CAA News Today

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 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 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

After last month’s Annual Conference, recipients of CAA’s 2014 International Travel Grants were invited to contribute short articles reflecting on their experiences in Chicago. What follows is a personal reminiscence from Lilianne Lugo, an educator, administrator, and playwright based in Havana, Cuba. Lugo studies the relationship between the history of art and the history of theater, as well as the intersections of contemporary art practice and the performing arts. She is professor and vice dean of research and postgraduate studies at the Universidad de las Artes in Havana, Cuba.


The persistence of melancholy. The persistence of the friends I have released to oblivion. The persistence of the memories of other cities, other people that I miss. I walk in an unknown city. I can barely breathe, it’s so cold. My best friend wrote me an email. “What are you doing?” he asks. “I miss you….” But when I wrote him back I can only send him a picture of my foot on the snow … it’s my way of embracing the spirit of life, my way of saying that I am seizing and enjoying the opportunities that suddenly emerge in our lives and change it forever. Just a few moments in life can be counted like that, and this is one of them.

First time in the snow. From the plane I can see the frozen ground. Behind I have left the unbearable heat of Havana and the noise of its streets. First time in Chicago. First time in the United States. First time at CAA’s conference. So many impressions, so many new people. I can write only in first person singular. I can’t speak for the others. I can’t talk about what I haven’t seen before.

For a couple of days the Hilton Chicago is invaded by hordes of art historians, artists, professors, and recruiters. It’s a huge event, and the whole city seems to inhale a whirlwind of art. Exhibitions, talks, panels, and informal gatherings that interrupt the rhythm of daily routines and establish a different understanding of reality. In a world of white ground, how to conjure the fire of masterpieces? How can we understand and explain (if that’s possible) from a warm and carpeted hotel the always ungraspable world of art and art history?

For twenty people each year, the College Art Association and the Getty Foundation make it possible to attend this conference. That means twenty people in the world receive a gift to come to the States and share and learn what we know about the art in our countries with colleagues from all over the US. This time the group is composed of people from Egypt, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, South Africa, Portugal, Poland, Cuba, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon, Estonia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Croatia.

Some images of those days come to my mind: the day of the preconference, in which each of us presented a paper about our research, and the discussion afterward about so many different topics. Art Shay’s exhibition My Florence at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago that we, as a group, visited together. In the library of the college we saw the photographs and the artist himself. It was the story of his life, the little moments he shared with his wife and family, and it was so impressive to see him, with the energy and look that only years can bring. Or the exhibition at the DePaul Art Museum, The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus, about the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and the environment of that particular area that, in the former days of Communism, was the recreational spot for Joseph Stalin. And then we walked with our graduate-student host to see the Lakeview neighborhood nearby. Or the meetings with so many bright and marvelous people….

Then, when the conference ended, another trip was waiting for us, to the Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts. From the plane’s window we could see Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty; at LaGuardia airport we said goodbye to our fellow travel-grant recipient Mahmuda Khnam, who was feeling sick and couldn’t travel to Williamstown. We talked on the drive north and shared our opinions, we talked about everything: Brazilian soap operas, LGBT rights, curatorial practices, communism, incomes, outcomes, food, and snow. Then, a warm welcome at the Clark, a very special place in a beautiful setting where studying takes place in real luxury. Outside it snowed all day long, but inside the Clark was joyful and cozy, as we were received in that sanctuary of knowledge like kings and queens.

Now, in the sun again, I remember with joy the city of Chicago, the museums, the extraordinary collection of the Art Institute, the people of CAA, my fellow grant recipients, and, of course, all that I have learned about not only specific issues related to my research, but also the methodologies and approaches that many colleagues are currently using. I learned, too, about how things work in the professional world of art and art history in the United States.

I began this essay talking about melancholy. It’s the feeling I get when I think about those moments during CAA’s conference. Portuguese had a beautiful word to describe it: saudade. And that would be the best word, because even in Spanish nostalgia or melancolía are not the same. I cherish those moments. While I am thinking about what lies ahead, I am eager to come back and share with my new colleagues the fruits of another year of work.

Image Caption

Lilianne Lugo.

Filed under: Annual Conference, International

From the International Committee of the History of Art (Comité International de l’Histoire de l’Art, known as CIHA) and from the conveners of the Beijing Committee for the Congress: Professors LaoZhu, Fan Di’an, and Shao Dazhen.

Terms: Concepts of Art History

The organizing committee for the thirty-fourth Congress in the History of Art, which will take place in Beijing, China, in September 2016, warmly invites expressions of interest from the international community of art historians. The concepts for the sessions are outlined below. We ask for expressions of interest from scholars who wish to develop these themes as session chairs.

Each session will have an international chair and a Chinese chair. A Chinese chair may be from Chinese mainland, Taiwan, or abroad. An early career researcher might serve as associate chair, if necessary. The two cochairs (and an early career researcher, if there is one) will act as a committee to define and refine the session’s concept for the preliminary congress in 2015, and to select presenters for the major congress in Beijing in 2016.

Applications for chairs may be made by academics or independent scholars. We want to remind applicants that no member of the CIHA board, and no one having been a chair in the Nuremberg Congress in 2012, can apply for serving as chair of a session at the Beijing Congress.

Applicants should:

  1. Be thoroughly acquainted with the most recent developments in the field of art history relevant to the topic of their session
  2. Be able to develop the chosen concept by organizing relevant symposia and workshops before 2016, to initiate dialogue and discussion, and to identify important issues for discussion at CIHA 2016 in Beijing
  3. Be able to identify global experts in the appropriate fields and to collaborate with them
  4. To be present at CIHA 2016 in Beijing

Applicants should send the following to the CIHA scientific secretary with copy to Chinese committee:

  1. Number and title of the proposed session
  2. 1–2 pages explaining the perspective they intend to give to the session and the main ideas they would like to be developed and discussed
  3. A first draft of the call for papers to be developed with the Chinese chair if the session is selected
  4. A short CV stressing the activities and publications related to the session

The deadline for applications is April 10, 2014.

