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CAA News Today

Honorees this year include Howardena Pindell, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Anna C. Chave, Senga Nengudi, Nancy S. Steinhardt, Edward Sullivan, Molly Nesbit, and many other scholars, artists, authors, and teachers

CAA Annual Conference, New York City, February 13-16, 2019

CAA is pleased to announce the recipients and finalists of the 2019 Awards for Distinction. Awardees this year were chosen from a pool of scholars, artists, teachers, and authors who are constantly pushing our understanding of the visual arts. The CAA Awards for Distinction are presented during Convocation at the CAA Annual Conference on Wednesday, February 13 at 6:00 PM at the New York Hilton Midtown. The CAA Annual Conference runs from February 13-16, 2019.

Howardena Pindell. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery.

Among the winners this year is Howardena Pindell, recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement. Pindell studied painting at Boston University and received her MFA from Yale University. Since 1979, she has been a professor of painting and conceptual drawing at SUNY Stony Brook University. Pindell is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, and a Studio Museum in Harlem Artist Award. In 1990, CAA awarded her the Most Distinguished Body of Work or Performance Award. Pindell’s work is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, among many others.

Ursula von Rydingsvard. Photo: Zack Garlitos

Ursula von Rydingsvard is the winner of the 2019 Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work. Von Rydingsvard is best known for her unmistakable towering sculptures with mountainous topographic surfaces created from carved cedar wood. She has also explored other mediums in her work, such as bronze, paper, and resin. Over an artistic career spanning more than forty years, Von Rydingsvard’s work has been in solo exhibitions at Galerie Lelong, SCAD Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Dieu Donné. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and is in the permanent collections of more than thirty museums. She is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center, the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, and an Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among other awards and recognitions.

The Award for Excellence in Diversity recognizes the work of an individual or organization in the visual arts whose commitment to inclusion in scholarship or practice stands out as groundbreaking and unifying. The winner of the Award for Excellence in Diversity for 2019 is the Chicano Studies Research Center at UCLA. The work of the center entails five distinct areas: a library, an academic press, collaborative research projects, public programs and community partnerships, and a grant and fellowship program.

Each year, CAA awards two Distinguished Feminist Awards, one to a visual artist and one to a scholar. The two winners for 2019 are Senga Nengudi for visual artist, and Anna C. Chave for scholar.

The full list of 2019 CAA Awards for Distinction Recipients

Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work

Ursula von Rydingsvard

Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement

Howardena Pindell

Distinguished Teaching of Art Award

Susanne Slavick

Distinguished Feminist Award—Visual Artist

Senga Nengudi

Distinguished Feminist Award—Scholar

Anna C. Chave

Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award

Nancy S. Steinhardt

Edward Sullivan

Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art

Molly Nesbit

Award for Excellence in Diversity

Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC)

Charles Rufus Morey Book Award

Zeynep Çelik Alexander
Kinaesthetic Knowing: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Modern Design
University of Chicago Press, 2017

Finalists

Olga Bush
Reframing the Alhambra: Architecture, Poetry, Textiles and Court Ceremonial of Mankind
Edinburgh University Press, 2018

Linda Kim
Race Experts: Sculpture, Anthropology, and the American Public in Malvina Hoffman’s Races
University of Nebraska Press, 2018

Carolyn Yerkes
Drawing after Architecture
Princeton University Press, 2017

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award

Wendy Kaplan
Design in California and Mexico 1915–1985: Found in Translation
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2017

Finalists

Jeffrey Spier and Timothy Potts
Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World
J. Paul Getty Trust, 2018

Christophe Cherix
Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions 1965–2016
Museum of Modern Art, 2018

Naoko Takahatake and Jonathan Bober
The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2018

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Andrea Giunta, and Rodrigo Alonso
Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985
Hammer Museum, University of California, 2017

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions

Andrew C. Weislogel and Andaleeb Badiee Banta
Lines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt’s Etchings
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 2017

Finalists

Patrick A. Polk, Roberto Conduru, Sabrina Gledhill, and Randal Johnson
Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis
Fowler Museum at UCLA, 2018

Antonio Sergio Bessa and Jessamyn Fiore
Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect
Bronx Museum of Art, 2017

Mark Sloan
Fahamu Pecou: Visible Man
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, 2016

Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism

Julia Bryan-Wilson
Fray: Art + Textile Politics
University of Chicago Press, 2017

Rebecca M. Schreiber
The Undocumented Everyday: Migrant Lives and the Politics of Visibility
University of Minnesota Press, 2018

Art Journal Award

Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra
“Beyond Evil: Politics, Ethics, and Religion in Léon Ferrari’s Illustrated Nunca más
Art Journal, Fall 2018

Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize

Nathan T. Arrington
“Touch and Remembrance in Greek Funerary Art”
The Art Bulletin, September 2018

CAA/AIC Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation

Karl S. Buchberg

Jodi Hauptman

Learn about the juries that select the recipients of the CAA Awards for Distinction.

