cans, regardless of their importance to modern art and American history, are a tangle of popular culture, artistic expression, and copyright litigation, all of which knot around the concept of fair use. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Arts Groups on Edge as New York City Reevaluates Cultural Funding

 The elite, marble-arched museums of Manhattan never had to worry about competing for city money with the small-fry arts groups of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. But this two-tiered system of haves and have-nots is poised to undergo its biggest transformation in decades. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Filed under: CAA News

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

Top Twenty Most Vibrant Arts Communities in America

Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research has announced its third annual Arts Vibrancy Index, which ranks more than nine hundred communities across the country, examining the level of supply, demand, and government support for the arts in each city. (Read more from the National Center for Arts Research.)

What Other States Can Learn from Rhode Island’s Arts Incentives

While Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the country, it has become a powerhouse for attracting artists and art lovers to its shores. And the method by which state leaders have leveraged Rhode Island’s tax code to benefit the creative community could serve as a model for other states looking to cultivate a stronger arts economy. (Read more from Charleston City Paper.)

US Students Are Struggling in the Arts. Donald Trump’s Budget Would Make the Problem Worse

American teenagers are not excelling in the arts, and President Trump’s proposed budget cuts will likely make matters worse, experts say. The most recent results of a wide-ranging national educational assessment known as the Nation’s Report Card left significant room for improvement in the visual arts and music, the National Center for Education Statistics reported last week. (Read more from the Huffington Post.)

Want Happier Professors? Try Being Nice

When it comes to keeping tenured professors content in their jobs, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with big faculty-focused strategic initiatives. A new study has found that their organizational commitment hinged far more on whether they believed they worked in a caring, supportive environment than on their sense that administrators had undertaken broad efforts to support the faculty. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Frieze New York Gets Reframed for the Post-Truth Era

Reflecting director Victoria Siddall’s aim that Frieze, true to its editorial roots, should be “a place where art is made, discussed, and debated,” there will be protest in the air when the fair unfurls its serpentine white tent for its sixth edition in New York. Some galleries are using Frieze as a platform to respond to current events. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Wait—What Was That? History’s Bygone Art Movements

“Fame,” according to art critic Henry McBride, “is a most uncertain garment.” The same is true of art movements and labels. Some—Abstract Expressionism, for instance—are familiar to the average museumgoer. However, others that were at one time in the vanguard have slipped into the shadows and are now the province of art historians and other specialists. (Read more from ARTnews.)

Was Robert Rauschenberg the Con Man of Art? 

There’s a volubility about Rauschenberg’s visual imagination that is irreconcilable with the discipline art demands. However monumental or panoramic a work of art may be, there must always be some acknowledgment of the limits of the artist’s vision. There was something of the outrageousness of a Ponzi scheme in the way Rauschenberg took this or that avant-garde idea and inflated it—over and over again. (Read more from the New York Review of Books.)

How Big Is the Online Art Market?

Despite a relative slowdown in the global art market, the online art market grew by 15 percent, to $3.75 billion, last year, according to Robert Read, head of art and private clients for Hiscox. The online art market’s share of the total art market also grew last year, from 7.4 percent in 2015 to 8.4 percent. While that may seem small, it is roughly equivalent to ecommerce sales’ share of the total retail market, which reached 8.3 percent last year, according to the US census. (Read more from Artnet News.)

Filed under: CAA News

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

A Letter to Soon-to-Be Art School Graduates

You’re about to begin your career as artists. At this defining moment of transition, I’d like to offer five pieces of advice that I wish someone had shared with me when I graduated art school. (Read more from CERF+.)

Help Desk: Recommendations for References

I am often torn when applying for jobs, residencies, and grants when it comes to references. Is it better to list the names of people you do not know well but carry more name recognition, or to list the names of lesser-known people you know well and would give you a good reference? (Read more from Daily Serving.)

How Galleries Support Their Artists

Galleries have multiple roles, both visible and invisible: to incubate and support their artists, often by going above and beyond the normal work of putting on shows, promoting their artists, and selling the works; and to providing services such as financial management or book publishing, to help their artists focus more fully on their work. (Read more from Artsy.)

