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CAA Members Go to Havana

posted by August 11, 2015

Last May CAA offered a trip to Cuba to visit the Havana Biennial. In an essay, Katherine Jánszky Michaelsen, a professor of art history at the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, and a CAA member, describes her experiences in this Caribbean capital city, newly reopened to American citizens.

Outside the airport terminal we’re hit by blinding sunlight and a riot of tropical color—a golden-shower tree, and a row of the famed vintage Cadillacs and Buicks painted in Day-Glo shades of fuchsia, turquoise, and green. All week long sunshine, blue skies, lush vegetation, and vivid colors provide the backdrop of our Havana sojourn; and then there’s the music; on every other street corner someone is making music—not to mention that this is the home of the ever-popular Buena Vista Social Club band.

Timed to coincide with the XII Bienal de la Habana, the CAA trip also overlapped with the onset of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. Although Europeans have been traveling to Cuba all along, this was the first year that large numbers of Americans were able to attend the biennial. Celebration was in the air. But testing the climate for change was Tania Bruguera, the dissident Cuban artist and free-speech advocate, who was arrested—not for the first time—at a live reading she held of Hannah Arendt’s 1951 book, The Origins of Totalitarianism. Two members of our group were present at the mêlée.

As tourists we were fortunate to enjoy the expertise and connections of the Cuban-born organizer of the trip, Adolfo Nodal, a former director of the Department of Cultural Affairs in Los Angeles and author of the pioneering book on Cuban art, who has been leading trips to Cuba for a number of years. Thanks to Al, who was one of the producers, we were able to attend the world premiere of the opera Cubanacán: A Revolution in Forms; and we were invited to savor roast pork in the garden of his friend, the artist Kadir López Nieves, with whom he is working on the restoration of Havana’s vintage neon signs. In addition to our spirited and fluently English-speaking guide, Gretell Sintes, another bonus was the considerable experience of CAA member and Xavier University associate professor of art history Alison Fraunhar, also a Cuban art specialist who, for example, arranged a special lecture by Nelson Herrera Ysla, one of the original founders of the Havana biennial in 1984. Finally, traveling with CAA top brass Linda Downs and DeWitt Godfrey, and a busload of like-minded, art-savvy colleagues, ensured the exchange of useful tips, stimulating conversation, and beautiful photographs by Sherman Clarke, among others.

Every morning after partaking of the breakfast buffet that always included heaps of sliced mangoes, papayas, and melons, we assembled in the grand hall of the venerable oceanfront Hotel Nacional, built by McKim, Mead & White in 1930. In the evenings, after a full day of sightseeing, we’d lounge in the palm-tree-lined veranda sipping mojitos to the sound of a female salsa band. As the biennial venues were scattered around the city, it was possible to view historic tourist attractions—like the Plaza de la Revolución, or San Cristóbal cathedral, and at the same time take in a Tino Sehgal performance at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam—or browse and buy prints at the Taller Experimental de Gráfica. Sales transactions can be made entirely on trust: you chose the work, take it with you, and send the check in the agreed amount to the Miami address of a relative or friend of the artist.

One day in the historic district we stumbled upon a large cage with a man wearing lace tights and stack heels locked inside. We later found out that this was a work by the Indian performance artist Nikhil Chopra, who after three days painting what he saw from behind the bars, hacksawed himself out and walked off to the delight of the cheering crowd that followed him. One particularly hot afternoon, we squeezed like eager sardines into the Church of San Francisco de Paula to watch 82-year-old artist Michelangelo Pistoletto smash large mirrors with a mallet.

