College Art Association

CAA News Today

Staff Interview: Paul Skiff

posted by October 27, 2016

Paul Skiff

As part of the new myCAA campaign where we ask our members to share with us what CAA means to them, we thought it also makes sense to share with our members more about ourselves at CAA. In this spirit, every few weeks we will post an interview with a staff member at CAA. We want our members to know who we are also.

Our first interview in the series is with Paul Skiff, assistant director for Annual Conference.

How long have you worked at CAA?

Seventeen years.

What do you do at CAA?

I handle all space use for the Annual Conference: facility specification and coordinating with facility personnel, logistics, service providers, production, marketing, and sponsorships for the Book and Trade Fair, receptions, tours, onsite direction, and the task of working up budgets for all of this. Essentially I set up the arrangements that enable us at CAA to coordinate everyone and everything into and out of the conference.

What does CAA mean to you?

CAA is a leading international organization promoting visual art and culture in a way that has direct impact on society. The conference brings together the membership, along with related professions, for a large public event that gives a high profile to the cultural sector of the host city and contributes to defining the forward direction of culture in general.

Can you talk about one of your favorite member moments?

Too many to mention, really. CAA members are so frequently a great pleasure to work with no matter what the situation. At its base the organization is a collective, and that really guides so much of what members bring.

What do you like best about the arts and working in the arts?

Art, and culture in general, provides a basis for unity across social, cultural, national, and political boundaries. In the urban culture of the United States, cultural practice is seen as an open forum with authority to comment upon—and provide a way for coping with—the prevailing conditions of the time. Applied this way, cultural practices have as their main goal establishment of a democratizing equality. What I like about one part of the particular work I do in the arts with CAA is that my efforts serve to create opportunities for thousands of people involved in art and culture. Over my time working with CAA, this has amounted to providing a wide variety of opportunities for literally tens of thousands of people involved with art and culture.

Do you have a favorite moment from the Annual Conference each year?

The closing celebration for department staff after sessions conclude on the last day of the conference, when a year’s worth of hard work is complete and you know thousands of people had a pleasurable and fulfilling experience.

Video capture of Paul Skiff’s performance Blood Circle

What have your most recent performances consisted of?

My most recent performances have been straightforward presentations of texts and poetry spoken live, often with supplemental sound, and mostly presented for community-based cultural organizations with a vision for preserving, promoting, and strengthening local culture.

How do you feel about the differences between your art performed live or recorded on tape?

My live performance often incorporates recorded sound and images, so it is not that easy to separate the two modes of presentation. But to consider electronically recorded material separately, there is of course a vast difference with regard to the resultant sensory phenomenon. The main strength of actual live, spoken work is its generative quality, its immediacy, and its ability to create a “hearership” that can challenge existing listening institutions. With electronically recorded sound and/or images you have the rather endlessly deep toolbox of technology, which mostly amounts to applying exaggeration and distortion to live forms, and playing with time, as well as simply preserving information for transmission. I’m not saying anything profound by that, of course. Applying technology to a live performance enables an extension and transformation of form that allows for many different and new ways to present the work, seek a broader audience, and invent ever more creative solutions.

The creation of electronic information along with storage and retrieval is the most expansive creative environment for us now. At this point in our history telelectricentrism is second nature. Humanity has adapted to this so that forms of experience based on electronic image and sound increasingly dominate everyday life. We are still discovering how this is an asset and liability. It has mixed results and risky implications for our ability to really communicate. But in this for me is a great and absorbing task of applying these distorting and exaggerating technologies to instill acts of rehumanizing our culture. It’s kind of like taking something inherently dangerous and reshaping or repurposing it to provide pleasure, fulfillment, and a greater sense of shared well-being—not to mention preserving and strengthening our sense of self-worth.

 

The art critic and historian Irving Sandler was a regular contributor to ARTnews and other magazines in the 1950s and 1960s. He is best known for The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism (London: Pall Mall, 1970) and its follow-up, The New York School: The Painters and Sculptors of the Fifties (New York: Harper and Row, 1978). Born in New York in 1925, Sandler turned 91 years old on July 22.

He and his wife, Lucy Freedman Sandler, a historian of medieval art and an accomplished author in her own right, are CAA life members. Both scholars have a long involvement with CAA spanning several decades: Lucy served as president of the Board of Directors from 1981 to 1984 and organized the 1978 Annual Conference with her husband. Both have spoken many times at the conference; they have organized and moderated numerous panels and sessions as well. In addition, Irving was part of a group of CAA members who introduced a new format to Art Journal, back in 1979.