Group Shows Bring Together Works by Black Women Artists

Nearly forty years ago, CAA’s National Women’s Caucus for Art planned an exhibition featuring works by “Afro-American” women artists. Cocurated by Emily Martin and Tritobia Benjamin of Howard University, the show was to be presented at the 1979 Annual Conference in Washington, DC. (Read more from Culture Type.)

The Kids Are Right

Is it inherently misguided to suggest some speech ought to be restricted not by law but by informal rules? Is the space in the discourse that liberalism has granted to bigots emboldened by the Trump era a real problem or not? (Read more from Slate.)

Critique vs. Harassment

The visual arts sometimes involve painful critiques of student work, but the University of Central Florida has warned a well-known professor that he crossed the line into harassment with some salty comments allegedly directed at a female student in an advanced painting class. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

To Depoliticize Art, Trump Has to Do More Than End Federal Endowments

Shut up and go fund yourself. That’s President Trump’s message to arts organizations in his proposal for eliminating the NEA and NEH. CAA is not amused. Declaring “complete and total opposition” to the proposal, it offers toolkits to members to arm them for a fight. (Read more from the Federalist.)

Congressman to Appeal Removal of Art Showing Cops as Pigs, Citing Free Speech

A Missouri congressman is appealing a judge’s ruling in a long-simmering dispute involving a 19-year-old’s painting that shows policemen as pigs. The work was on display at the US Capitol as part of a student art competition and has outraged Republican Congressmen and the conservative media, who have branded the work “anti-police.” (Read more from Artnet News.)

Filed under: CAA News

CAA recently corresponded with Marc Handelman, an artist and assistant professor of visual arts for the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, about a new grassroots organization concerned with advocacy issues, called the Art Professors of America.

When and why did the Art Professors of America form? What are its goals?

A couple of dozen art professors from several schools in the Northeast came together in the wake of the election initially to discuss how we might respond to a right-wing campaign to blacklist liberal and progressive faculty by smearing them as un-American. Simultaneously, many of us were seeing a troubling uptick both of threats and attacks on Latino, Muslim, and LGBTQ students, and of anti-Semitism on campuses. Some of us were also experiencing increased feelings of anxiety and self-censorship. Most of all, we felt the urgency and need of being together and sharing our experiences as artists and educators and citizens. We decided to meet every two weeks in New York and continue the conversation. Because colleagues from around the country reached out to be part of the dialogue, we started an email group that now represents professors in well over a dozen states. We are currently working on expanding this network to all fifty states, welcoming art professors of all ranks and teaching status, including TAs and those between positions. Our primary goal right now is to be a platform that connects people nationally and shares critical information. Our latest project was the launch of our website that features news related to education in our political climate and a critical resource page.

What is the purpose of the advocacy resource APA is building?

There are many potential and actual threats that faculty are facing increasingly. Some of these issues begin at the state level, where funding for classes or entire programs are being cut due to their political content. Other issues range from online harassment to deceptively progressive legislation for free-speech protection on campus. Meanwhile, higher education in general continues to foster crippling student debt as institutions struggle to deal with increasing demands for greater diversity, inclusion, and equity. The resource page we launched and continue to build on modestly attempts to provide critical information and tools to help us deal with some of these problems, from distributing information about student loans for undocumented students to debt models in art education. Other items provide online security protocol and consent laws for recording in classrooms. Some of the categories include Censorship and Intimidation, Critical Pedagogy, Alternative Art Programs, Debt and Precarity, Sanctuary and Immigration, and Legal Resources, among others.

Where do the resources come from?

Nearly all of the content already exists online in some form, from other organizations and studies. Populating the website was an extensive three-month process of collecting information and links and aggregating them in these categories. We have been so grateful to other working groups and colleagues for sharing their resources as well.

What are the most urgent issues confronting art professors in the United States today?