The Malecón seawall was another venue where art and life mixed seamlessly. To make up for the fact that there is no beach, Arlés del Rio created a fake one complete with sand and thatch-roofed cabañas. All along the five-mile promenade tourists and locals mingled amiably among the assorted works of art; children clambered on sculptures as if they were jungle gyms; and occasionally a wave crashing against the wall would douse us with a welcome cool spray. We were not cautioned, nor evidently did we need to be—public safety was not an issue. We saw no beggars, and apart from traffic cops there was no visible police presence. But evidence of poverty was everywhere. Unlike the spiffy, lovingly restored vintage models lined up in front of our hotel, if you hailed a cab in the street, you were likely to get a Soviet-era Lada with missing window and door-handles, springs poking through the seat, and a rattling engine spewing black fumes. Whole neighborhoods are crumbling and derelict; former single-family houses in residential areas have been chopped up into numerous smaller units; elegant mansions are in ruins; and iconic modernist buildings from the 1950s have peeling paint. Architectural preservationists describe this neglect as “preservation by poverty,” meaning that paradoxically poverty has left extant what urban renewal would have inevitably destroyed. Designers in Havana (and elsewhere) have opportunistically embraced the romantic aesthetic of ruins. For example, Guarida, one of the top restaurants in Havana, is located in a ruined building where laundry hangs on a line in the entrance hall. Likewise, an international group show, Montañas con una esquina rota (Mountains with a Broken Corner), curated by artist Wilfredo Prieto, was staged in the roofless ruin of a former bicycle factory.

Always at the ready, our tour bus comfortably transported us to outlying sites like Morro Cabaña, the historic colonial fortress on a hill that commands a breathtaking view of the city. A warren of small rooms connected by low barrel-vaulted corridors served as galleries that housed Zona Franca, an exhibition of about one hundred solo and group shows of both acclaimed and emerging Cuban artists. One afternoon we were taken to the Romerillo neighborhood where a year ago Alexis Leyva Machado, the artist known as Kcho, inaugurated (with a rare, surprise public appearance by Fidel Castro) an experimental community project, the Estudio Romerillo. For the biennial he organized an exhibition that took over the entire neighborhood and included artists from all over the world. There is a strong tradition of community service and sharing in Cuba, and established artists who enjoy special privileges are often moved to engage in activities to serve the common good. Carlos Garaicoa, a Cuban artist with an international reputation, is another example. In his spacious studio in a modernist building, he staged a group exhibition to launch Artista x Artista, an international exchange program that will include artist residencies and is based on the Open Studio program he started in Madrid in 2007. Yet another initiative created over the course of a decade for the benefit of the fishing village of Jaimanitas is an extensive and festive work of public art, Fusterlandia. Throughout the neighborhood, starting with his own house, the artist José Rodríguez Fuster painted murals and decorated the walls of dozens of houses with colorful ceramic shards in the manner of Antoni Gaudí.

Havana’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) comprises two separate buildings. The first, a majestic structure built in 1913 devoted to “arte universal,” was the venue for an exhibition titled Wild Noise—a collaboration with the Bronx Museum of the Arts that included an international roster of artists and explored a series of contemporary themes like identity, style, architecture, and community that are relevant to both the Bronx and Havana. Overseen by Bronx Museum director Holly Block, who has been engaged with Cuban art for two decades and is the author of Art Cuba: The New Generation, the exhibition was hailed as the most extensive cultural exchange between the US and Cuba in over fifty years; it will be followed in 2016 by an exhibition at the Bronx Museum organized by the Havana MNBA. A few blocks away, a modernist building from the 1950s that was fully restored and enlarged in the late 1990s showcases Cuban art from colonial times to the present. Except for the conspicuous absence of the obligatory museum book and gift shop, both the building and installation could easily hold their own anywhere in the world.

The highlight of the trip for many of us was the campus of the National Art Schools, now known as ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte). It is the subject of a book by John Loomis, Revolution of Forms: Cuba’s Forgotten Art Schools, and a poignant 2011 documentary, Unfinished Spaces, by Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray. Both works tell the story that is also the subject of the opera Cubanacán: A Revolution of Forms that we attended. In 1961, while playing golf at the Havana Country Club in Cubanacán, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara had the idea that the verdant grounds of this symbol of wealth and privilege would be an ideal setting for a complex of tuition-free art schools. Architect Ricardo Porro, charged to build “the most beautiful city of the arts,” enlisted the help of two Italian colleagues Roberto Gottardi and Vittorio Garatti. Of the five proposed schools three (music, ballet, and theater arts) were sadly left unfinished in 1965 when, due to Cuba’s rapprochement with the Soviet Union, the political climate changed drastically. These buildings are now in a state of ruin and overgrown with vegetation. But the schools of modern dance and plastic arts by Porro were completed, recently restored, and continue to be in use.