The list of the chairs will be established during the CIHA board meeting in Marseilles, France (June 25, 2014) and immediately announced on CIHA website and the Beijing Congress website.

Session Themes

The sessions as defined by the National Committee of the People’s Republic of China and the International Committee for the History of Art are as follows:

1. Words and Concepts【语词与概念】

The word for “art” has varied etymological origins and connotations in different languages, whether in Greek and Latin, in French and Italian, or in Japanese, Arabic, or Chinese. In each culture the concept of art has evolved over time. In some languages, such as Aboriginal Australian languages, there are no words for “art” at all.

This section explores the main theme of the 2016 CIHA Congress, different concepts of art in diverse cultures. The topic strives to achieve three goals. The first is to respond to the latest development of art history as a global discipline. The section aims to explore, through diverse definitions, art that exposes its relationship to the respective cultural framework, and to the disparities of different cultures in various periods throughout history, so as to gain a more comprehensive understanding of art as an essential part of human culture.

2. The Rank of Art【标准与品评】

How do we rank art, create cannons, and define taste as part of contemporaneity? How do we experience disparities in the interpretation of art, namely, judgments of art’s value, and how do we evolve different criteria for evaluating art?

This section explores how different concepts of art are rooted in consciously defined value systems. By contrast to interpretations of art, which abide by traditions and their evolution in specific cultural settings, there are self-conscious value systems and criteria that are part of theoretical reflection, part of an understanding, of self-awareness, and of a conscious establishment of norms. Different from general ideas or interpretations about/on art, these ideas have certain intentionality. The evaluation and ranking of art affects the development of art by defining the trends of art or restraining some aspects of its growth. In other words, the disparities of art arise from the disparities of evaluation criteria. Moreover, the same art could take on further disparities just because of different evaluation criteria. The idea of the contemporaneity in ranking and judgment is always changing. A work of art could, for instance, acquire completely different evaluations when it is presented in different regions or settings, or viewed by different groups of people.

3. Imagination and Projection【想象与投射】

What is the productive gaze? The imagination and projection produced by art varies with cultures. These imaginations and projections produce spectacles and images that in reality do not exist.

The third section investigates the social and cultural foundations of artistic difference. Besides the notion that the emergence of a certain concept of art is restricted by specific social and historical circumstances, special attention will be given to the fact that some societies and realities, in disparate historical periods, have been mythologized or embodied in legend, or in literature, so that they appear to be especially imaginative or hallucinatory. The goals are to observe and understand works of art as an interactive process and to bring art to a new level of knowledge and cultural experience. The discussion focuses on two aspects of this topic: the first is on the issue of the relationship between the sociocultural background and the artistic concept(s) it produces; the second the fermentation and symbiosis between imaginative and hallucinatory symbolization and the contemporaneous artistic concepts. Looking at nature or artifacts, artists could project their own imagination on them, producing spectacles and artworks.

4. Appreciation and Utility【欣赏与实用】

Artworks and artifacts. Objects that have a spiritual or emotional impact on people are designated as artworks; objects for daily use and consumption are defined as artifacts. The boundaries between artworks and artifacts shift constantly: how are artworks and artifacts distinguished, and what is the conceptual reasoning behind such definitions?

This session is about how a culture understands the function of art. For this topic, we recommend a discussion focusing on the functions of works of art or artifacts and how the function of artworks and artifacts is determined by the social roles that they play. There are many aspects to a culture’s understanding of art and different avenues of research: artworks and artifacts are variously differentiated in different cultures and different eras. How the utility of artifacts is chosen and preserved in a culture, and how its spiritual aspect transforms it into a work of art. Moreover, this transformation process provides circumstantial evidence for concepts of art in different cultures.

5. Self-Awareness or Self-Affirmation【自觉与自律】

How does art record and define itself? The self-consciousness of “art for art’s sake” occurs at times in art history. Within particular cultural spheres, self-definitions of art can vary. Every culture seems to have produced some art for art’s sake.

This topic entails an exploration of how art is understood in different cultures. This topic differs from the fourth one in that the latter deals with the distinction and relation between artworks and artifacts (most artworks are produced for purposes and functions other than being art per se; rather, they are considered historically significant cultural artifacts and are collected and preserved) while this topic focuses mainly on works that are created as “art for art’s sake.”

How does the self-definition of art occur and to what effect? The discussion will focus on the development of art during a period of independent self-development of a culture, or prior to the significant and widespread exchanges and mutual influence among cultures. In the self-aware process of defining art, the concept of art undergoes continual construction (constructivism), artworks are “consciously” formed and made in this way rather than that their self-affirmed distinctions construct a crucial aspect of the cultural multiplicity.

6. Politics of Identity: Tradition and Origin【传统与渊源】

Art as identity. Identity for so-called tradition and original art by different cultures and nations. Identity has its roots in a respective historical and social background.

This topic entails an exploration of the issues of identity in the art of different cultures. There is the matter of selection and identification both in the field of an artistic tradition and of artistic creation and evaluation criteria, which forms a distinct tendency in different eras and cultures. Whereas certain choices and identifications would inflate the disparities in art, others would enhance convergence among different cultures or eras, leading to entirely different results. Identity touches on two levels, from the large (society) to the small (community). Both involve the use of art to construct identity. The characters of different types of communities manifest themselves exactly through defining the social boundaries: be it geographic, racial, gender based, or just imaginative, in which art plays a crucial role. The analysis of social framework reveals differing social groups and different forms of reception for artistic concepts. Under cultural exchange the identity of art can be the awakening of cultural self-consciousness of an oppressed or colonized culture, it can be the propagandizing expansion of nationalism or cultural strategies of imperialism. Within a culture the emphasis on identity may be seen in two entirely different ways. On the one hand it may become a tool of cultural awakening for the local people; on the other hand it may be exploited by the autocratic authority to control and discipline others. Therefore, the identity of art creates or bridges the difference between cultures. How to self-identify, however, and what kind of disparity may then result is worth further study.

