posted by Linda Downs
CAA hosted its 103rd Annual Conference from February 11 to 14, 2015, at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. This year’s program included four days of presentations and panel discussions on art history and visual culture, Career Services for professionals at all stages of their careers, a Book and Trade Fair, and a host of special events throughout the region. Preceding the Annual Conference was CAA’s third THATCamp, an “unconference” on digital art and art history.
Over 5,000 people from throughout the United States and abroad—including artists, art historians, students, educators, curators, critics, collectors, and museum staff—attended the conference. Visual-arts professionals from over 54 countries were represented.
Conference sessions featured presentations by artists, scholars, graduate students, and curators who addressed a range of topics in art history and the visual arts. In total, the conference offered over 200 sessions, developed by CAA members, affiliated societies, and committees. Approximately 800 individuals presented their work.
Career Services included four days of mentoring and portfolio-review sessions, professional-development workshops, and job interviews with colleges, universities, and other art institutions. Approximately 200 interviewees and 50 mentors participated in Career Services. During the week of the Annual Conference, there were over 150 active jobs posted on the Online Career Center and more than 50 employers participating onsite.
Book and Trade Fair
This year’s Book and Trade Fair presented 155 exhibitors—including participants from the United States, France, Turkey, China, Canada, Italy, Russia, and Ukraine—that displayed new publications, materials for artists, digital resources, and other innovative products of interest to artists, scholars, and arts enthusiasts. The Book and Trade Fair also featured book signings, lectures, and demonstrations, as well as three exhibitor-sponsored program sessions on art materials and publishing.
ARTspace, a “conference within the conference” tailored to the needs and interests of practicing artists, presented programming that was free and open to the public, including this year’s Annual Distinguished Artist Interviews with William Pope.L, who spoke to Jenny Schlenzka of MoMA PS1, and Ursula von Rydingsvard, who conversed with Mark Stevens. Over 200 people attended this lively event.
ARTspace also featured four days of panel discussions devoted to visual-arts practice, opportunities for professional development, and screenings of film and video.
ARTexchange, an open-portfolio event in which CAA artist members displayed drawings, prints, photographs, small paintings, and works on laptop computers, took place on Friday, February 13. Nearly 40 artists participated in ARTexchange this year.
The Media Lounge, a space for innovative new-media programming in conjunction with ARTspace, focused on the theme of “alternative economies.” These programs are considered models of social, cultural, and technological economies that transform changing conditions for critical discourse and art making. “Alternative economies” aimed to create a platform that brought together artists, art collectives, new-media practitioners, video artists, film curators, academics, creative thinkers, economists, writers, and activists, with the aspiration to create a space to reflect on intersections of art, culture, and new-media technologies.
Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge
The Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge served as a hub for networking, information-sharing, collaboration, professional development, and much more. The Student and Emerging Professionals Committee hosted an incredibly informative session on “Teaching Professional Practices in the Arts” to a packed audience; five Brown Bag Sessions with attendance ranging from 25 to 80; a successful social night; and two days of Mock Interviews at full capacity.
Distinguished Scholar Session
Robert Farris Thompson, professor of the history of art at Yale University, was CAA’s 2015 Distinguished Scholar. Grey Gundaker of the College of William and Mary chaired the session, and five additional participants—Charles Daniel Dawson, Wyatt MacGaffey, Rowland Abiodun, Leslie King-Hammond, and Lowery Stokes Sims—joined her in exploring and celebrating Thompson’s many contributions.
Convocation and Awards
More than 500 people attended CAA’s Convocation and presentation of the annual 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. Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, opened Convocation with a short talk, and Dave Hickey delivered the keynote address.
The recipients of the 2015 awards were:
Charles Rufus Morey Book Award
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
“Jan van Eyck, Canon Joris van der Paele, and the Art of Commemoration”
The Art Bulletin, September 2014
Art Journal Award
Art Journal, Winter 2014
Distinguished Feminist Award
University of Southern California
Distinguished Teaching of Art Award
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: Gridwork 1974–1989
Studio Museum in Harlem
Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement
CAA/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation
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)
Following Convocation, the Museum of Modern Art hosted CAA’s Opening Reception on Wednesday evening, February 11. Over 500 attendees gathered to celebrate the conference while enjoying a stroll through the museum’s permanent collections.
