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Karen von Veh is associate professor of art history at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa and participant in the 2013 CAA-Getty International Program.

In 2013 I was one of the lucky recipients of a Getty travel grant to attend the CAA Annual Conference in New York. The first time I met the other grantees was when we had to give a short presentation about our research interests and show examples of the work we were studying. Ding Ning from Peking University was one of our group. Shortly after we returned to our home countries, he contacted me to ask about the possibility of showcasing the art of South Africa as an invited “special exhibition” for the Beijing Biennale in September 2015. Each year the biennale invites selected countries to produce what they call “special exhibitions” and to date they have never had exhibitions from anywhere in Africa. An exhibition of South African art would therefore be a “first” for them and a huge opportunity for us in South Africa—not only to showcase the excellence of our art production but also to align with the drive for cooperation between the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and the various cultural and economic exchange programs that are currently underway.

Special exhibitions at the Beijing Biennale are expected to be showcases of the invited country’s cultural (fine art) production, and we decided to use this exhibition to reflect on the perceived state of our fledgling democracy. After the long struggle to introduce a democratic system and freedom for all in South Africa, one might imagine that an exhibition reflecting the current state of our democratic society might be a very cheerful and upbeat affair. However, twenty-one years after apartheid, we are still seeing the aftereffects of institutionalized inequalities, and the pace of change is not necessarily fulfilling citizen’s expectations. Annie E. Coombes’s book, History after Apartheid: Visual Culture and Public Memory in a Democratic South Africa (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003), argues that cultural manifestations both reflect and affect this change in social structures and relationships. Transition is a difficult state to occupy; often beliefs or behavioral practices are so normalized that change is virtually impossible without a catalyst to shake us out of complacency and awaken us to the possibilities of alternative practices and thoughts. I believe that intellectually engaged, socially conscious art is just such a catalyst.

Bearing this in mind, my cocurators and I have chosen works by a cross section of high profile established artists—those who have been part of the struggle toward democracy and who have seen and reacted to both the good and the bad changes brought about by the new dispensation (William Kentridge, Diane Victor and David Koloane would be examples of this category). These artists have established careers and are well known at home and internationally. In addition, we made a careful selection of young emerging contemporary artists who we believe are embarking on successful careers and who have something pertinent to say about the condition of our society for the future of the youth. All the artists selected acknowledge the role of contemporary art in South Africa as a catalyst for change and raise social and political issues. Their work comments on the real impact of twenty-one years of democracy—a democracy that has allowed them the artistic freedom to comment incisively on some of the continuing challenges arising from inherited and ongoing inequality in society. The chosen examples also illustrate South Africa’s achievements in various traditional media (drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture) and, in addition, we have included some examples of digital media and/or mixed-media works.

As I write this, we are packing up the works for transport to China and preparing to travel there ourselves in mid-September to set up the exhibition. Thinking back to the initial invitation to visit New York in 2013, I had no conception at the time of where this opportunity might lead in the future, and what fruitful projects might come from the contacts made on this occasion.

Kim Berman’s monotype is a reminder of the 2009 xenophobic attacks in South Africa. She records the tented camps put up by local authorities and aid organizations to house dispossessed foreigners, who were victims of violence and intimidation. A barbed-wire fence running through the center of the image is reminiscent of records from the Anglo Boer War concentration camps of the early 1900s. Berman is perhaps suggesting that little has changed in terms of difference, intolerance, and unequal power relations.

Image: Kim Berman, Rifle Range I, Roodepoort, 2009, monotype, 78 x 108 cm (artwork © Kim Berman)

 

Mary Sibande performs her alter ego, Sophie, clad in Victorian attire. The color of her dress refers to the Zionist Christian Church (ZCC) uniform, and she is wielding a Zionist prayer stick. Sibande refers to the conflation of Christianity and traditions of ancestral worship that exist within the ZCC. This cultural overlap illustrates her search for identity as a young black woman living in the Westernized culture of contemporary South Africa. Her Sophie persona thus explores postcolonial South African identity and critiques stereotypical depictions of women, especially black women, in society.

Image: Mary Sibande, I put a spell on me, 2009, digital pigment print, 90 x 60 cm (artwork © Mary Sibande)

Filed under: International

Parul Dave Mukherji is a professor in the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawajarlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. In 2013 she was a participant in the CAA-Getty International Program.