7. Translation and Change【流传与嬗变】

Art history on the road. The Silk Route. The Danube. Changes in the concepts of art induce changes in the production of art. After a work of art is completed, through the process of collection, circulation, and transfer, it is evaluated, judged, and often recorded. This type of process and later interpretation can add meaning to art; it can also ascribe meanings that are different from or even conflict to the original ones; the new understandings and interpretations can lead to changes in the production of art.

The seventh topic deals with the study of changes in art and specially deals with the way culture is spread through contacts made on trade routes. This topic intends to explore the development of art, which is not subject to explicit outside influence in those nations and regions. In different circumstances, the developmental process of art not only takes a different direction, but the speed and magnitude of change differs greatly. It is suggested that in discussing these differences, in addition to impact of politics, economics, science, and technology in a society, as well as that of its spiritual background (religion, thought), special attention will be paid to the role played by the qualities inherent in art itself.

8. Art and Taboo【禁忌与教化】

For religious and political reasons, art is used as an important tool to educate and evangelize. On the one hand this particular use can cause positive changes to art, but on the other hand political and religious interference can also negatively affect established art and outsider art. Censorship is seen as taboo.

This topic considers the relationship between “art and power.” The discussion focuses on how art, as a resource, is made use of and manipulated by political and religious authorities and the consequences of their employment and manipulation. Art is exploited as a tool and weapon for political instruction, cultural cultivation, and religious preaching. The power that makes art a means of taboo and propaganda manifests itself in the form of strong influence (such as in religion), or in that of coercion (such as political propaganda), or in the usage of certain customs (such as traditional taboo) by the human being. Propaganda (dissemination) and education (socialization, evangelization) have at times been seen as two important functions of art.

9. Autonomy and Elusion【独立与超脱】

Art has its own independence, consciousness, and autonomy. It has an impact on the dialectic of power. Art functions as a way of eluding power in a harsh situation. Neither influenced by economy and society nor intervened by politics or religion. Each culture has developed its own particular approach to protect art’s independence, consciousness, and autonomy.

The topic considers the independence of art as a force in resisting authority. The resistance shown that art can be seen neutrally as art’s transgression of rules which themselves are the consolidation of power. The rules may be ideological constructions or social norms. To various degrees, art displays its inherent function of dispelling, resisting, and dissipating power. For those social groups without authority, art functions to confront power and acts as a tool for obtaining independence, freedom, and solace. Disparate social forces, especially those among disadvantaged groups and the ruling classes, use art to express their own political aspirations and state of mind. They employ art for gaining independence and demonstrating resistance. At the same time artists themselves possess, in all cultures and eras, a degree of freedom of creation that rejects rational control and established norms, and they consciously make use of it.

10. Gendered Practices【性别与妇女】

The status and function of gender differ in different cultures across time. The norms of dealing with gender issues in art and its progression within a single culture may change. The relationship between gendered space, status, and power in society and the artworks is a crucial set of concerns. Gender issues exhibit complex structures in different cultures and ethnicities.

This topic concerns gender issues in the art of different cultures. The status and power of genders are rooted in their corresponding social structures, which can be seen not only in the physical and social space occupied by different genders but also in the art that depicts the gender disparities and the art made by different genders. The discussion focuses on how art represents, manifests, regulates, or even rejects this social structure in varying ways, and how gender awareness of a specific social-cultural community influences the formation of artistic concepts. The relationship between gender and art in different cultures can vary significantly. In some cultures, gender and art are more closely linked than in others. In some cultures certain art forms are based entirely on gender distinction. (For example, nüshu, or “women’s writing,” a mysterious symbolic system and art form used by a certain group of women in Hunan province in southern China.) It is important to understand how sexual identities and gender are constructed by artworks and art practice.

11. Landscape and Spectacle【风景与奇观】

Reading the world. Landscape is an acknowledgement and a response of the human being to the natural world. In different artistic traditions, different landscape consciousnesses are formed. “Spectacles” and images of the world-diagram also have a corresponding relationship. Natural scenery, manmade wonders, and artistic experience are directly and indirectly affected by the history of art.

This topic considers landscape as both a geographical constraint and a cultural projection. The focus of the discussion is not on Guy Debord’s “spectacle” as image; instead, we view landscape or spectacle as a projection of the relationship between the environment, both natural and urban environment, and the reflection of this environment in the artistic tradition. This topic also touches upon relevant issues of landscape planning, urban and community design, and public art.

12. Garden and Courtyard【园林与庭院】

Gardens give expression to particular ideals and function as artistic metaphors in different cultures. A garden is related to geography, humanity, and customs of life.

The twelfth topic concerns gardens and courtyards as a universal art form for cultural expressions. In enclosed spaces gardens and courtyards present comprehensively human (re)presentations and expressions of nature and art in an orderly form. Gardens and courtyards draw us closer to nature and place one’s ideals without keeping away from the institutional framework (such as the palace) and urban life. Some proposed examples for discussion: in the history of art, there has existed a strong disparity between the traditions of French gardens and English gardens, and between the traditions of Chinese gardens and Japanese gardens.[1]

13. Transmission and Adoption【传播与接受】

The spread of art concepts: transmission and adoption. Art and artistic concepts flow between different cultures often due to economic and political situations, namely international relationships rather than by the nature of art itself. But transcultural practice sometimes exists outside the limits of the economic and political relationships. In different societies, art is transmitted in various ways and to various degrees.

This topic investigates the intercultural transmission of art. The transcultural spread of art is often a by-product of trade, mission, conflict, and war. Case studies on the transmission of art induced by intercultural expansion have been thoroughly discussed on the Montreal and Melbourne congresses. The reason for choosing this topic again is that we hope to further emphasize the transmission of different art and artistic concepts. To sharpen the discussion, we propose to switch the focus to the different modes, means, and methods of transmission and thus to study how new modes and means of transmission can expand the value of relativity and strengthen perceptible impact onto humanity. The new modes and means of transmission of art concepts thereby change and expand the original patterns of interest and shape to new forms of expression. For instance it can be explored in post-colonial studies how dominant cultures impose their art concepts and visions on the subalterns.