The three wide arches of the entranceway of the brick-domed school of plastic arts provided the ideal backdrop for the outdoor performance of Cubanacán by the Cuban composer Roberto Valera and the American librettist Charles Koppelman. This worthy effort, previewed favorably in the New York Times, is an intriguing work in progress that deserves to be developed further, not only because it serves to publicize this unique architectural undertaking.

It was in the daylight the following day that the building came fully to life. Low-lying, hugging the ground, the stupalike domes of red brick and contrasting white plaster are surrounded by tropical green foliage—it is as strange and unfamiliar-looking as the remains of some unknown, ancient civilization. The inside of the building is bathed in natural light from the oculi in the Catalan-vaulted domes and, due to skillful positioning of corridors and interior spaces, is ventilated and comfortable even in the midday sun. The experience of the building was made even more memorable because art students were present throughout. In keeping with the biennial’s theme of the fusion of art and life, mixed in with official exhibits were working art studios open to the public, where you could engage with the art students. When I asked a young woman whether the building was an inspiration for her, she smiled, and her eyes shining brightly, vigorously nodded her head.

Captions

Photo 1: View from the Edificio FOCSA with Hotel Nacional and gardens (rear) (photograph by Sherman Clarke)

Photo 2: Nikhil Chopra, performance The Black Pearl, Plaza de Armas, Havana (photograph by Katherine J. Michaelsen)

Photo 3: Modernist buildings in disrepair, Miramar, Havana (photograph by Sherman Clarke)

Photo 4: Group exhibition, curated by artist Wilfredo Prieto in former bicycle factory, Vedado, Havana (photograph by Sherman Clarke)

Photo 5: Inner courtyard, School of Plastic Arts, ISA, Cubanacán, Havana (photograph by Sherman Clarke)

Photo 6: CAA group on steps of Club Habana, Playa, Havana (photograph by Gretell Sintes)

Filed under: International, Tours

CAA offers Annual Conference Travel Grants to graduate students in art history and studio art and to international artists and scholars. In addition, the Getty Foundation has funded the fifth year of a program that enables applicants from outside the United States to attend the 104th Annual Conference in Washington, DC, which takes place February 3–6, 2016. Applicants may apply for more than one grant but can only receive a single award.

CAA-Getty International Program

The CAA-Getty International Program, generously supported by the Getty Foundation, provides funding to fifteen art historians, museum curators, and artists who teach art history to attend the 2016 Annual Conference. The grant covers travel expenses, hotel accommodations for eight nights, per diems, conference registrations, and one-year CAA memberships. Extended deadline: August 26, 2015.

CAA Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant

CAA will award a limited number of $250 Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants to advanced PhD and MFA graduate students as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to attend the 2016 Annual Conference. To qualify for the grant, students must be current CAA members. Successful applicants will also receive a complimentary conference registration. Deadline: September 18, 2015.

CAA International Member Conference Travel Grant

CAA will award a limited number of $500 International Member Conference Travel Grants to artists and scholars from outside the United States as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to attend the 2016 Annual Conference. To qualify for the grant, applicants must be current CAA members. Successful applicants will also receive a complimentary conference registration. Deadline: September 18, 2015.

Donate to the Annual Conference Travel Grants

CAA’s Annual Conference Travel Grants are funded solely by donations from CAA members—please contribute today. Charitable contributions are 100 percent tax deductible. CAA extends a warm thanks to those members who made voluntary contributions to this fund during the past twelve months.

The Getty Foundation has awarded the College Art Association a grant to fund the CAA-Getty International Program for the fifth consecutive year. The Foundation’s support will enable CAA to bring fifteen international visual-arts professionals to the 104th Annual Conference, taking place February 3–6, 2016, in Washington DC. The CAA-Getty International Program provides funds for travel expenses, hotel accommodations, per diems, conference registrations, and one-year CAA memberships to art historians, artists who teach art history, and museum curators. The program will include a one-day preconference colloquium on international issues in art history on February 2, at which participants will present and discuss their common professional interests and issues.