Clearly we don’t assume to speak for every program. But in the immediate context, the travel ban and ICE deportations may have the most immediate effects on our students, faculty, and visiting artists. Academic freedom has been under various levels of threat for a long time, and it remains to be seen how deeply and broadly new threats develop. But economic precarity and inequality remain the most pressing structural issue in education both for art schools and the larger university system. This affects part-time adjuncts who, already underpaid, are increasingly asked to do things such as decrease their course loads so as not to trigger contingent benefits, the end of tenured lines, and students who suffer under crippling debt or have no access to higher education at all. Critical and progressive curricula can’t make up for the undergirded issues of access, which are directly tied to geography, race, and class.

Under this current political regime, arts faculty may actually have a greater deal of security than professors and departments researching and teaching social justice, antiracism, and climate change. We need to continually find ways to support our colleagues in other fields.

How can CAA members get involved?

We welcome new arts-affiliated adjuncts, TAs, and professors into our organization and dialogue—the more voices represented, the better. Members will have access to group documents and files, as well as The Story Collection Project, which shares and archives testimonials and stories about what is happening in different corners of our campuses and in classrooms across the country. Meanwhile, the Art Profs America website, offering news, links, and resources, is live and available to anyone online. Please feel free to share with other colleagues as well. You can visit us, or join at http://artprofsamerica.com.

To request to join the discussion, please visit https://groups.google.com/d/forum/art-profs-america. You may also follow APA on Twitter.

Filed under: Advocacy, Higher Education, Teaching

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

The More Things Change

Pay for full-time faculty members rose 2.6 percent this academic year over last, according to “Visualizing Change,” the American Association of University Professors’ Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession. But professors shouldn’t get too excited: adjusted for inflation, that amounts to just 0.5 percent. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

A New Site Is Helping High-Quality Creatives Find Work—and Get Paid

Easle is a freshly launched online platform that aims to connect high-quality creatives with reliable clients across the globe. Through an algorithm, the site helps match creatives with jobs that are well suited to their skills and then facilitates the logistics of paperwork and payment. (Read more from Artsy.)

A Syllabus for Making Work about Race as a White Artist in America

Many white-identified students, artists, and art workers feel stuck in that racial construct. They are nervous to tread into any conversation about race and avoid the question. But what about those who identify as white and still want to make works rich with social and historical narrative? (Read more from Hyperallergic.)

Donated Slides from the Met Get a Second Life

It is definitely a digital-age question: What to do with old-fashioned color slides of all-but-forgotten visits to see Grandma or department store Santas? Year after year, they lie in their boxes on a shelf, no longer looked at. The Metropolitan Museum of Art faced the same question on a much larger scale. It had thousands of 35mm slides, showing everything from close-ups of Manets and Monets to wide-angle shots of the galleries. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Designed for Social Change

Though “spatial justice” is often thought of as an enterprise in the public realm, like the construction of parks and community centers, it’s not as frequently addressed in the private realm. Because housing is essential to well-being, the architect Dana McKinney hopes to eventually create spaces that promote not just equality, but equity. (Read more from the Harvard Gazette.)

Bringing Respect to the Craft Artist

Giving lesser-known artists visibility is key to the mission of the Craft and Folk Art Museum, says executive director Suzanne Isken, whose institution has an annual operating budget of about $730,000. Which is why a $25,000 grant from the NEA has been so crucial for the Los Angeles museum to stage its current exhibition, Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California. (Read more from the Los Angeles Times.)

Publishers and Open-Resource Advocates Square Off on the Future of Course Content

At a friendly yet spirited debate last month over the pros and cons of open educational resources, publishers and open-access advocates agreed on at least one thing—the “old” textbook market is broken. But that’s pretty much where the common ground ended. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Pedagogic Approaches to Teaching with Art in the Sciences

When dealing with courses in the hard and life sciences, we approach engagement with art differently. Founded on the types of interactions with the collection that STEM faculty tend to request and on the recent pedagogic emphasis on active, inquiry-based learning that also touches on the creative aspects of science, we distinguish four kinds of interactions with art: skill-building, thematic, problem-based, and dispositional. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

Filed under: CAA News

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

Artists Are Luring Their Peers and Predecessors Out of Obscurity and Back into the Spotlight

Beyond the economy of galleries, fairs, and auction rooms, there is an alternative artist-to-artist network rooted in relationships based on aesthetic influences and mutual appreciation. In recent years, artists with some degree of success and visibility have gone out of their way to bring attention to lesser-known peers and predecessors. (Read more from ARTnews.)