14. Othering and Foreignness【他者与陌生】

Strange and unfamiliar aesthetic of foreign art. Acceptance and rejection of foreign art, depending on one’s own perspective: On the one hand, cultures enjoy the novelty of a foreign culture’s sentiments; on the other hand, cultures possess an inertia that rejects and resists outside ideas and influences.

This topic considers how a culture views and evaluates a foreign and unfamiliar art. The discussion focuses on the reaction of a culture to the others “prior” to extensive exchanges and transmissions among them take place. Every culture encounters foreign and unfamiliar art. Even within a same culture there could be those “foreign” and unfamiliar aspects of art that are not from the cultural center or do not conform to the traditional cultural milieu. These unfamiliar or foreign aspects can be praised and cherished and at the same time belittled and excluded from the recipient’s cultural mainstream. This paradox is the premise that both gives rise to impact and determines the nature and extent of the (cultural) exchange.

15. Creative Misunderstanding【误解与曲用】

Misunderstanding can occasion creativity. The utility of misunderstanding. In art history, the capacity for creativity and the harm that misunderstandings and misinterpretations may do. This type of dual nature creates rich cultural phenomena within art history.

The focus here is on misunderstanding and misinterpretation in the history of art. It intends to further study the problem of the reception of foreign, heterodox and nontraditional cultures. The difference between topics 14 and 15 is that topic 14 deals with how to view and treat other cultures (reception of an existing culture) prior to actually engaging with them. Topic 15 focuses on the consequences of cultural exchange: “misunderstandings” lead to changes of cultural and individual behavior, which can be either creative or disruptive. Disruptions can be corrected and thereof lead further to the emergence of new creativity. Relevant to this theme is the nature of misunderstanding—whether as a conscious choice or merely a result caused by distance, no matter chronologically or spatially.

16. Commodity and Market【商品与市场】

The art market’s effect on art arises perhaps largely from the goals of commerce, and art commerce also embodies alienation and deviation from political power. This session investigates the interactions and disparities between art’s noncommercial nature (poetic quality) and the repeated transactions of artworks. It also compares the connections and differences between the value of mainstream art and kitsch.

This topic is about the art market as a special and dedicated way of exchange and as a form of cultural interaction. In the posteconomic globalization era, the ways in which market transactions work are changing. We propose to focus the discussion on how the changed patterns of the art market have altered to a large extent the patterns of the dissemination of art and how they have affected the evolvement of artistic concepts. The circulation and transactions of artworks are reflected in the globalized economy. On the one hand the differences between the boundaries of cultures are somewhat smoothed out in order to gain a broader market, while on the other hand artistic novelty and peculiarity are intentionally created, so as to increase competitiveness of the art commodities in the globalized setting and to raise the value of the collectible artworks and their consumability. The artistic creation is consequently targeted to specific purchasing demand and becomes part of the cultural industry. New means of communication are changing the ways of pricing art, imposing a real impact on the art market. Virtual works of art based on digital technology are both different from traditional artworks and from the artworks that can be reproduced by machine. These new media have subverted the concept of “original work” and outstripped the “copyright” definition for replication of work, which also has an impact on the development of art.

17. Display and Observation【展示与观看】

Performing difference by showing art. Effect of exhibition on art-historical concepts and methodologies. Exhibitions also change the concept of historical art strongly. Evolution of art-historical concepts and methodology as reflected in the collection, conservation, and presentation of art; the change in both the content and the methodology of presentation, as well as the meaning of the museum’s role as a “composer” of different art history.

Exhibition serves as a channel for communication between cultures and a means of illustrating differences. The concern of this topic roots in the impact of the exhibition on art historical concepts and methods. We suggest a discussion on the changes in the content and methods of displaying art and on the changes of the concept of museum and especially on how to apply these (changes) to structure knowledge and spread civilization by means of comparing cultures and using different cultural perspectives. In traditional cultures displaying art is often related to private connoisseurship, but in the contemporary environment, in which intercultural contact has expanded significantly and an art exhibition serves as a channel of communication and a means of exchange. It could be understood as the advent of “public space.” The display and clash of intercultural differences meet the needs of the exhibition and the viewer’s interests. How a curator brings together different regions, cultures, and styles into an exhibition in order to display historical differences, attract the viewers’ curiosity, create special hybridity, or contrast scenes to expand knowledge (a new understanding of history), to break through historical boundaries and create a wholly new culture, and how virtual artistic expressions on the internet are threatening traditional means of exhibition are all important issues to be discussed in this section.

18. Media and Visuality【媒体与视觉】

Propagation of artworks in the information age. With the popularization and application of the internet and various digital-storage techniques and applied technology, traditional art has been affected by a high degree of challenge and substitution. Visual culture is currently changing the structure and spirituality of people’s lives; it also broadens gradually the methods of art’s creation, the techniques of its propagation, and the scope of its acceptance.

This topic resumes the corresponding discussion at CIHA 2012. Traditional artistic media have helped forming cultural identities in different cultures, for instance, the marble statues for the ancient Greek, the oil painting for the European, the Ukiyo-e for the Japanese, and the ink and wash for the Chinese. In the information age the new methods of communication have significant impact on the visual arts under the different cultural traditions and realities. In addition to the general impact of new media and methodologies, we propose to focus the discussion on how temporal and geographical barriers between cultures and regions gradually lose their traditional significance in the midst of the new media and visual culture. “Common time” alters people’s sense of history and temporal experience; synchronization and juxtaposition of spaces, explored in theories on “spatial turn,” change their tradition consciousness and cultural identification. Groups with new media and their audience are no longer divided by identity concepts of traditional culture, nationality, ethnicity or region. Has modern media, in a sense, transformed people into “media art”?

19. History of Beauty vs. History of Art【审美与艺术史】

New connections and disparities between aesthetics and the history of art. Traditionally, art is often associated with beauty—as reality’s perfect, idealized, and manmade form. However, art is not equal to beauty. It is even more so in today’s society. An enormous disparity emerged between the history of beauty and the history of art. Art has broken through the boundaries of aesthetics, sensory, and emotion and entered a realm of social responsibility and intervention of the reality. In turn, art tries to seek, beyond philosophies, interpretation of freedom and understanding of human rights.