The goals of the International Program are to increase international participation in CAA, to diversify the organization’s membership, and to foster collaborations between American art historians, artists, and curators and their international colleagues. CAA also strives to familiarize international participants with the submission process for conference sessions to encourage ongoing involvement with the association. CAA will provide hosts from its membership to welcome the international participants and introduce them to colleagues in their fields.

Historically, the majority of international registrants to CAA’s Annual Conferences have come from North America, the United Kingdom, and Western European countries. In the first four years of the CAA-Getty International Program, CAA has added seventy-five attendees from Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, Caribbean countries, and South America. As this alumni group grows, so too does international participation in CAA. Former grant recipients have become ambassadors of CAA in their countries, sharing knowledge gained at the Annual Conference with their colleagues and encouraging them to submit applications to the International Program. A number of scholarly collaborations have also ensued among grant recipients and CAA members. The value of attending a CAA Annual Conference as a participant in the CAA-Getty International Program was succinctly summarized by Nazar Kozak, a 2015 participant from Ukraine: “To put it simply, I understood that I can become part of a global scholarly community. I felt like I belong here.”

The deadline for applications has been extended to August 26, 2015. Grant guidelines and the 2016 application can be found here.

Written by Paul B. Jaskot, Nicola Courtright, and Anne Collins Goodyear.

The thirty-fourth World Congress of Art History, organized by the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA), will take place September 15–22, 2016, in Beijing, China. CIHA is a once-every-four-year opportunity to bring the world’s art historians together in what is truly a global exchange of ideas, new approaches, and innovations in all areas of the discipline. As the American affiliate to CIHA, the National Committee of the Historians of Art (NCHA), a group with strong institutional ties to CAA, is happy to encourage any and all interested art historians to get involved. Now is the time to consider applying for one of the twenty-one sections that oversee the creation of specific panels for the upcoming conference. See the NCHA website for more information and for the call for papers.

CIHA traces its roots back to the 1930s, when it was officially founded at the Brussels Congress. The organization has now vastly exceeded its original Euro-American emphasis and currently has national chapters on all the continents. This will be the organization’s first conference in China. In addition to the international gathering held every four years, CIHA also sponsors specific thematic art-history conferences such as the upcoming “New Worlds: Frontiers, Inclusion, Utopias” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (August 25–29, 2015).

In China, the broad overarching theme is “Terms” in art history. From there, a range of sessions will cover such topics as “Connecting Art Histories and World Art,” “Media and Visuality,” “Display,” and “Commodity and Markets,” to name just a few of the twenty-one different session topics. Each session is cochaired by an international scholar as well as a scholar based in China. All papers will be simultaneously translated into Chinese, English, French, and German. As with the last CIHA in Nuremberg, Germany, it promises to be an exciting event full of international exchange and chances to explore art and architecture in Beijing and beyond. NCHA hopes that CAA will be well represented and encourages all art historians to consider submitting a paper by the June 30, 2015, deadline.

NCHA was founded to foster participation of US scholars in the international committee, its conference, and other programs. As part of this charge, NCHA regularly provides travel support for US graduate students to the CIHA meetings and will do so again for China. In addition to sending young scholars to the quadrennial conference, NCHA, with generous funding from the Getty Foundation, also initiated a reverse exchange when it began to bring international scholars from Africa, Asia, South America, and Central Europe to the CAA Annual Conference to promote international exchange in the United States as well. That initial effort continues to be a regular part of the CAA conference, now coordinated by CAA and its International Committee with participation of NCHA members.

This year, fifteen scholars from around the world attended CAA’s Annual Conference in New York as participants in the CAA-Getty International Program. The temperature in town when everyone arrived on February 8 was a frigid 10 degrees; nonetheless, the international travelers were intrepid, and their warmth and excitement did much to allay the cold weather outside.