When I attended the College Art Association’s 101st Annual Conference in New York as a participant in the 2013 CAA-Getty International Program, little did I realize the long-term benefits of interacting with scholars from different parts of the world. While learning about different art-history teaching and research methodologies in areas as far flung from my native India as South Africa, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and China, among others, it was meeting art historians from neighboring countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh that laid the groundwork for future collaboration and the possibility of rethinking South Asian art history in both global and regional terms. It is indeed ironic that I “discovered” art historians from these South Asian nations in New York.

When Stephen Ross and Allana Lindgren invited me to contribute a chapter about South Asian visual arts to their edited volume, The Modernist World (New York: Routledge, 2015), I was reluctant to represent the art histories of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka and wanted to invite art historians from these regions to write about their own art histories. The CAA-Getty Program played a key role by offering a global platform for art historians from diverse regions to meet and exchange notes about their research and pedagogical practices. Meeting a fellow participant, a young art historian from Bangladesh, AKM Khademul Haque, helped me develop a fuller account of South Asian modernism and paved the way for future collaborations. Haque, Simone Wille, and T. Sanathanan, and I coauthored the chapter “Visual Arts in South Asia” in The Modernist World.

Filed under: International

‘Massacre of the Innocents’

posted by September 09, 2015

Musarrat Hasan is an advisor to the Institute of Art and Design and professor of art history at Lahore College Women’s University in Lahore, Pakistan. She was a 2013 participant in the CAA-Getty International Program.

In Pakistan, the Taliban and many other militant groups have carried out terrorist activities for the last several years, killing thousands of people through suicide bombings and other horrific attacks. Their aggression has now been greatly curtailed through the joint efforts of the military and the citizens of Pakistan. However, on December 16, 2014, seven gunmen affiliated with the Taliban conducted a terrorist attack on the Army Public School in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. They entered the school and fired on school staff, teachers, and children, killing 145 people, including 132 schoolchildren between eight and eighteen years of age.

Worldwide protest and expressions of horror at this outrage followed immediately. The artists of Pakistan, like their fellow citizens, were greatly shaken by the brutal event. Through their national organization, the Artists’ Association, they decided to make their outrage public. During a meeting of the organization’s executive committee, under the leadership of Mian Ijaz ul Hassan, the group condemned the Peshawar attack and voted to devote the upcoming annual exhibition to artistic responses to this violence. The organization sent out a notice to members and all other artists in universities, cultural bodies, and international members, announcing that the annual show would be postponed by about three weeks so that all members and other artists could participate. The title for the exhibition would be ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ and it would be about the suffering of innocents all over the world.

Although Pakistani artists have previously responded to national and international events of tragic and human significance, I do not recall a collective public response to current events by artists carried out with such immediacy. There have been instances of commissioned murals years after the event, but this sort of action was unprecedented.

At the Lahore College Women’s University, the faculty members were also motivated to participate and decided to collectively produce the mural that is illustrated here. They pooled funds to buy oil paints, panels of stretched canvas, and other materials required for the mural. I was honored to supervise the creation of this work from conception to completion. We decided not to dwell on the gruesome murders but instead to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of the headmistress who faced the Taliban with courage and gained time for hundreds of students to escape, even though she herself was killed in the process.

The final mural is 8 x 13 feet and demonstrates the painting skills and commitment of fourteen young faculty members who worked on weekdays and late into the night, putting their hearts and souls into the timely completion. The faculty members of the Lahore College Women’s University who worked on this project were Rifaat Dar, Aasma Majeed, Amber Muneer, Aqsa Rehan, Sadia Murtaza, Samina Naseem, Farah Khan, Ghazala Anjum Shirazi, Nighat Mahboob, Rehana Salman, Rabia Yaseen, and Maryam Baber.

The exhibition at Lahore was a great success. It stirred the community and also inspired many other artists to participate in a subsequent exhibition held at the National Art Gallery in Islamabad. The Shakir Ali Museum in Lahore collaborated with the Artists’ Association in this endeavor. The exhibition is scheduled to travel to other major cities such as Peshawar and Karachi later this year.

Filed under: International

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