This section is a study on how the revolution in new means of communication has changed art history and aesthetics. We propose here to focus the discussion on the different relation between art and aesthetics in different cultures and how this relation is constructed, strengthened, broken, and reconstructed. In the information age this relation has changed. Art has transcended aesthetics and feelings and expanded its traditional scope to play a more direct role in society and reality and, further, to the ideological and philosophical quest for interpreting freedom and human rights. We can further discuss from here new directions and methodologies in the study of art history, as well as the new mode of thinking following the “pictorial turn.”

20. Professional Education and Aesthetic Education【专业与美育】

That disparities in art and art history bring changes in methodology and reforms of professional art education is an important concern for the development of contemporary art and art history. Nonprofessional art education is an education technique for the citizenry. Using art for aesthetic education through new media has become an important way for improving the citizens’ quality of life.

The topic is about disparities of art education in different cultures. We propose to focus the discussion on different forms of art education before the advent of information age and on reform of art education in the information age. In each culture traditional art education has its own specific emphases. For instance, differences are apparent in the forms of apprenticeship, the relationship between master and apprentice or between teacher and student, and the administration of the workshop. The changes brought by new media and technology deal with three issues: (1) new artistic concepts, new categories, and new methods demand new specialized arts education; (2) how have the revolutionary changes in concepts, categories, and methods altered methodologies in art education, whether these changes affect specialized and/or professional arts education and art education for the public; (3) how new artistic concepts, categories, and methodologies, together with new modes of communication and transmission, will affect the development of art history, for example, via the emerging digital humanities.

21. Connecting Art Histories and World Art【多元与世界】

The relationship between local art history and global art history. Aside from the disparate academic traditions of the East and the West (and of the South?), what cultural circles and academic traditions are there in the world? How has and can art history become an open global discipline.

This last topic discusses art history within a framework of global art history. This section deals with the further development of art history and the art history in view of interdisciplinary research. We hope to gain responses from their respective positions by participating scholars in order to further promote understanding of the disparities and commonalities in art and art history among different cultures throughout the world. For example, there is a remarkable difference between East Asian art history (as represented by the art of South Korea, Japan, China, etc.) and Western art history. Besides this there are many distinct cultural spheres and schools in the world that have their own art and art-historical terms. The scope of world art history recognizes and understands the differences among artistic terms of each individual people and specific time. It places art terms beyond any unified single standard and thereby contributes to a globalized art history to encompass all world art in its research purview. At the same time, in cooperation with other fields, art history takes on an interdisciplinary approach, which promises to lead art history toward a new future-oriented era. With new and open scholarship on issues, CIHA 2016 strives to further explore and develop new energy, new directions, and a new mission!

[1] The suggested topics outlined above are issues that concern the different developmental paths and artistic productions created in disparate cultures. These differences can be divided into “internal art problems” and “external art problems” on the basis of the relationship that art engages with. The external art problems focus on the relationship between art and social, historical, and other (political, economical, religious, ideological, and scientific factors surrounding the artistic production in any given society and culture. Internal problems of art center around aesthetic, expressive, and creative aspects of art, as well as a society or culture’s own visual tradition. The remaining topics listed below concern interaction and exchange between arts of different cultures across time. The issues were the center of discussion at the 31 Kongress of 2004 Montréal Sites and Territories of Art History; XXXI eCongres, Montreal, QC, Canada 32. Kongress 2008 Melbourne Crossing Cultures: Conflict-Migration-Convergence.

Filed under: Art History, International

This year’s recipients of CAA’s International Travel Grants arrived in Chicago on Sunday, February 9, a few days in advance of the Annual Conference. Although the temperature outside was freezing, the mood among the program’s participants was considerably warmer due to their enthusiasm and friendliness. Funded by a generous grant from the Getty Foundation, the grantees (as pictured above from left to right) included:  Katerina Gadjeva (Bulgaria), Freeborn Odiboh (Nigeria), Susana S. Martins (Portugal), Kanwal Khalid (Pakistan); Magdalena Nowak (Poland), Adriana Oprea (Romania), Cezar Bartholomeu (Brazil), Daria Kostina (Russia), Eddie Butindo-Mbaalya (Uganda); Lilianne Lugo Herrera (Cuba), Laris Borić (Croatia), Josefina de la Maza Chevesich (Chile), Fernando Martinez Nespral (Argentina), Portia Malatjie (South Africa), Mahmuda Khnam (Bangladesh), Rael Artel (Estonia); Ahmed Wahby (Egypt), Hugues Heumen Tchana (Cameroon), Heba Nayel Barakat Hassanein (Malaysia), and Eric Appau Asante (Ghana). For some, it was their first visit to the United States; for all, it was their first to Chicago and to a CAA Annual Conference.

Now in its third year, CAA’s International Travel Grant Program aims to bring a more diverse and global perspective to the study of art history by generating international scholarly exchange. Over time, the program will build CAA’s international membership and strengthen its connections to an increasingly global art community. The international travel grant recipients were selected by a jury of CAA members from over one hundred applicants based on the following criteria: all had to be art history professors, artists who teach art history, or museum curators with advanced degrees in art or art history; they had to be from countries not well represented in CAA’s membership; and they had to demonstrate that attending the conference would significantly support or strengthen their work.

With additional support from the National Committee for the History of Art (NCHA), several CAA members—including members of its board of directors and International Committee and representatives from NCHA—took part in the visitors’ activities throughout the conference week, serving as hosts and/or participants in a preconference session about international topics in art history. This year graduate students from Chicago-area universities also participated to assist the grant recipients in visiting museums and galleries around town. Through informal conversations, excursions, and meals, these CAA members introduced grantees to colleagues in their fields, advised them about conference activities, and exchanged information about the practice of art history in their countries. For many, the week’s activities marked the beginning of new friendships and scholarly collaborations, to be continued in various countries around the world and at future CAA conferences.