Now in its fourth year, the program brings together art historians, artists who teach art history, and museum curators to meet with CAA members in their fields of study, attend conference sessions, and participate in a one-day preconference colloquium on international issues in art history. Funded by a generous grant from the Getty Foundation, this year’s scholars came from Argentina (Georgina Gluzman), Bangladesh (Mokammal H. Bhuiyan), Brazil (Ana Mannarino), Burkina Faso (Boureima Diamitani), China (Shao Yiyang), Croatia (Ljerka Dulibić), Hungary (Márton Orosz and Nóra Veszprémi), India (Savita Kumari), Mexico (Dafne Cruz Porchini), Russia (Andrey Shabanov), South Africa (Nomusa Makhubu and Lize van Robbroeck), Uganda (Angelo Kakande), and Ukraine (Nazar Kozak). For some, it was their first visit to the United States; for all, it was their first time at a CAA Annual Conference.

A highlight of the program was a full-day preconference colloquium about international issues in art history. Each of the fifteen participants gave presentations about their work, relating their specific research interests to one of five broader topics: Questioning the Discourse, Beyond Borders/Beyond Context, Activism and the Political, Cross-Cultural Encounters/Reception, and Exhibiting Cultures in a Global Society. The talks featured a wide range of art and varied approaches to the field. They were followed throughout the day by Q&A sessions and open discussions moderated by Rosemary O’Neill, chair of CAA’s International Committee, and Marc Gotlieb, president of the National Committee for the History of Art. As Nóra Veszprémi, a scholar from Hungary wrote, “The topics were as diverse as the participants themselves, but the questions that lay at the heart of the papers were closely related. Everyone was interested in the ‘internationalization’ of art history, and it was a wonderful experience to be able to discuss these issues with colleagues from all over the world.”

The colloquium included a number of CAA members serving as hosts to the international scholars. This year, many hosts came from select CAA affiliated societies, thereby sharing scholarly interests and providing networking opportunities for the participants. For example, Deepali Dewan, president of the American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA), was paired with Savita Kumari, an Indian art historian specializing in medieval and premodern Indian art, and Elisa Mandell, president of the Association for Latin American Art (ALAA), served as host to Georgina Guzman from Argentina and Dafne Cruz Porchini from Mexico. Other hosts came from the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture (SHERA), the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA), the Renaissance Society of America (RSA), and the Society of Contemporary Art Historians (SCAH). CAA’s International Committee also supplied hosts, rounding out an excellent group of art historians to welcome and assist the international scholars. CAA is grateful to the National Committee for the History of Art for its financial support of the hosting activities of these CAA members.

The CAA-Getty scholars were busy throughout the conference week, attending sessions, meeting colleagues, and visiting New York museums and galleries. On Thursday the group attended two sessions, sponsored by CAA’s International Committee, that examined the legacy of the landmark exhibition Magiciens de la Terre, curated by Jean-Hubert Martin in 1989 at the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Grande Halle at the Parc de la Villette in Paris. Martin, who participated in the sessions and attended Tuesday’s preconference as well, discussed the rationale behind the exhibition, which challenged Western preconceptions about non-Western art by displaying an unprecedented mix of objects—half of the works were by Western artists and the other half by artists from the rest of the world. Martin’s presentation was followed by other talks and, later in the afternoon, a roundtable discussion. In all, the events of this day provided an excellent platform for continuing Tuesday’s discussion about international issues in art history.

As in past years, CAA’s International Committee was centrally involved in planning this year’s international program. We are particularly grateful to Rosemary O’Neill, chair of the committee, for her enthusiastic support. In addition to organizing the sessions on Magiciens de la Terre (with her fellow committee member Gwen Farrelly), O’Neill helped to coordinate the preconference colloquium and even raised outside funds to bring Martin to the conference.

At the close of the week’s activities, program participants met again to learn about publishing art history in the United States and opportunities for residencies at research institutes. Susan Bielstein from the University of Chicago Press, Kirk Ambrose, editor of The Art Bulletin, and Gail Feigenbaum of the Getty Research Institute provided enormously helpful information on these subjects.

The CAA-Getty scholars then had a weekend on their own to explore New York before heading to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, to meet with scholars there and learn about the research opportunities offered by that institution’s Research and Academic Program. The trip was a wonderful opportunity to see a great museum and experience a totally different part of the United States (where it was even colder than New York).