Sandler’s second book of memoirs, Swept Up by Art (Brooklyn: Rail Editions, 2015), follows his first, A Sweeper-Up after Artists (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2003). Christopher Howard, CAA managing editor, visited Sandler in May 2016 at his New York apartment to talk about his recent book and about his involvement with CAA over the years.

CAA: Let’s start with Art Journal. In the late 1970s you and a handful of others—Anne Coffin Hansen, Ellen Lanyon, George Sadek—got together to reinvent the publication.

Irving Sandler: That is pretty much it. We took the journal, which had become pretty moribund—it was sort of run by an old guard—and we turned it into something much more interesting by doing thematic issues, and also getting interesting editors to do it. It’s still working more or less that way.

Yes, it is. Editors have three-year terms—but they get a longer time span to take it over. You even produced one of those early issues, in Winter 1980, yourself.

Yes, I did. This issue was, to my knowledge, was the first issue on modernism and postmodernism, indicating the change that had been taking place in art, and in the art world as well. That was a very good issue.

You and your wife first joined CAA in 1954. How has the teaching of art and art history changed over the last sixty years?

Well, one of the things—the primary thing I believe—that’s changed would be the introduction of contemporary art into curricula. That simply wasn’t done. In places like the Institute of Fine Arts, you couldn’t write a dissertation on an artist who wasn’t dead for a century. And suddenly, not only do you have contemporary art, but the primary emphasis, in our art-history programs now, is on the contemporary. That’s a radical change to the entire approach to art.

(more…)

Former CAA President Marvin Eisenberg Dies

posted by June 06, 2016

Marvin Eisenberg, professor of history of art at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and president of the CAA Board of Directors from 1968 to 1970, died on May 18, 2016. He was 93 years old.

In 1943 Eisenberg earned a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, after serving in the Army Signal Corps during World War II. Upon earning both an MFA and PhD from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, he began teaching at Michigan, where he worked for his entire career. Eisenberg won CAA’s Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award in 1987. He retired in 1989.

Read more about Eisenberg’s life and career on the website of the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

2016–2017 Nominating Committee Members

posted by May 31, 2016

CAA is pleased to announce the members of the 2016–2017 Nominating Committee, which is charged with identifying and interviewing potential candidates for the Board of Directors and selecting the final slate of candidates for the membership’s vote. The committee members, their institutional affiliations, and their positions are:

  • Jim Hopfensperger, Vice President for Committees and Nominating Committee Chair, Professor, Frostic School of Art, Western Michigan University
  • Jesús Escobar, Harold H. and Virginia Anderson Chair, Department of Art History, Northwestern University
  • Helen C. Frederick, Professor, School of Art and Design, George Mason University
  • Carmenita D. Higginbotham, Associate Professor, Program in American Studies, University of Virginia, Department of Art
  • Thomas Lawson, Dean, School of Art, Jill and Peter Kraus Distinguished Chair in Art, California Institute of the Arts
  • Sarah A. Lichtman, Assistant Professor, Director, Design-Curatorial Studies, Parsons School of Design
  • Gunalan Nadarajan, Professor and Dean, Stamps School of Art and Design, University of Michigan
  • David C. Terry, Director of Programs, Curator, New York Foundation for the Arts

Hunter O’Hanian, CAA’s incoming executive director and CEO, will also serve on the Nominating Committee as an ex-officio member.

CAA publishes a call for nominations and self-nominations for Nominating Committee service on the website in late fall of every year and publicizes it in CAA News and via social media. Please direct all queries regarding the committee to Vanessa Jalet, CAA executive liaison.

The College Art Association (CAA) is pleased to announce Hunter O’Hanian as its next executive director. He will start at CAA on July 1, 2016. O’Hanian succeeds Linda Downs, who served as CAA executive director from 2006 to 2016. O’Hanian comes to CAA at a moment of expansion and opportunity in the organization. In January 2016, CAA announced comprehensive changes to its Annual Conference that will increase the number of sessions and chances for participation. In response to the changes, CAA received over 850 session proposals for its 2017 conference in New York, February 1518.