Contacts

Nick Obourn, Director of Communications, Marketing, and Membership
nobourn@collegeart.org, 212-392-4401

Joelle Te Paske, Media and Content Manager
jtepaske@collegeart.org, 212-392-4426

IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

Hashtags: #CAA2019 #CAANYC

Member Spotlight: Renata Holod

posted by December 18, 2018

Renata Holod is College of Women Class of 1963 Term Professor in the Humanities, at the History of Art Department, and Curator, Near East Section, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, at the University of Pennsylvania. She has carried out archaeological and architectural fieldwork in Syria, Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Central Asia, Tunisia, and Ukraine, and is the author of numerous books and essays.

CAA media and content manager Joelle Te Paske corresponded recently with Professor Holod to learn more about what she’s working on.

Joelle Te Paske: Thank you for taking the time, Professor. So to begin, where are you from originally?

Renata Holod: I was born in Ukraine, and grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and then Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

I have a BA in Islamic Studies from the University of Toronto; a MA from University of Michigan in the History of Art, and my PhD from Harvard in Fine Arts.

JTP: What led you to the work you do now?

RH: My work on projects varies in date and methodology, from archaeology (I worked in Syria, and Tunisia), to architectural and regional history of different periods and locations (including fourteenth- to fifteenth-century architecture, settings and cities in greater Iran, and contemporary architecture from Morocco to Indonesia), to work on objects and collections (ceramics, the late Ottoman painter Osman Hamdi Bey). I get bored quickly.

JTP: You’ve been a CAA member for over 40 years. How has the field changed?

RH: There are many more practitioners in my particular field. In fact, it is no longer one field, but could be divided into regional and temporal sub-fields. There is much more theorization, and also expanded archival work (e.g. Ottoman archives), and now digital humanities, etc.

JTP: What is the most exciting part of your work currently?

RH: Studying unpublished objects, and redoing the galleries and publishing the Middle East collection for the later periods (Parthian through the nineteenth century) at the Penn Museum.

JTP: A favorite exhibition or study you’ve worked on over the years?

RH: Whichever one is currently being submitted.

JTP: What is your top recommendation for our readers?

RH: Network Theory and its application; see the work of my former student, Yael Rice on Mughal workshops, as well as the work of Johannes Preiser-Kappeler (Vienna).

JTP: What is a favorite memory from a CAA conference?

RH: Seeing my former students give papers; and meeting my former classmates.

JTP: Thank you, Professor Holod.

Renata Holod is College of Women Class of 1963 Term Professor in the Humanities, at the History of Art Department, and Curator, Near East Section, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, at the University of Pennsylvania. She has carried out archaeological and architectural fieldwork in Syria, Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Central Asia, Tunisia, and Ukraine. She is co-author of City in the Desert: Qasr al- Hayr East (1978); Architecture and Community: Building in the Islamic World Today (1983); The Mosque and the Modern World (1997); The City in the Islamic World (2008) and An Island Through Time: Jerba Studies (2009). She was recently part of the team redoing the Middle East galleries at the Penn Museum, with a special issue of Expedition magazine and a new handbook as well. Her most recent articles are: “Approaching the Mosque: Birth and Evolution” in The World of the Mosque: Magnificent Designs (New York: Rizzoli, 2017) 14-21, and “Jerba in the 3rd/9th century CE: Under Aghlabi Control?” in The Aghlabids & their Neighbors: Art & Material Culture in Ninth-Century North Africa, Glaire D. Anderson, Corisande Fenwick, and Mariam Rosser-Owen, eds. (Leiden: Brill, HdO series, 2017), 451- 469. On several international advisory and editorial boards, she has also served as President, Board of Trustees at The Ukrainian Museum in NYC, 2013-2017.

Meet the 2018 CAA Campus Ambassadors

posted by December 05, 2018

Launched this fall, the CAA Ambassador Program is now in full swing. CAA Ambassadors are representing the organization in New York and Chicago and giving presentations to their fellow classmates and students in nearby schools. Meet the inaugural class of ambassadors below.

Interested in becoming a future CAA Ambassador? Learn more here.

Rikki Byrd

Rikki Byrd is a writer, educator and scholar, with research interests in Black studies, visual culture, fashion history and cultural studies. Her research has appeared at Art Basel: Miami and has been published or is forthcoming in various academic journals and books. She has also written for Teen Vogue, Art.sy, and Hyperallergic, among several other media outlets. She has lectured and participated in panel discussions with Google and The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Parsons School of Design, Junior High! in Los Angeles and Saint Louis Art Museum. Most recently, Rikki was a faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and the African and African American Studies department. She is currently a PhD student in African American Studies at Northwestern University. 

J. English Cook

J. English Cook is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, where she specializes in intersections between architecture, cinema, and urban theory. Her dissertation examines the impact of cinema on the postwar spread of phenomenology, particularly as expressed in architects’ re-articulation of notions of spatial experience. She previously received an MA with distinction from the Institute of Fine Arts and a BA with highest honors from Williams College. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, she is currently the Graduate Curatorial Assistant at the Grey Art Gallery, NYU, and has worked as a Curatorial Assistant in Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum, Atlanta, and as the Commissioner’s Assistant for the US Pavilion at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale. She has produced performances at Momentum Worldwide, a time-based media gallery in Berlin, and has interned in curatorial departments at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Williams College Museum of Art.