The purpose of the CAA-Getty International Program is to bring a more diverse and global perspective to the study of art history by generating international scholarly exchange. This year’s visitors brought with them a great deal of knowledge, enthusiasm, and curiosity about the field, which they shared with the CAA members they met, as well as with each other. In return, conference attendees offered their expertise and friendship, beginning relationships that will hopefully bear fruit in future projects and collaborations.

Nazar Kozak, an art historian from Ukraine, summarized the experiences of many when he wrote, “To put it simply, I understood that I can become a part of a global scholarly community. I felt like I belong here.”

Images

2015 CAA-Getty International Program participants. Front row, left to right: Savita Kumari, Andrey Shabanov, Nóra Veszprémi, Shao Yiyang, Janet Landay (from CAA), Ana Mannarino, Nomusa Makhubu, and Dafne Cruz Porchini. Back row, left to right: Nazar Kozak, Márton Orosz, Angelo Kakande, Boureima Diamitani, Ljerka Dulibić, Lize van Robbroeck, and Georgina Gluzman. Not pictured: Mokammal H. Bhuiyan (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Nazar Kozak with his host, Margaret Samu (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Ana Mannarino, Dafne Cruz Porchini, and Namusa Makhubu (photograph by Bradley Marks)

CAA President DeWitt Godfrey and Ljerka Dulibic (photograph by Bradley Marks)

CAA has published short biographies for this year’s recipients of travel support through the CAA-Getty International ProgramIn an effort to promote greater interaction and exchange between American and international art historians, CAA will bring scholars from around the world to participate in the 2015 program, held during the association’s Annual Conference in New York City from February 11–14, 2015. This is the fourth year of the program, which has been generously funded by grants from the Getty Foundation since its inception. The participants—professors of art history, curators, and artists who teach art history—were selected by a jury of CAA members from a highly competitive group of applicants. In addition to covering travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and per diems, the CAA-Getty International Program includes support for conference registration and a one-year CAA membership.

Click here to read the biographies of the fifteen participants.

CAA is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of travel support through the CAA-Getty International Program. In an effort to promote greater interaction and exchange between American and international art historians and artists, CAA will bring colleagues from around the world to its Annual Conference, this year to be held in New York City from February 11-14, 2015. This is the fourth year of the program, which has been generously funded by grants from the Getty Foundation since its inception. The participants—professors of art history, curators, and artists who teach art history—were selected by a jury of CAA members from a highly competitive group of applicants. Their names and affiliations are listed below. In addition to covering travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and per diems, the CAA-Getty International Program includes support for conference registration and a one-year CAA membership.

The CAA-Getty International Program participants’ activities begin with a one-day preconference colloquium on international issues in art history, during which they meet with U.S.-based CAA members to discuss common interests and challenges. The participants are assisted throughout the conference by CAA member hosts, who recommend relevant panel sessions and introduce them to specific colleagues who share their interests. Members of CAA’s International Committee have agreed to serve as hosts, along with representatives from several Affiliated Societies of CAA.

CAA hopes that this program will not only increase international participation in the organization’s activities, but will also expand international networking and the exchange of ideas both during and after the conference. The CAA-Getty International Program supplements CAA’s regular program of Annual Conference Travel Grants for graduate students and international artists and scholars. We look forward to welcoming the recipients at the next Annual Conference in New York City.

2015 CAA-Getty International Program Participants

Mokammal Bhuiyan, Professor, Department of Archeology, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

Dafne Cruz Porchini, Curator, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico

Boureima Diamitani, Executive Director, West African Museums Program, Burkina Faso

Ljerka Dulibic, Senior Research Associate, Curator of Italian Paintings 1400-1900, Strossmayer, Gallery of Old Masters, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Croatia

Georgina Gluzman, Assistant Professor of Argentine Art History, Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina

Angelo Kakande, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Industrial Arts and Applied Design, Makarere University, College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology, Uganda

Nazar Kozak, Senior Researcher, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Department of Art Historical Studies, Ukraine