CAA Travel Grant in Memory of Archibald Cason Edwards, Senior, and Sarah Stanley Gordon Edwards
Established by Mary D. Edwards with the help of others, the CAA Travel Grant in Memory of Archibald Cason Edwards, Senior, and Sarah Stanley Gordon Edwards will support women who are emerging scholars at either an advanced stage of pursuing a doctoral degree (ABD) or who have received their PhD within the two years prior to the submission of the application. Julia Louise Langbein of Oxford University delivered her paper “Caricature and Comic Spectacle at the Paris Salon (1857–1880)” in the “Comic Modern” session. and Kristine Tanton of the University of California, Los Angeles, participated in a panel on “Biblical Archetypes in the Middle Ages,” presenting a talk called “Looking onto Galilee: The Narthex Tribune at Vézelay.”
CAA-Getty International Travel Grant Program
In an effort to promote greater interaction and exchange between American and international art historians, CAA brought 15 scholars from around the world to participate in the Annual Conference. This is the fourth year of the program, which has been generously funded by grants from the Getty Foundation since its inception.
The CAA-Getty International Program participants’ activities began with a one-day preconference colloquium on international issues in art history, during which they met with North American–based CAA members to discuss common interests and challenges. The participants were assisted throughout the conference by CAA member hosts, who recommended relevant panel sessions and introduced them to colleagues who share their interests. Members of CAA’s International Committee served as hosts, along with representatives from several CAA affiliated societies, including the American Council for Southern Asian Art, the Arts Council of the African Studies Association, the Association for Latin American Art, the Society of Contemporary Art Historians, and the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasia, and Russian Art and Architecture.
This program has increased international participation in CAA’s activities and expanded international networking and the exchange of ideas both during and after the conference.
The recipients were: Mokammal H. Bhuiyan, Dafne Cruz Porchini, Boureima Tiékoroni Diamitani, Ljerka Dulibić, Georgina Gluzman, Angelo Kakande, Nazar Kozak, Savita Kumari, Nomusa Makhubu, Ana Mannarino, Márton Orosz, Andrey Shabanov, Shao Yiyang, Lize van Robbroeck, and Nóra Veszprémi.
Other Exciting Highlights
CAA published the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. This Code of Best Practices provides visual-arts professionals with a set of principles addressing the fair use of copyrighted materials. It describes how fair use can be invoked and implemented when using copyrighted materials in scholarship, teaching, museums, and archives and in the creation of art. The Code’s authors, Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi of American University, presented the document to conference attendees as part of a panel discussion organized by CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property.
Board of Directors Update
Results of the Board of Directors election were announced on February 13, 2015, during the Annual Members’ Business Meeting. The new directors are:
- Jawshing Arthur Liou, professor of digital art and the director of the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts at Indiana University, Bloomington
- Chika Okeke-Agulu, associate professor of art history in the Department of Art and Archaeology and Center for African American Studies, Princeton University
- Rachel Weiss, professor of arts administration and policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
- Andrés Mario Zervigón, associate professor of the history of photography and acting chair of the Art History Department at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
They will take office at the next board meeting in May 2015.
Jim Hopfensperger of Western Michigan University was voted onto the board for a one-year term.
The CAA board also approved:
- New guidelines developed by the Professional Practices Committee on Fine Art Print Publications for Artists
- A Task Force on Advocacy, which will be chaired by Jacqueline Francis, associate professor at California College of the Arts, to address part-time faculty, diversity, and the interaction of artists and art historians in the public sphere
- A Task Force on the Annual Conference, to be led by Suzanne Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Art at Harvard University, to develop recommendations for changes that will adapt to the changing needs of the field
- The three-year reviews of the Services to Artists Committee, the International Committee, and the Committee on Women in the Arts
New board officers were elected:
- John Richardson, Vice President for External Affairs
- Charles Wright, Vice President for Committees
- Suzanne Blier, Vice President for Annual Conference
- Gail Feigenbaum, Vice President for Publications
- Doralynn Pines, Secretary
CAA would like to welcome two new affiliated societies:
Members of CAA’s Board of Directors and staff would like to extend their gratitude to all conference funders and sponsors, attendees, volunteers, and participants; the organization’s committees and award juries; the New York Hilton Midtown staff; the museums and galleries that opened their doors to conference attendees free of charge; and everyone else involved in helping to make the 103rd Annual Conference such a tremendous success!
A warm thanks to the following for their generous support of CAA:
- Alberta College of Art and Design
- Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
- Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
- Art in America
- Blick Art Materials
- Getty Foundation
- Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Arts
- Laurence King Publishing
- McVicker and Higginbotham
- Museum of Modern Art
- National Committee for the History of Art
- National Endowment for the Arts
- Richmond University
- Samuel H. Kress Foundation
- Terra Foundation for American Art
- Wyeth Foundation for American Art
- Yale University Press
Save the Date
CAA’s 104th Annual Conference will be held in Washington, DC, February 3–6, 2016.
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, websites, and other events. CAA focuses on a wide range of 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.