A highlight of this year’s program was the full-day preconference about International Topics in Art History held on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. Each of the grant recipients gave presentations about their work, addressing topics such as art and national identity, international issues in contemporary art, cross-cultural influences on artistic styles, and curriculum reassessments of art historical training. The talks featured a wide range of art, from Renaissance arches to Islamic-Hispanic domestic architecture, from communist-era paintings in Poland and Russia to contemporary art in Estonia, South Africa, and Malaysia. Following the presentations, Rick Asher, professor of art history at the University of Minnesota, led a lively discussion that further explored these topics and related issues about how art history is practiced in different parts of the world. Joining him were Professors Mark Cheetham (University of Toronto), Jennifer Milam (University of Sydney), Steven Nelson (UCLA), and museum curator Joanne Pillsbury (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

“The diversity of the grantees was astonishing, and their respective self-introductions brought very much to the meeting. It was clear that nobody had had such opportunities of meeting colleagues from so many distant cultures and countries as we did that day.”
–Eva Forgacs, professor of Russian and Central European art history and a host for this year’s program

Later in the week, grantees attended a session sponsored by CAA’s International Committee entitled Topics in Global Art History: Historical Connections. The first in a series of sessions on global art history, this year’s panel included presentations by two former grant recipients, Shao-Chien Tseng (Taiwan) and Trinidad Perez (Ecuador). The goal going forward is to solicit proposals for papers from former grantees to reinforce connections between them and CAA members.

CAA’s International Committee remained centrally involved in planning this year’s travel grant program. We are particularly grateful to Ann Albritton, outgoing chair of the committee, for her enthusiastic support. In addition to co-organizing the session on Topics in Global Art History (with committee member Gwen Farrelly), Ann offered guidance on program plans, lined up several hosts, and served as an energetic host herself.

At the close of the week’s activities, grant recipients and hosts met again to report on what they had learned and how it will impact their work in the future. Several discussed preliminary plans to co-organize meetings, guest curate exhibitions, and/or arrange guest lectures at each other’s universities. Their experiences were well-summarized by Laris Borić, who wrote after he returned home:

Personally I was deeply impacted by the enthusiasm and dedication of some of the speakers at the conference, CAA staff and my fellow grant recipients. As I have already said in one of the debates, awareness that we all share a common passion and dedication towards research and teaching made me feel I belong to a common tribe or nation made of art historians wherever they come from.
–Laris Borić, professor of Renaissance art and architecture and grant recipient from Croatia

Image Captions

First: 2014 CAA International Travel Grant Recipients (left to right): Katerina Gadjeva (Bulgaria), Freeborn Odiboh (Nigeria), Susana S. Martins (Portugal), Kanwal Khalid (Pakistan); Magdalena Nowak (Poland), Adriana Oprea (Romania), Cezar Bartholomeu (Brazil), Daria Kostina (Russia), Eddie Butindo-Mbaalya (Uganda); Lilianne Lugo Herrera (Cuba), Laris Borić (Croatia), Josefina de la Maza Chevesich (Chile), Fernando Martinez Nespral (Argentina), Portia Malatjie (South Africa), Mahmuda Khnam (Bangladesh), Rael Artel (Estonia); Ahmed Wahby (Egypt), Hugues Heumen Tchana (Cameroon), Heba Nayel Barakat Hassanein (Malaysia), Eric Appau Asante (Ghana) (photograph by Bradley Marks).

Second: Joanne Pillsbury and Eric Asante (photograph by Bradley Marks).

Third: Fernando Martinez Nespral and Mahmuda Khnam (photograph by Bradley Marks).

Fourth: Deborah Marrow from the Getty Foundation talks with grant recipients at a reception following the preconference (left to right): Eddie Butindo-Mbaalya, Cesar Bartholomeu, Hugues Heumen Tchana, Freeborn Odiboh, Eric Appau Asante (photograph by Bradley Marks).

In an effort to promote greater interaction and exchange between American and international art historians and artists, CAA offers twenty International Travel Grants to bring colleagues from around the world to its Annual Conference, to be held next year in Chicago from February 12 to 15, 2014. This is the third year of the program, which has been generously funded by the Getty Foundation since its inception. CAA is pleased to announce this year’s recipients—professors of art history, curators, and artists who teach art history—who 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 International Travel Grants include conference registration and a one-year CAA membership. At the conference, the twenty recipients will be paired with hosts, who will introduce them to CAA and to specific colleagues who share their interests. Members of CAA’s International Committee have agreed to serve as hosts, along with representatives from the National Committee for the History of Art (NCHA) and CAA’s Board of Directors. CAA is grateful to NCHA for renewing its generous underwriting of the hosts’ expenses. The program will begin on February 11 with an introductory preconference for grant recipients and their hosts.

CAA hopes that this travel-grant program will not only increase international participation in the organization’s activities, but also expand international networking and the exchange of ideas both during and after the conference. The Getty-funded International Travel Grant 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 grant recipients in Chicago at the next Annual Conference.

2014 Recipients of CAA International Travel Grants

  • Rael Artel, Director, Tartu Art Museum, Estonia
  • Eric Appau Asante, Lecturer, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
  • Cezar Tadeu Bartholomeu, Professor of Art History, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Laris Borić, Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, University of Zadar, Croatia
  • Eddie M. P. Butindo-Mbaalya, Lecturer, Kyambogo University, Uganda
  • Josephina de la Maza Chevesich, Assistant Professor, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile
  • Katerina Zdravkova Gadjeva, Assistant Professor, Institute of Art Studieso, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Bulgaria
  • Heba Nayal Barakat Hassanein, Head, Curatorial Affairs Department, Islamic Arts Museum, Malaysia
  • Lilianne Lugo Herrera, Professor and Vice Dean, Research and Postgraduate Studies, University of Arts, Cuba
  • Heuman Tchana Hugues, Junior Lecturer, University of Maroua/Higher Institute of the Sahel, Camaroon
  • Kanwal Khalid, Assistant Professor, Lahore College for Women University, Pakistan
  • Mahmuda Khnam, Assistant Professor, Department of Islamic History & Culture, Jagannath University, Bangladesh
  • Daria Kostina, Lecturer in Art History, Ural Federal University, and curator of B. U. Kashkin Museum, Yekaterinburg, Russia
  • Portia Malatjie, Lecturer, Art History and Visual Culture  Rhodes University, South Africa
  • Susana S. Martins, Lecturer and Research Fellow, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Fernando Luis Martinez Nespral, Head Professor and Researcher, University of Buenos Aires, School of Architecture, Design and Urbanism, Argentina
  • Magdalena Anna Nowak, Assistant Curator, National Museum in Warsaw, Poland
  • Freeborn O. Odiboh, Associate Professor of Art History and Criticism, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
  • Adriana Oprea, Archivist and Researcher, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Romania
  • Ahmed E. Wahby, Lecturer and Vice Dean for Student Affairs, German University in Cairo, Egypt