Rebecca Pollack

Rebecca Pollack is a doctoral candidate in art history at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her dissertation “Contextualizing British Holocaust Memorials and Museums: Form, Content, Politics,” examines the publicly funded Holocaust commemorative projects in Britain. She currently holds fellowships from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Jewish Studies Center at the CUNY Graduate Center, and the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art.  

Mia Rubin

Mia Rubin is a recent Parsons School of Design graduate. Mia is the Events and Conference Programming Intern at CAA and one of CAA’s newest ambassadors. She will assist with planning the Annual Conference. Mia will help organize pre-conference workshops, key conversation panels, events for students, and museum tours. She will research and help develop workshops and programs throughout the year.  

Urooj Shakeel

Urooj Shakeel is a graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Master of Arts in Arts Administration & Policy program. She is also the Leadership Investment and Communications Field Fellow at The Field Foundation of Illinois. Currently, Urooj is working on her thesis project and is designing a library exchange box in the shape of a Pakistani truck that is painted in the traditional art form known as Truck Art. This project examines activating public space for educative functions on Chicago’s Devon Avenue for preadolescents. As a leader, Urooj also serves on the SAIC Graduate Advisory Panel, working closely with the Graduate Dean’s Office to bring attention to graduate student interests through information sharing and problem solving. She earned her BS in Marketing and BA in Art History from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

We are pleased to welcome Elizabeth Hill Boone, Professor of History of Art and Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art at Tulane University, as the 2019 CAA Distinguished Scholar.

The Distinguished Scholar Session honoring Elizabeth Boone will take place Thursday, February 14, 2019, from 4-5:30 PM.

An expert in the Precolumbian and early colonial art of Latin America with an emphasis on Mexico, Professor Boone is the former Director of Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks and recipient of numerous honors and fellowships, including the Order of the Aztec Eagle, awarded by the Mexican government in 1990.

CAA media and content manager Joelle Te Paske corresponded with her recently to learn her thoughts on art history, scholarship, and challenges in the field. Read their interview below.

Photo: Paula Burch, Tulane University

Joelle Te Paske: Thanks for taking the time to speak with CAA. So, where are you from originally?

Elizabeth Hill Boone: Coming from a military family rooted in Virginia, I moved from coast to coast often as a child and then attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia for my BA.

JTP: What pathways led you to the work you do now?

EHB: It was at William and Mary, where I was a Fine Arts major. The sculpture professor Carl Roseberg offered a course, Ancient Art, that included a three-week section on the Pre-Columbian Americas. He showed us and presented the then-canonical explanation of the monumental “Coatlicue” sculpture from Aztec Mexico, and I was immensely intrigued. I wondered what kind of mind would conceptualize and carve a work like that as its creator or mother goddess. That question led me into Aztec studies, which took me to the University of Texas at Austin for my PhD, and to Aztec painted books, where similar images were to be found. I became a manuscript specialist because I needed to understand what the manuscript paintings meant, how they related to the Coatlicue, why they came to fill those particular pages. Since the field of Mexican manuscript painting was in its infancy, I left the Coatlicue behind to focus on the other manuscript genres and Mexican pictography as a system. My study of Mexican pictography naturally led me to the issue of how the concept of Writing should be broadened.

JTP: What are you working on currently?

EHB: I am now finishing up a book analyzing the corpus of pictorial manuscripts created in the early colonial period to document the ideologies and practices of Aztec culture. United by their decendency from Mexican pictography, these painted reflections of the Aztec past were re-purposed to inform Europeans principally about Aztec religion, as weapons of conversion and aids for colonial administrators.

JTP: What is your favorite part of the work you do?

EHB: I think most art historians love solving mysteries: discovering connections and uncovering histories and contexts. I want to understand what an object meant to its different audiences at the time of its creation, and also what it can tell us now about our own perspectives. Depending on the object, it can also be rewarding and telling to track its reception and reconceptualization through time.

Coatlicue Statue in National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. Photo: Antony Stanley

JTP: If you could boil your teaching philosophy down to a central idea, what would it be?

EHB: My goal is to excite students about the potentials of visual expression. This means giving them knowledge of the material such that they can understand its cultural context and power, but also showing the students how the objects speak today as works of art.

JTP: What’s exciting to you right now in the field?

EHB: Globalism. The discipline has broken the confines that once centered it in Western Europe and is now focusing on connections between peoples. Centers of discourse are now shifting toward the larger Atlantic world, the Pacific world, the Silk Road, and the trans-Mediterranean/African network, to name just a few. It is opening up new ways of understanding the meaning and agency of art.

JTP: What do you see as the greatest challenges in the field right now?

EHB: I see two challenges. The first and most important is relevance. Art history must articulate why it matters in these times. As graphic communication (communication that is not oral or gestural) becomes even more the principal form of communication between people, the discipline needs to assert its place as a source of theoretical knowledge and of models for investigative practice.