“I am very excited to welcome Hunter O’Hanian to CAA as executive director,” says Suzanne Preston Blier, president of CAA. “He brings not only unique administrative experience but also striking energy and vision at this key moment in the Association’s history.”

As executive director, O’Hanian is an employee of the CAA Board of Directors and serves as the Association’s chief executive officer. In this role, he will work with board members, committees, and task forces to develop the Association’s strategic plans. O’Hanian’s experience in fundraising, law, and the arts will greatly benefit the membership and the larger visual arts, design, education, and cultural communities with whom CAA works. O’Hanian will oversee a wide variety of initiatives, including the CAA Annual Conference, an advocacy program, member services activities, the career center, fellowships, grants and opportunities offered by CAA, and the publications program, which includes The Art Bulletin, Art Journal, Art Journal Open, and caa.reviews.

“I have long been an admirer of the work CAA has done. They have helped so many artists, art historians, and curators in the pursuit of their professional goals,” says O’Hanian. “I am pleased to be part of this exciting team and look forward to playing a role in growing its membership, bolstering the conferences, and helping the organization thrive on every level.”

O’Hanian is currently the director of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York’s Soho neighborhood. The Leslie-Lohman Museum is the only art museum devoted exclusively to artwork that speaks to the LGBTQ experience.

Prior to joining Leslie-Lohman, Hunter was the vice president of institutional advancement and executive director of the Foundation for Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Previous to that, he led two renowned artists’ residencies programs, having served as the president of Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, outside of Aspen, Colorado, and executive director of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, which is the largest residency program for emerging artists and writers in the United States. The Fine Arts Work Center recently permanently endowed a fellowship in his name.

O’Hanian has a long career of non-profit board and community involvement. He is the past board chair of the Alliance of Artists Communities, the national membership organization for artists’ residency programs. He studied painting at Boston College and received his bachelor of laws degree from Suffolk University in Boston. O’Hanian has an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the Art Institute of Boston.

Photo credit: Johnathan M. Lewis

New Members to the CAA Board

posted by May 04, 2016

CAA welcomes new members to the Board of Directors, Roberto Tejada of the University of Houston and Dina Bangdel of Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, who have filled vacant positions left by two resigning directors. The board also selected two directors to serve one-year officer terms: Tejada is secretary and N. Elizabeth Schlatter is vice president for Annual Conference. Four other new board members were elected in February 2016.

CAA Salutes Fifty-Year Members

posted by April 18, 2016

CAA warmly thanks the many contributions of the following dedicated members who joined the organization in 1966 or earlier. This year, the annually published list welcomes fourteen artists, scholars, and educators—and one attorney—whose distinguished exhibitions, publications, teaching practices, and professional service have shaped the direction and history of art over the last fifty years.

1966: Madeline H. Caviness; Gilbert S. Edelson; Jonathan Fineberg; Ann Sutherland Harris; Sara Lynn Henry; Cecelia F. Klein; Henry F. Klein; Anne-Marie Logan; Peter V. Moak; Anne Morganstern; James Morganstern; Peter H. Schabacker; David M. Sokol; and Marcia H. Werner.

1965: Jean M. Borgatti; Norma Broude; Wanda M. Corn; Elaine K. Gazda; Diana Gisolfi; Dorothy F. Glass; Andree M. Hayum; Ellen V. Kosmer; Lillian D. MacBrayne; Jerry D. Meyer; Ann Lee Morgan; Myra N. Rosenfeld-Little; Ted E. Stebbins; Eugenia Summer; MaryJo Viola; Michele Vishny; and Wallace E. Weston.

1964: Richard J. Betts; Ruth Bowman; Vivian P. Cameron; Kathleen R. Cohen; Paula Gerson; Ronald W. Johnson; Jim M. Jordan; William M. Kloss; Rose-Carol Washton Long; Phyllis Anina Moriarty; Annie Shaver-Crandell; Judith B. Sobre; and Alan Wallach.

1963: Lilian Armstrong; Richard Brilliant; Eric G. Carlson; Vivian L. Ebersman; Françoise Forster-Hahn; Walter S. Gibson; Caroline M. Houser; Susan J. Koslow; E. Solomon; Lauren Soth; Richard E. Spear; Roxanna A. Sway; Athena Tacha; and Roger A. Welchans.