Eleven Female Art Professors and Teachers on Their Favorite Women Artists

Continuing the Cut’s series celebrating women in the arts and expanding on the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ social-media campaign to get their followers to name #5WomenArtists, New York has asked female art professors and teachers to name the woman artist they admire the most. (Read more from New York.)

How Art Has Depicted the Ideal Male Body throughout History

In the history of masculinity, it is money rather than muscle that tends to be articulated. Class or status has been the determining factor in the defining of male exemplars. Be it in the East or West, the epitome of a handsome man has generally been an idealized version of an upper-class individual, an archetype that has itself changed over time. (Read more from Artsy.)

Art History’s Image Problem 

“If you are going to study sixteenth-century French art, more power to you. I support the arts … but you are not going to get a job,” declared Sam Clovis, Donald Trump’s campaign cochair in an interview last May. Clovis was outlining the would-be president’s education policy, and art history served as a prime example of the kind of major that student loans, he argued, should not underwrite. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

More Vibrant Tales of Obsolete Pigments

After its first installment on obsolete pigments, Hyperallergic had only hit the tip of the curious history of vanished colors. Below are a few more pigments that have mostly gone out of favor, due to them being hazardous to the health of their manufacturers or artists, having a shortage of their weird material, or advances in technology replacing them with synthetics. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)

How a Browser Extension Could Shake Up Academic Publishing

The Gates Foundation started its own open-access publishing platform, which the European Commission may replicate. The Open Access Button, a tool that helps researchers gain free access to articles, will be integrated into existing interlibrary-loan arrangements. Another initiative, called Unpaywall, is a simple browser extension that could help alter the status quo of scholarly publishing. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Understanding Our Strengths and Weaknesses as Teachers

Every teacher has strengths and weaknesses. Have you ever tried to list yours? Doing so is a worthwhile activity. I’d recommend doing it in private with a favorite libation—only one, because there is a need to be thoughtful and honest. (Read more from Faculty Focus.)

Interviewing for New Hires

Because our organizations are small, vertical promotion is often difficult, if not impossible. Today, it is more common for younger people to  expect to have multiple jobs at an ever earlier stage of their careers. Finding the right people for open positions in a highly competitive job market is critical to our success as organizations. (Read more from Barry’s Blog.)

Filed under: CAA News

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

Live Drawing Videos on Instagram Are Giving Users a Peek into the Creative Process

With the capability to create and share livestreams, sixty-second videos, and Stories, creatives have a new world of opportunity to demystify artmaking, to facilitate virtual studio visits, and to grow their followings. Moreover, artists can set themselves up for commissions and projects—and drawing is proving to be a ripe medium through which to accomplish this. (Read more from Artsy.)

The Exhilarating Return

Having recently returned from my own sabbatical, I wonder whether there are some downsides to the sabbatical’s luster—in particular, the larger view that it obscures. In our efforts to reverence sabbatical, we may fail to give proper due to its mighty counterpart, the return. This is a mistake. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

The Community-College Side Hustle

“Side hustle” is a term I had never heard until a few months ago, and now suddenly I’m seeing it everywhere, most recently in an advertisement for Uber drivers. It refers to having a second source of income in addition to one’s main job. That’s a concept professors have embraced, probably ever since there have been professors. (Read more from Vitae.) 