The second challenge is linked to the increasing study of trans-cultural connections. Scholars who seek to follow the movement of objects and ideas across spaces and between cultures need to develop strong local knowledge of all participants, so that these global connections are grounded in area expertise. In order to avoid facile comparisons and connections, researchers now have to master multiple areas.

JTP: Have you attended CAA conferences? Do you have a favorite memory?

EHB: I have attended many. Perhaps my favorite memories are of cross-cultural sessions that focus on issues relevant to many cultures, for example, civic identity, and in which the presenters push their material to address the large question in a serious way.

JTP: Thank you, Professor Boone. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the 2019 conference.

REGISTER FOR CAA 2019

Elizabeth Hill Boone is Professor of History of Art and Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art at Tulane University. An expert in the Precolumbian and early colonial art of Latin America with an emphasis on Mexico, she is the former Director of Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. Professor Boone has earned numerous honors and fellowships, including the Order of the Aztec Eagle, awarded by the Mexican government in 1990. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Member of the Academia Mexicana de la Historia. Her research interests range from the history of collecting to systems of writing and notation, and are grounded geographically in Aztec Mexico, but extend temporally for at least a century after the Spanish invasion. She is the author of Cycles of Time and Meaning in the Mexican Books of Fate (Texas, 2007) and Stories in Red and Black: Pictorial Histories of the Aztecs and Mixtecs (Texas, 2000), which was awarded the Arvey Prize by the Association for Latin American Art.

Support the Arts and Humanities

posted by November 05, 2018

Curator and anthropologist Niama Safia Sandy at the 2017 CAA Annual Conference in New York. Photo: Ben Fractenberg

CAA needs your help to advance the programs and support we provide to the individuals and institutions that comprise the world’s largest international professional community in the visual arts. Bringing innovative new ideas and meaningful experiences to artists, designers, crafters, curators, art historians, critics, students and faculty members is always on the forefront of our minds, but we cannot do it alone.

We have over 9,000 members, but did you know that approximately half of our members are artists, students, retirees, and part-time faculty, who have subsidized memberships and conference registrations?

These members, and all members, have full access to CAA programs such as:

We advocate and design programs for all our members, regardless of how much they pay in membership, and we hope that as in all strong communities, those that can help will.

A donation to the Annual Fund allows CAA to provide the much-needed support for the field at the individual level and to institutions. A contribution gives CAA more power to advocate and serve the ever-changing needs of our members.

Our Travel Fund assists ten students and scholars from across the country and around the world to attend the Annual Conference each year, but gifts directed towards this category will increase that number exponentially.

A contribution to the Publication Fund helps offset the cost to produce the print and online scholarly publications of The Art Bulletin, Art Journal, Art Journal Open, and caa.reviews.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation in either fund category that will help us better serve the visual arts community. No matter what fund category you choose, your support will go a long way in making a difference.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of CAA, I thank you for your generosity.

Best regards,

Hunter O’Hanian
Executive Director and CEO

Filed under: Education, Organizations

Submit a Proposal for Idea Exchange at CAA 2019

posted by October 09, 2018

Idea Exchange at CAA 2018 in Los Angeles. Photo: Rafael Cardenas

We launched Idea Exchange at the 2018 Annual Conference in Los Angeles in response to members who expressed an interest in holding informal roundtable discussions on topics ranging from fellowship applications and gallery representation to student engagement in the classroom and preserving women artists’s legacies.

We’re offering Idea Exchange again in 2019 and we’re looking for CAA members to serve as discussion leaders.

Propose a topic that you would like to discuss with your colleagues for a sixty-minute roundtable at the conference. It can relate to professional development, teaching, or fellowships. Suggest a discussion around current events, such as the debate surrounding Confederate monuments or the #MeToo movement in the arts. Be creative. The conversations are meant to be lively and engaging. Please submit your Idea Exchange proposals by December 14, 2018.

SUBMIT IDEA EXCHANGE TOPIC

In order to submit an Idea Exchange topic, you will need to have your member ID and password ready. If you do not have an individual ID number and password or you do not know it, please contact member services by email at membership@collegeart.org or by phone at 212-691-1051, ext. 1.

Idea Exchange will be held in the Cultural and Academic Network Hall during the following times:

Thursday, February 14: 10:30 AM; 12:30 PM; 2:00 PM; 4:00 PM

Friday, February 15: 10:30 AM; 12:30 PM; 2:00 PM; 4:00 PM

Saturday, February 16: 10:30 AM; 12:30 PM

For more information on Idea Exchange, contact Alison Chang at achang@collegeart.org or by phone at (212) 392-4436.

Guglielmo Ulrich, Divano, seoffale, e stipetto [Perspective of L-Shape Sofa and Storage Unit], 1933, watercolor and black and metallic ink, over graphite, sheet: 11 1/8 × 7 9/16 in. (28.2 × 19.2 cm). Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Adding Design History Lesson Plans to the premier teaching resource site
ArtHistoryTeachingResources.org

Funding Sought: $4,000

Every day, across thousands of universities and high schools in the US, students learn about the history of art from prehistory to the present. Very rarely is design history incorporated into this curriculum. Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR)—a non-profit teaching resource site in the visual arts—wants to change this.