Savita Kumari, Assistant Professor, National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology, India

Nomusa Makhubu, Lecturer, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Ana Mannarino, Adjunct Professor of Art History, Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Brazil

Marton Orosz, Curator, and Director of the Vasarely Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary

Andrey Shabanov, Associate Research Fellow, Lecturer, European University at St. Petersburg, Art History Department, Russia

Shao Yiyang, Professor, Head of Western Art Studies, Central Academy of Fine Arts, China

Lize Van Robbroeck, Associate Professor, Stellenbosch University, Department of Visual Arts, South Africa

Nora Veszpremi, Lecturer, Institute of Art History, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

CAA offers Annual Conference Travel Grants to graduate students in art history and studio art and to international artists and scholars. In addition, the Getty Foundation has funded the third year of a program that enables applicants from outside the United States to attend the 2015 Annual Conference in New York, which takes place February 11–14, 2015. Applicants may apply for more than one grant but can only receive a single award.

CAA-Getty International Program

The CAA-Getty International Program, generously supported by the Getty Foundation, provides funding to fifteen art historians, museum curators, and artists who teach art history to attend the 103rd Annual Conference in New York. The grant covers travel expenses, hotel accommodations for eight nights, per diems, conference registrations, and one-year CAA memberships. The program will include a one-day preconference colloquium on international issues in art history on February 10, at which grant recipients will present and discuss their common professional interests and issues. Deadline: August 18, 2014.

CAA Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant

CAA will award a limited number of $250 Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants to advanced PhD and MFA graduate students as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to attend the 103rd Annual Conference in New York. To qualify for the grant, students must be current CAA members. Successful applicants will also receive complimentary conference registration. Deadline: September 14, 2014.

CAA International Member Conference Travel Grant

CAA will award a limited number of $500 International Member Conference Travel Grants to artists and scholars from outside the United States as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to attend the 103rd Annual Conference in New York. To qualify for the grant, applicants must be current CAA members. Successful applicants will also receive complimentary conference registration. Deadline: September 14, 2014.

Donate to the Annual Conference Travel Grants

CAA’s Annual Conference Travel Grants are funded solely by donations from CAA members—please contribute today. Charitable contributions are 100 percent tax deductible. CAA extends a warm thanks to those members who made voluntary contributions to this fund during the past twelve months.

CAA has received a grant from the Getty Foundation to fund the CAA-Getty International Program for the fourth consecutive year. The Foundation’s support will enable CAA to bring fifteen international visual-arts professionals to the 103rd Annual Conference, taking place February 11–14, 2015, in New York City.

The CAA-Getty International Program provides funds for travel expenses, hotel accommodations, per diems, conference registrations, and one-year CAA memberships to art historians, artists who teach art history, and museum curators. The program will include a one-day preconference colloquium on international issues in art history on February 10, at which grant recipients will present and discuss their common professional interests and issues.

The goal of the International Program is to increase international participation in CAA, to diversify the organization’s membership, and to foster collaborations between American art historians, artists, and curators and their international colleagues. CAA also strives to familiarize international participants with the submission process for conference sessions to encourage ongoing involvement with the association. As they did in previous years, members of CAA’s International Committee have agreed to host the program participants at the 2015 conference in New York City.

Grant guidelines and the 2015 application can be found on the CAA website at www.collegeart.org/CAA-GettyInternationalProgram. Only professionals who have not attended a CAA conference previously, and who are from countries underrepresented in CAA’s membership are eligible to apply. Applicants do not need to be CAA members. This grant program is not open to graduate students or to those participating in the 2015 conference as chairs, speakers, or discussants. The deadline for applications is August 18, 2014.

Historically, the majority of international registrants to CAA’s Annual Conferences have come from North America (United States, Canada, and Mexico), the United Kingdom, and Western European countries. In the first three years of the CAA-Getty International Program, CAA has added sixty attendees from Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, Caribbean countries, and South America. As this alumni group grows, so too does international participation in CAA. Former grant recipients have become ambassadors of CAA in their countries, sharing knowledge gained at the Annual Conference with their colleagues and encouraging them to submit applications to the international travel grant program. A number of scholarly collaborations have also ensued among grant recipients and CAA members.