The Art of “No”

Early in my career, I struggled to say no. I was asked to serve on committee after committee, to evaluate fistfuls of manuscripts and grants, and to perform dozens of other tasks, large and small. I said yes, often because of genuine interest but other times out of a sense of guilt or obligation—and sometimes out of fear of reprisal if I refused. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Penn Museum Shows Artifacts Curators Are Fighting to Save in Syria and Iraq

Many American museums have been closely monitoring the ongoing destruction of heritage sites in Syria and Iraq, but few have had boots on the ground. Curators and researchers at the Penn Museum have been on the frontlines of the battle to safeguard cultural heritage in conflict zones; they recently organized an exhibition illustrating how high the stakes are. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

A Hushed Departure at the Met Museum Reveals Entrenched Management Culture

The recent discovery of a looming $40 million deficit that forced the Metropolitan Museum of Art to cut staff, trim its exhibition schedule, and postpone a heralded $600 million expansion are signs that the system is showing cracks. Now, details about dysfunction in the digital-media department reveal additional consequences of the museum turning a blind eye to problems. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Paper Warping When Painting with Acrylics

When water is applied to paper, the fibers can soak up liquid and expand. This may create the infamous buckles and cockles that can be the bane—or joy—of those who paint with water media. (Read more from Just Paint.)

Was Banksy Caught on Camera at a Mall in Israel?

Several British tabloids ran stories last weekend showing footage captured with a mobile phone camera by an anonymous woman who claims to have caught the elusive Bristol-born artist in action, working on a show that’s slated to open to the public inside a mall in Herzlyia, Israel. (Read more from Artnet News.) 

Filed under: CAA News

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

Women’s Movement Impacts Spending on Art Supplies

The week before the Women’s March, sales of poster boards in the US were up 33 percent and foam boards by 42 percent versus the same week last year. Sales of easel pads/flip charts also grew, as did tools used to assist in making the poster messages, including paint markers, specialty markers, and permanent markers. (Read more from NPD Group.)

Gender Gap Persists at Largest Museums

When the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art steps down in June, the top job at the biggest art museum in the US will be up for grabs. A woman faces long odds of landing that job, to judge from a study from the Association of Art Museum Directors. “The Ongoing Gender Gap in Art Museum Directorships” shows that just one of the nation’s thirteen largest museums is led by a woman. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Meet Art Girl Army, a Group of Female Creatives Fighting for Equal Opportunity

When Sydney Lowe invited a few girlfriends over to her small Brooklyn apartment in 2014, she didn’t know she was starting an army. Today she is the founder of Art Girl Army, a fast-growing collective of women creatives—including those who are gender nonconforming, transgender, and genderqueer—who make art, films, graphics, and music. And while they might not be armed with weapons, they certainly have missions. (Read more from Artsy.)

Seeking Grants: More Than Money

The need to succeed at getting grants is a continuing part of faculty life at research institutions. Watching the process leaves some graduate students and postdocs convinced that they want no part of it. The stakes seem so high. But bringing in outside funding is the only way to sustain an independent research-driven career in an academic setting. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Virtual Reality in the Art-History Classroom

I recently become fascinated with virtual reality and the realism I experience by viewing through a small boxlike device—in this case, Google Cardboard. I wondered if there could be connections made between virtual reality and my art-history survey course for students at Mount Saint Mary College. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

The American Government Is Searching for Its Own Lost Art

They are not America’s art police. There are no midnight raids, covert surveillance, or undercover operations. Most everything is done through cordial emails, polite phone calls, and, if necessary, civil court. While glamour is not top priority, make no mistake—the United States government wants its art back. (Read more from Atlas Obscura.)

Art Attack: Why Do People Try to Destroy Museum Masterpieces?

On March 18, a man “with no fixed abode” slashed Thomas Gainsborough’s The Morning Walk with a screwdriver at London’s National Gallery. He was quickly detained and the damage appears to be fixable—the paint was cut, but the screwdriver did not pierce the supporting canvas. Conservators are brilliant surgeons, and the scars should be invisible by the time they are done. (Read more from Salon.)

Dealing with Disrupters

As obstructionist protests of controversial speakers spread, some say the future of the trend depends on how colleges and universities respond—namely what, if any, disciplinary action they take against participants. But just what action to take, and when, is tricky business. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Filed under: CAA News