AHTR has collaborated with CAA’s Committee on Design to propose an initial collection of online teaching resources related to design history of the last two hundred years that will enable university-level and AP instructors to confidently teach them in foundational art and design history survey classes. The resources will be hosted online at arthistoryteachingresources.org in an area clearly marked as “design history” content.

Like AHTR’s existing resources already, the Design History Teaching Resources will include scholarly, well-researched, and peer-reviewed lecture outlines, image clusters, and bibliographies, as well as innovative digital videos and links to other Open Educational Resources (OERs) for students and teachers. The resources will remain freely accessible and open to all under a Creative Commons license.

To realize these resources AHTR needs to raise a modest sum of $4,000. If you might consider supporting this venture with a donation large or small, and would like to see the budget outline, timeline for completion, or any further details about the project, please contact: info@arthistorytr.org

Filed under: Design, Education, Online Resources

CAA Announces Campus Ambassador Program

posted by September 24, 2018

CAA 2018 Annual Conference attendees. Photography by Rafael Cardenas

Students have always been vital to CAA. Our student membership, which is nearly one quarter of our entire membership, has always been vocal, engaged, and eager. This fall we are looking to our students to help carry CAA into the future with the launch of the CAA Ambassador Program.

CAA is seeking Ambassadors in the New York, Boston, and Chicago areas to represent CAA and give short talks about the organization to their fellow classmates and students in nearby schools. The six selected Ambassadors will be compensated for each talk and given a complimentary CAA Annual Conference registration and one-year CAA membership at the student level. Ambassadors will collect feedback at their talks and have check-ins with CAA staff leading the project.

To be considered for the CAA Ambassador role, applicants must be currently enrolled in a visual arts-focused program at a university or college in the New York, Boston, or Chicago area. Applicants should be in their junior year or higher. Master’s degree, Master of Fine Arts, and PhD candidates are encouraged to apply. Familiarity with CAA and its programs is necessary for this role. Candidates should feel enthusiastic about spreading the word about CAA and feel comfortable speaking in front of groups. The Ambassador role is a two-semester commitment (fall and spring) with a maximum of five talks given on campuses each semester.

To be considered for the CAA Ambassador Program, please submit your resume or CV, cover letter expressing your interest, and one reference to Alison Chang at achang@collegeart.org.

Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.

CAA’s executive director, Hunter O’Hanian, recently visited the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Florida to speak with Eric Segal, the museum’s director of education and curator of academic programs, about the role of academic art museums and Resources for Academic Art Museum Professionals (RAAMP).

A project of CAA supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, RAAMP aims to strengthen the educational mission of academic museums and their parent organizations by providing a publicly accessible repository of resources, online forums, and relevant news and information.

Watch and read the interview below.

Hunter O’Hanian: Hello everybody. My name’s Hunter O’Hanian and I’m the director of the College Art Association. I’m very pleased today to be with Eric Segal, who is the director of education and curator of academic programs here at the Harn Museum in Gainesville, Florida. Hello, Eric. How are you?

Eric Segal: Hunter, I’m doing well. It’s great to have you here in Gainesville.

HO: Well, it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s been great to be spending time here and to go through the museum. Before we start, tell us a little bit about your background. I know you’ve been a CAA member since you were in graduate school, but tell us a little bit about your professional background.

ES: Sure. CAA since 1993.

HO: Yay.

ES: I actually started my college career as a computer engineering major. So, it was a big change when my sister made me take an art history class and that led me into art history, and I studied American art subsequently at UCLA, Masters.

HO: And, I think you won a Terra award, too.

ES: I was really fortunate to have a Terra award in 1999.

HO: Great.

ES: And that was very exciting for me and helped me in my studies. Following the completion of my doctoral dissertation, I took an assistant professor position here at University of Florida. So, I was in the art history department teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in American art, African American art, illustration and even occasionally about museum theory. Later, in 2010, a position opened up in the museum where I was able to take on museum practice a bit more. That position was the academic programs position, which had just been created as the museum realized it was important to draw closer to the university. At that time, before the position opened up, there were perhaps a few dozen courses using the museum, because there was no one doing the outreach to work with faculty across campus.

Since that time, about 10 years, we’ve maybe increased that tenfold. The number of courses, the number of faculty, the number of disciplines and students using the museum—we’ve been really delighted to expand that quite a bit.

HO: That’s great. So, [the] University of Florida here in Gainesville, about 50,000 students here on campus.

ES: Yes.

HO: You have an art history department here. And do you have a studio arts department as well?

ES: It’s a combined school of art and art history and they’re both very robust. There’s a faculty of about seven in art history and the tens, twenties in art and they’re all great colleagues. In fact, in 2019 we will have the studio art faculty show here at the museum, which comes [around] every five years.

We want to reach audiences that have not seen themselves in museums.

HO: Wonderful. So, the Harn Museum has been around since 1990. Roughly, how big is it? How many square feet is the facility?

ES: The museum is about 26,000 square feet.

HO: That’s big for an academic art museum.