The Getty Foundation has awarded CAA a major grant to fund the International Travel Grant Program for a third consecutive year. The foundation’s support will enable CAA to bring twenty international visual-arts professionals to the 102nd Annual Conference taking place February 12–15, 2014, in Chicago. CAA’s International Travel Grant Program supports art historians, artists who teach art history, and museum curators, and provides the grantees with funds for travel expenses, hotel accommodations, per diems, conference registrations, and one-year CAA memberships. The program will include a one-day preconference meeting to be held on February 11, 2014, providing grant recipients and their hosts with the opportunity to address their common professional interests and issues.

The goal of the International Travel Grant Program is to increase international participation in CAA and to diversify the organization’s membership, which now includes members from seventy-five nations. CAA also strives to familiarize international participants with the submission process for conference sessions and foster collaboration among American art historians, artists, and curators and their international colleagues. As in previous years, members of CAA’s International Committee and the National Committee for the History of Art have agreed to host the program participants.

Grant guidelines and the 2014 application can be found on the CAA website. Professionals who have not previously attended a CAA conference are especially encouraged 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 2014 conference as chairs, speakers, or discussants. The deadline for applications has been extended to August 23, 2013.

For information on applying to the International Travel Grant Program, please contact its project director, Janet Landay, at or 212-392-4420.

Image: Two International Travel Grant recipients and their CAA hosts at the 2013 Annual Conference. From left to right: Elaine O’Brien (CAA host), Venny Nakazibwe (with back turned, from Uganda), Trinidad Perez (Ecuador), and Ann Albritton (host and chair of CAA’s International Committee) (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Early last year, in my role as president of the South African Visual Arts Historians (SAVAH), I was asked by Professor Federico Freschi (at the University of Johannesburg) to send out a call for participants to apply for a travel grant to attend the CAA Annual Conference in New York in February 2013. After mailing the request to SAVAH members, I read through the requirements and found that it was an extraordinarily generous grant for which one only needed to be a full-time practicing art historian residing in a country not well represented in CAA membership. The grant, which was funded by the Getty Foundation, was aimed at encouraging dialogue between art historians from around the globe and included a year’s membership to CAA.

As a lucky recipient I was one of twenty people heading for the icy snow-laden New York in February and arrived on the first morning that JFK airport was opened again after being closed for two days due to blizzards. My first activity in New York was to head for Central Park and enjoy the novelty of walking in the deep snow.

The day before the CAA conference, travel-grant recipients had a preconference gathering where we met the other grantees and gave five-minute presentations to introduce ourselves. This allowed us to get to know each other and identify like minds and areas of collaboration, so from the first meeting there was already a networking frenzy taking place. The grantees reminded me of the League of Nations, with people from various African countries, South American countries, India, Pakistan, China, Haiti, Korea, Iceland, and several Eastern European countries (and I have probably missed a few). There was a lot of lively discussion every time we met, and we got on very well with each other as a group. It was wonderful to meet so many diverse people who shared a passion for the development and teaching of art history.

The CAA conference was huge and frenetic with many parallel sessions, so one had to choose the papers very carefully. I heard some wonderful presentations by Amelia Jones, Griselda Pollock, and Whitney Chadwick (among others) in a feminist session that was packed to the hilt, with people sitting on the floor and lining the walls. As part of conference attendance, everyone had free access to many galleries and museums in New York for the duration of the conference, so there was much rushing to see exhibitions between listening to papers.

I was also lucky enough to be invited (with the other African delegates) to the opening of El Anatsui’s glorious exhibition, Gravity and Grace, at the Brooklyn Museum, where the artist made an appearance as well. For this and other wonderful visits (such as a private tour of the African collection at the Metropolitan Museum) I must thank Jean Borgatti, who was assigned as host to two of the African delegates but was kind enough to include all the visitors from Africa in her plans. At the end of the conference, we had a final “debriefing” session where we could state what worked and what didn’t. From my point of view, the entire event was splendidly arranged and I cannot fault anything, although on a purely personal note I would have enjoyed more time with the group as a whole.

After the conference we were invited by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute to visit their museum and research center in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Most of the group were able to extend their visit for the extra three days required for this trip, and we were bussed off to Williamstown, where we stayed at the delightful Williams Inn. At the Clark we were given a tour of the library, the print archives, and the museum, and joined in discussions of possible future projects for the Clark’s Research and Academic Programs to pursue. We were also taken to one of the biggest art spaces I have ever seen: the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (or MASS MoCA), which had a room large enough (one football field long) to display Xu Bing’s enormous flying Phoenix.

After returning to New York, most travel-grant recipients returned to their countries, while I and a few others were able to stay another few days (in my case until the weekend—two more days) to make the most of the city. I spent this time literally running from one gallery to another to try and fit them all in before leaving. New York is amazingly rich in terms of what it has to offer culturally, and I feel this trip was altogether an enriching experience—from the intellectual stimulation and visual excitement to the wonderful people I met. This affords great networking opportunities such as reciprocal arrangements between institutions (student or staff exchanges) and invitations to conferences or ongoing discussions about the state of art history on a global scale (via email, of course). As a direct result of this trip I have already been invited to speak at a global conference in Slovakia this September, and am making arrangements for exchange programs with other institutions.