A 2014 grant recipient from Pakistan, Kanwal Khalid, exemplified the experiences of program participants when she wrote: “CAA 2014 was an event that has changed me. Now I’m more confident about my research and teaching methodology because the comparison was a great way of improving my own system. I’m so very much looking forward to attending the conference next year. After returning to Pakistan, I have been able to communicate to my students about the potential and scope of this organization and encourage them to become members. This will give them an exposure to a world of dedicated art historians, enthusiastic academicians, and talented artists, with opportunities all around for those who have the judgment and ability to take advantage of it.”

About CAA

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

For information on applying to the CAA-Getty International Program, please contact project director Janet Landay at jlanday@collegeart.org or 212-392-4420.

Kanwal Khalid was a participant in the 2014 CAA-Getty International Travel Grant Program. A professor of fine arts at University of the Punjab in Pakistan, she specializes in the history of South Asian art and design with a particular focus on miniature painting in nineteenth-century Lahore. Khalid is also a practicing miniature painter and former curator of paintings at the Lahore Museum. Below she describes her experiences at the 102nd Annual Conference in Chicago.

Just when you think you have seen it all, something turns up and surprises you with its novelty and magnitude. The College Art Association did just that when I attended its Annual Conference in Chicago last February. For me, it became more than attending a conference; it was the experience of a lifetime that changed many of my perspectives.

In Pakistan, art history has always been part of the academic study of fine arts, but now it has become an independent discipline in its own right. This is a relatively recent development, of which I have been a part, and art history is enjoying a high status for the first time in the history of Pakistan. But still it is a comparatively new field. When I came to the Chicago conference, it was a complete surprise to realize that thousands of people share the same passion. CAA and the Getty Foundation have caught a tiger by the tail that is growing fast and expanding everywhere.

The chill of Chicago and the layers of snow couldn’t mar the fiery passion of the scholars, students, artists, and art historians participating in the conference. Interactive sessions, exhibitions, bookstalls, art-supply booths—this was a completely magic world for me. To breathe in thoughts and objects that are the passion of my life was a real treat.

Another dimension of knowledge was listening to presentations by the other nineteen recipients of CAA’s International Travel Grant Program and realizing what wonderful work was going on in their countries regardless of all the challenges they face on daily basis, very similar to the situation in my own country.

Outside the grandeur of the Hilton Hotel, it was the world of museums and modern architecture. I really liked the friendly size of museums in Chicago, which were not as overwhelming as other institutions I have visited, where there’s always a sense of missing a lot even after seeing so much. In all the museums that I visited in Chicago, I was able to return to many of my favorite galleries more than once during the week.

And then a bad snowstorm hit just as we were departing Chicago for New York. Our destination was the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and I will not be exaggerating if I call it a researcher’s paradise. The library was a dream-come-true. The best part for me was being surrounded by mountains—the Berkshires were an enchanted land containing everything I could desire. Here, we raised questions, made suggestions, and challenged old concepts in a true scholarly approach.

The time passed too quickly, and we were saying goodbye to each other at Penn Station in New York City, with a hope that someday we will meet again. I traveled south to give a lecture in Delaware and then attend a meeting in Washington, DC. My experience at CAA turned out to be a great asset for these events, where I imparted my knowledge of South Asian art and culture with more confidence and vigor, especially during a briefing to the South Asian desk at the US State Department about the contemporary educational and cultural situation of Pakistan.

CAA’s 2014 Annual Conference was a life-changing event. Now I’m more confident about my research and teaching methodology because a comparison with other approaches helped me improve my own ways of doing things. I’m so very much looking forward to attending the conference next year.

After returning to Pakistan, I have talked with my students about the potential and scope of CAA and to encourage them to become members. This will give them an exposure to a world of dedicated art historians, enthusiastic academicians, and talented artists, with endless opportunities for those who have the judgment and ability to take advantage of them.

Image Caption

Kanwal Khalid in Chicago.

Filed under: Annual Conference, International