ES: It is. We have all of our storage onsite. We have great galleries devoted to five collecting areas. We collect in African [art], in Asian [art], in photography, in modern and contemporary art. And we have a curator in each area. So, we’re very lucky. Many academic museums don’t have such a robust curatorial staff. And we also have classrooms where we can do teaching, where we can bring objects out from storage in order to connect with academic classes on campus if we have a theme we want to try to address, say, “urban imagery.” It may be better just with works that are in storage, rather than those that happen to be on view at a given time.

HO: And 11,000 objects in the collection?

ES: That’s right.

HO: Wow. And so how do you go about procuring objects for the collection?

ES: Right. So our curators are very active along with our development officer and our director in building relationships. So, we do have an endowment for acquisitions, but many of our acquisitions do come through gifts from donors, and that would be in all areas.

HO: I noticed too in going through the museum with you that you also have a fair number of Florida artists in your collection. Can you speak about some of them?

ES: We have Florida artists from the 19th century through the present. Some of them are former faculty at UF with international and national reputations, and some include folk artists who work locally and are widely collected and whose work reveals unexpected and inspiring perspectives on our own community. So, we have both highly-trained professional artists and amateur or untrained artists.

HO: It seems to me also that you’ve done a lot of work in your role as far as inviting members of the local Gainesville community, people who are not part of the academic campus on or into the museum through different programs. Can you talk generally about how you’ve been programming in trying to bring the local Gainesville community into the museum?

ES: Sure. So, as curator of academic programs, I obviously personally focus a lot on the academic community, but I’m also director of education as you mentioned, and I have a staff with whom I work to engage the community. I also consider that my responsibility as well. We have public programs that I think of as creating layers of access. There’s programs that are traditional museum programs of lectures and educational docent tours, which have immediate appeal to people who are familiar with museums and have a museum-going experience and know they might want to learn something about an exhibition, but we also have our whole range of activities that invite the community in perhaps for a first time. We’re creating museum goers out of our local citizenry.

So, those might be experiences that sound more fun and social, but include informal learning opportunities. We have a museum nights event once a month which is open in the evenings. So, lots of programs such as that, but we also think it’s really important to reach audiences that aren’t even looking at the museum as a possible venue for leisure or art experiences and we find it’s really effective to work with the local public schools. All children go to schools and we’re able to work with them to provide transportation and rich tour experiences and programs that engage children and parents as well. Creating the opportunity to connect with families that might not be thinking of the museum, but may learn from the children that it’s a really welcoming, relevant, and meaningful space.

HO: Overall for the whole museum, how big is the staff here?

ES: The staff, including security and frontline staff, is about fifty.

HO: Wow. Great.

ES: So, it’s pretty robust.

HO: And for academic programs and education, how big is that?

ES: In education, we have six full-time staff and a number of part-time staff who support programs and activities. So, we’re also very lucky. There are smaller museums that are working on a narrower range of staff resources.

HO: What challenges do you see for the education programs here at the Harn Museum going forward?

ES: Well, you did ask about our connecting with community audiences and our challenge is to continue to grow that and be relevant and to let audiences know that we are welcoming. We want to reach audiences that have not seen themselves in museums. So, diversity in our audiences is something we’ve done a lot to improve with by partnering with local groups, with activists, with people in different communities. We’ve done a lot to improve our diversity of audiences, but we’re still expanding there. In staff, that’s another area where we really need to work hard and we have focused part of our strategic plan extension into 2019 to focus on developing new ways to build diverse staff members across the museum, including in senior staff, which as we know in museums in the United States is a real problem.

HO: If you were speaking to someone else in your position, maybe in a more rural location or a smaller facility, and they wanted to engage the community more, what advice would you give them?

ES: That’s a great question. I think that it’s really important to let audiences know that they’re welcome and to my mind, the best way to get that message out there is by being out in the community, attending community fora on relevant topics, being part of discussions of education and educational resources, being part of discussions on how universities are trying to engage—the local university or college may be trying to engage the community, both on campus and in the community. Being a face in the community makes you somewhat approachable and starts to build the relationship that’s hard to build with an advertisement in the paper that says, “Everyone’s welcome. Admission is free”. Hopefully.

So, that would be one of the first steps that I think I would try in that position is to really be part of the community and to make contact with community leaders who already have authentic connections to different members of different areas of the community.

HO: We’re going to be recording some video practicum about different areas in the museum and we’ll get into some more of those details later, but it also seems as if you’ve developed good relationships with different departments within the college itself. Can you speak a little bit about doing that and how you go about being successful there?

ES: Some of our failures in doing that have been—not that I wouldn’t continue to do it—you know, I go and give a talk to the faculty senate and I send a letter to all faculty and I get a lot of emails back, if I’m lucky, that say, you know, I saw your email but I didn’t read it last year because you sent it to everyone. So, the hard work is making individual contacts either by email but also being out there again on campus. I try to serve on committees, be it in the international center or on undergraduate curriculum, wherever it might be useful, seeing that the museum could be a resource that can be built into emerging programs and projects. So, being at the table is important. And then building the individual connections to faculty. One faculty member in a language and literature department can be your ambassador to other faculty members.

We’re creating museum goers out of our local citizenry.