First image: Me (the “Michelin Man”) in Central Park.

Second image: The “African Contingent” admiring El Anatsui at the Met.

Third image: Our group at the final “debriefing” in New York.

Twenty recipients of CAA International Travel Grants, funded by the Getty Foundation, attended the Annual Conference in New York in February. For the second year, CAA’s International Committee, chaired by Ann Albritton, worked with Janet Landay, organizer of this project for CAA, to host a diverse group of art historians—scholars, teachers, and curators from nineteen countries around the world—in CAA’s endeavor to become more connected in our increasingly global art world.

CAA Executive Director, Linda Downs, explains the project in this way:

We developed the concept for a program that would:

  1. introduce individuals who have not had the means to participate in the annual conference to provide travel, hotel and stipends to attend;
  2. attempt to interest individuals who are teaching in relatively small or new art and art history departments to provide access to an international network of people in the visual arts;
  3. to do a good job of hosting them and connecting them to other members of similar sub disciplines and interests (be they US or international members) in order to provide the beginnings of networks that they can build on;
  4. to give them instruction on what is sought by the Annual Conference Committee for vetted session proposals so that they might propose sessions in the future in order to present their perspectives, critical concerns and resent research; and
  5. to start a dialogue with US art historians and artists on their methodology, research, networks and interests.

Each grantee was hosted by a colleague from CAA—members of the International Committee, Board members, or representatives of the National Committee on the History of Art (NCHA)—who introduced them to the conference and scholars in their fields, and also arranged meetings, museum visits and informal gatherings. This year, we were very grateful for a grant from NCHA to support the hosts’ activities.

On February 12, the day before the Annual Conference began, the grant recipients and their hosts met for a half-day preconference about issues in global art history. Beginning with short presentations by the grantees about their research and experiences, the afternoon included a panel discussion on global art history, moderated by Marc Gotlieb, the president of NCHA and professor of art history at Williams College, with representatives from the Getty Foundation (Joan Weinstein), the Getty Research Institute (Gail Feigenbaum), the Clark Research and Academic Program (Michael Ann Holly), and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (Elizabeth Cropper). Exciting exchanges prompted by the panel discussion as well as the research projects of the grant recipients produced energy that enlivened our discussions for the remainder of the conference. Here’s how one grantee summarized it:

The pre-conference was probably the most useful aspect of this visit as it allowed each of us to get to know each other and to immediately identify people with whom we could network and set up reciprocal projects or research exchanges between our institutions. I have made some wonderful contacts and we are already busy with plans for invitations to speak at conferences and plans to arrange student/staff visits to linked institutions.
—Karen von Veh, South Africa

On Thursday, during a luncheon for the grantees and hosts, James Elkins, E.C. Chadbourne Chair of art history, theory, and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, had lunch with the group and shared with them ideas and stories from his international study of the field. This, again, was a highlight for many. In fact, Elkins plans to visit some of them in the near future as he travels around the world.

A whole new range and scope of possibilities have entered my horizon. I think it will open up many opportunities for my students and colleagues as well. But on a personal and human level the conference was a great gathering for creating global understanding.
—Musarrat Hasan, Pakistan

Jean Borgatti, specialist in African Art, commented on her hosting activities for several of the grant recipients from African countries: Joseph Adande from Benin; Peju Layiwola of Lagos, Nigeria; Venny Nakazibwe of Uganda; Ohioma Pogoson of Nigeria, and Karen von Veh of South Africa (and also, at times, Marly Desir of Haiti). A week after the CAA conference, Jean flew to Africa for several months of study and wrote this:

I’m looking forward to actually visiting three of my five grantees in Lagos, Ibadan, and what I refer to as ‘the other’ Benin, since I am currently in Benin City, heart of the old kingdom. During CAA, we had three great outings together: on Monday, Yaelle Biro at the Metropolitan Museum graciously provided a tour of her exhibit on the reception of African art in New York in the 1930s, and then left us with the Met’s archivist who gave us an overview of the various media encompassed by the archive. On Wednesday, we were invited to a private reception for El Anatsui’s exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and were stunned by the beauty of the objects and thrilled to meet with the artist himself. On Thursday, Susan Vogel, founding director of the Center for African Art, invited the group to her Soho loft for dinner, a nice way to unwind and extend our conversations about ongoing and upcoming projects. A good time was had by all.

In addition to the events Borgatti described, these recipients also attended several CAA sessions, exchanged ideas with other recipients, and met many other CAA members.

The International Committee is delighted with CAA’s travel grant program, not only for bringing international scholars to the Annual Conference, but for the opportunity for us to interact with them: to learn about each other’s research and discuss mutual interests and concerns. We are indeed grateful to the Getty Foundation and NCHA for making this program possible and hope the friends we made this year will come to future conferences to continue our conversations. As one of the grantees put it:

I will be an ambassador for the CAA henceforth and will advise art historians in my country and elsewhere to endeavor to attend their annual meetings.
—Ohioma Pogoson, Nigeria

First image: Parul Mukherji (India) and Ding Ning (China), two of this year’s recipients of CAA’s International Travel Grants.

Second image: Gail Feigenbaum, Elizabeth Cropper, Marc Gotlieb, Michael Ann Holly, and Joan Weinstein participated in a panel discussion on issues in global art history during the February 12 pre-conference for the International Travel Grant program.

Third image: James Elkins, professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, met with the CAA International Travel Grant recipients during the conference. Pictured are Peju Layiwola, Ann Albritton, James Elkins, and Elaine O’Brien.

Fourth image: Jean Borgatti took five recipients of this year’s CAA International Travel Grant to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they received a tour from curator Yaelle Biro. Front row: Jean Borgatti, Venny Nakazibwe (Uganda) Back row: Ohioma Pogoson (Nigeria), Karen von Veh (South Africa), Yaelle Biro, Joseph Adande (Benin), Peju Layiwola (Nigeria).