HO: And, of course you’re familiar with RAAMP resources for academic art museum professionals, and the Harn has been one of the original stakeholders, and this has been a great project that CAA has worked on with the Mellon Foundation.

ES: Yes.

HO: We’ve been very happy with the success. As a resource out there, how have you been able to use RAAMP and also were there any changes you’d like to see to it or more things you’d like to see us add to it?

ES: Yes. RAAMP is a great resource. It’s been wonderful to see it grow and the website has, for anyone who hasn’t visited it recently, really been improved in the last year, making it searchable in a way that it wasn’t before. So, it’s a resource where you can actually find the materials that are there pretty easily now and that makes it especially useful. So, for me, it’s been great as a source of inspiration when I come up against a problem such as “How do I…?” I haven’t found this one yet, but one of my problems is how do I connect with low temperature physics? I’ve never solved that problem, but when someone posts that to RAMP, that’s where I’m going find it.

HO: Great. So, for any of you out there who have an answer to that quick question as to how to deal with low temperature physics, please post it on RAAMP now.

ES: That’s right. But, it’s really a great source of inspiration [for] problem solving and models that exist out there. It’s also I think increasingly going to continue to serve the role of [a] point for conversations, which is something that I’m really looking forward to, because sometimes someone hasn’t posted on low temperature physics, but they may have already done it. And so it’s a chance to get feedback and ideas. I’m also really looking forward to in the future ideas about building diversity, as we discussed earlier. How it’s being pursued at other museums, both in terms of audiences but also in terms of staff. I think as a community academic program officers in museums need to come together to build the pipeline of museum professionals. That includes recruiting students when they’re young. I’ve been working with high school students in the past week to just tell them that museums are a career and that’s important.

It includes supporting internships. I think that discussion can happen in RAAMP about how we can sort of strategically create a pool that we’re all going draw on to diversify our staff. I’m also looking forward to learning from RAAMP more about ideas for academic programs working with development offices.

HO: Interesting. The fundraising piece.

ES: Yes. The fundraising piece. We’re all challenged in our budgets. In the past year, we’ve developed a program on early learning that we built with the college of education, and we built a really robust project, and someone said: “You need to do a video for this.” And that video has been helpful for us in developing private funds to continue to pursue this program that provides education for headstart students.

HO: Which is great, because it gives potential funders the opportunity to see what the programs are really about and be able to see that.

ES: It is. And that’s the kind of thing I’d love to share on RAAMP and also learn from others their strategies for taking our programs and having them be tools for building our funding.

HO: Yes. I’ve been recently reviewing the session proposals for the upcoming CAA conference in New York in February of 2019 and there are a lot of sessions that are coming up for professionals in academic art museums, because I do think it’s a growing field that a lot of PhD students or PhD holders and Masters will be going into it in the future. So, there will be a lot at this year’s conference in February.

ES: That’s really great to hear. And I hope that non-museum professionals, hope that artists and art historians will attend those as well, because their voices are really useful to be part of those conversations that art museum professionals are having. I was thinking about the sort of professionalization that another area of RAAMP is going help us connect on is going to be evaluation. Museums are always challenged in terms of evaluation. We know it’s important to prove that what we do is effective. Evaluation is time-consuming or expensive or both, and sharing expertise and ideas in that area I think is going to be something that’s going to really help us to build our case in the future.

HO: Yes, I mean, ultimately all museums are educational institutions, and we have to be able to quantify how that happened.

ES: I think that is the case.

HO: Eric, thank you so much for your time here. It’s been great to tour the museum and I really have appreciated it. And so good luck with all your work going forward.

ES: Thank you, Hunter, for sharing your interest of the museum with our RAAMP audiences.

Jim Hopfensperger at home.

As of this month, Jim Hopfensperger, professor of art at Western Michigan University’s Gwen Frostic School of Art, is CAA’s new president for the 2018-2022 term. As a professor and artist with a wealth of experience, we thought it would be a great opportunity to ask Jim his thoughts on CAA and the field at-large. CAA media and content manager Joelle Te Paske  spoke with him earlier this month.

JTP: Hi Jim! Thanks so much for speaking with me. How are you?

JH: Very well, Joelle. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit!

JTP: To get us oriented, where did you grow up?

JH: My spouse, Jane, and I were raised in the upper Midwest. While career choices took us to Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, we returned “home” to Michigan eighteen years ago to be nearer aging family members.

JTP: And what did you study?

JH: I was educated as a craftsperson, working primarily in non-ferrous metals such as silver, gold, and copper. During a sabbatical leave from my faculty position at Penn State University in the early 1990s, I was presented the opportunity to work in a furniture studio in Massachusetts. Within a few weeks I was totally hooked, gifting my metal working tools to a younger artist and moving forward as a furniture maker.

Jim Hopfensperger, Shaker Purple, 2012

JTP: What drew you to the work you do now?

JH: I am drawn to how creating art/design objects—one-at-a-time and by hand—reinforces and reaffirms what it means to be a human being. Thinking with my hands, my eyes, and my mind to conceive well-designed and useful articles makes me feel whole. Perhaps I am a kinesthetic thinker/learner? It also seems possible that, for better and for worse, my sense of self is simply anchored in making things. The non-existent term “neuroceutical therapy” comes to mind!

JTP: What is exciting to you as the incoming CAA president?

JH: The forces of change are in motion all around us. It is a truly exhilarating time to be in the business of living!

As for CAA, a raft of research suggests that healthy organizations prosper when focusing efforts along two key pathways: 1) identifying and strengthening essential core competencies and 2) systematically exploring future capacities. This means sustaining CAA’s outstanding programs and services while simultaneously identifying the organization’s next purposes. Full attention to both matters seems essential if we are to extend a highly distinguished history of advocacy for artists, art historians, scholars, curators, critics, designers, collectors, and educators. I am grateful for this opportunity and excited about the work ahead.

Jim Hopfensperger, Deliberation No. 7, 2005

JTP: What work has been done over the past few years that you would like to build on?  What would you like to see happening at CAA in the next year?  How about in the next ten?

JH: Clearly, CAA remains an eminent learned society. At the same time it is increasingly fulfilling its potential as a professional association that serves members across educational, curatorial, scholarly, and creative pursuits. In the short term I am confident CAA will remain a strong association and identify more ways to support members in their professional lives.

Over the next few years a pivot toward some key constituencies might make strategic sense. Those include 1) the burgeoning ranks of contingent employees upon whom educational and cultural institutions have become increasingly reliant; 2) the large number of design and new/emerging media practitioners graduating from art and design programs; and 3) the community of international scholars, artists, and designers steadily advancing global perspectives. I look forward to working with CAA members, staff, board, and other stakeholders to map a future wherein these colleagues will be well served.

JTP: What has been a memorable professional moment for you at a CAA Annual Conference?

JH: I am deeply invested in the fellowship aspects of CAA. My fondest memory involves mentoring in the Professional Development Workshops at the Annual Conference in 2000. One my mentees was, as I, trained as a metalsmith. We worked closely after that conference to identify strategies for achieving his professional goals, and he eventually accepted a splendid academic position. In return for my service, and for each of the past eighteen years uninterrupted, he has gifted to me a handcrafted metal ornament to hang on our family holiday tree. Simply precious! (And if you are reading this Professor James Thurman, a wholehearted “Thank You!” is long overdue.)    

Jim Hopfensperger, Deliberation No. 9, 2013

JTP: What would you say is the number one challenge facing higher education?

JH: Excellent question. My two cents: Adapting to the startling, inevitable pace of cultural and technological change is an operational necessity. Yet, communicating the value of an educated populace appears to be our most immediate and pressing challenge. Making the case for the causal relationship between educational opportunities and the ascendance of an increasingly ethical, moral, and empathetic society is job one. In the absence of such a mission statement, it is not difficult to imagine financial or economic ‘values’ easily filling the void.

The logical outcome might then resemble Oscar Wilde’s timeless quip about a cynic being ‘a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.’

JTP: Do you have a favorite artwork? 

JH: I have a keen interest in all forms of applied design—dynamic and surprising buildings, objects, communications, products, and processes. However, and for reasons I am not fully able to explain, my favorite artwork is Monet’s Four Trees in the Met’s collection. This quiet little companion and I visit perhaps once every 12 to 24 months. Invariably, I leave our encounters refreshed and restored.

Claude Monet, The Four Trees, 1891, oil on canvas, 32 1/4 x 32 1/8 in. (81.9 x 81.6 cm) Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image: Wikimedia Commons

JTP: What about a favorite book?   

JH: Much of my reading over the past decade can be described as a search for serviceable maps of the human mind, followed by rubbernecking at accidents caused by irrational behaviors. Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow is a fine example of the former, the type of mind mapping I find highly addictive. Kahneman’s lenses for understanding our extraordinary capabilities, while simultaneously identifying those pesky faults and deep biases that accompany human thought and action, help structure my own thinking. In a related way writings on decision-making in everyday life are equally intriguing and useful. Charles Duhiggs’s The Power of Habit, Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, Keith Payne’s The Broken Ladder successfully illustrate complexities and contradictions when/where supposedly rational thoughts and human actions intersect, often to hilarious and/or tragic effect—endlessly fascinating stuff!

Jim Hopfensperger is a professor of art at Western Michigan University’s Gwen Frostic School of Art where he teaches foundation art. Jim’s art works have been shown nationally and internationally in over 100 exhibitions at venues including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Auckland Memorial Museum, Lever House, University of Iowa Museum of Art, University of Oregon Museum of Art, State Museum of Pennsylvania, North Carolina Museum of History, and National Ornamental Metals Museum.

Jim’s past appointments include serving as Senior Associate Dean in the College of Fine Arts at Western Michigan University, Chair of the Department of Art & Art History at Michigan State University, and Head of the Studio Art Program at The Pennsylvania State University. He has also taught at the Massachusetts College of Art, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Skidmore College, University of Michigan, and North Carolina State University.

Jim is Past President of the National Council of Arts Administrators, and is an accreditation visitor for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. He earned a MFA from University of Michigan, a MA from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BA from Michigan State University.