1962: Jo Anne Bernstein; Phyllis Braff; Jacquelyn C. Clinton; Shirley S. Crosman; Frances D. Fergusson; Gloria K. Fiero; Jaroslav Folda; Harlan H. Holladay; Seymour Howard; Alfonz Lengyel; David Merrill; John T. Paoletti; Aimee Brown Price; Lillian M. Randall; Nancy P. Sevcenko; Thomas L. Sloan; Elisabeth Stevens; Anne Betty J. Weinshenker; and William D. Wixom.

1961: Matthew Baigell; Margaret Diane David; Bowdoin Davis Jr.; David Farmer; J. D. Forbes; Isabelle Hyman; Clifton C. Olds; Marion E. Roberts; and Conrad H. Ross.

1960: Shirley N. Blum; Kathleen Weil-Garris Brandt; Dan F. Howard; Eugene Kleinbauer; Edward W. Navone; Linda Nochlin; and J. J. Pollitt.

1959: Geraldine Fowle; Carol H. Krinsky; James F. O’Gorman; and Ann K. Warren.

1958: Samuel Y. Edgerton Jr.; Carla Lord; Damie Stillman; Clare Vincent; and Barbara Ehrlich White.

1957: Bruce Glaser; Marcel M. Franciscono; Jane Campbell Hutchison; Susan R. McKillop; and Frances P. Taft.

1956: Svetlana L. Alpers; Norman W. Canedy; David C. Driskell; John Goelet; Joel Isaacson; John M. Schnorrenberg; and Jack J. Spector.

1955: Lola B. Gellman; Irving Lavin; and Suzanne Lewis.

1954: Franklin Hamilton Hazlehurst; Thomas J. McCormick; Jules D. Prown; Irving Sandler; Lucy Freeman Sandler; and Harold Edwin Spencer.

1953: Dorathea K. Beard; Margaret McCormick; and Jack Wasserman.

1951: Wen C. Fong.

1950: Alan M. Fern.

1949: Dario A. Covi and Ann-Sofi Lindsten.

1948: William S. Dale.

1947: Dericksen M. Brinkerhoff; David G. Carter; Ellen P. Conant; and Ilene H. Forsyth.

1945: James S. Ackerman.

Suzanne Preston Blier, a historian of African art and architecture at Harvard University, has been elected president of CAA for a two-year term, beginning in May 2016. A member of the board since 2012, Blier has served as vice president for publications (2013–15) and vice president of Annual Conference (2015–16), and has served on task forces related to the development of CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts and Guidelines for the Evaluation of Digital Scholarship in Art and Art History. She will succeed DeWitt Godfrey, professor of art and art history at Colgate University.

In her statement for candidacy, Blier wrote, “My priorities as president will focus on increasing membership in part through changes to the Annual Conference and enhancing CAA’s place in the community of discourse nationally and internationally through more effective social media engagement and the use of digital technologies. I hope also to broaden our engagement not only at the local and national levels but also internationally.”

Blier earned a BA from the University of Vermont in 1973 and completed a PhD in art history from Columbia University. Blier taught at Northwestern University for two years (1981–83) and returned to Columbia (1983–93) before landing at Harvard, where she is currently Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and Professor of African and African American Studies.

In 2008, Blier helped found an on-line GIS-enhanced database and mapping project supported by the Center for Geographic Analysis at her school that in 2011 was relaunched as Worldmap.

Blier’s involvement in CAA spans several decades. She originally served on the board from 1989 to 1994. She was a member of the Art Bulletin Editorial Board from 2003 to 2007, serving one year as chair, and participated on the juries for CAA’s Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art (2004–6) and Charles Rufus Morey Book Award (2009–11). Blier also helped to shape CAA’s Strategic Plan 2015–2020 and, in her role as vice president, chaired both the Annual Conference Committee and the 2016 task force that brought significant changes to the Annual Conference organization and structure.

“In my own academic work,” Blier continued in her statement, “I have come to understand firsthand the importance of engaging broad and diverse communities of participants; my work initiating an open source website focused on an array of mapping projects, has offered me opportunities to see the imprint that new technologies can have in the lives of both faculty and students.”

Blier’s most recent book is Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba: Ife History, Power, and Identity, c. 1300 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), which won the 2016 PROSE Award for Art History and Criticism. She also wrote several other books of note: African Royal Art: The Majesty of Form (London: Calmann and King, 1998); African Vodun: Art, Psychology, and Power (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), which received CAA’s Morey Book Award in 1997; and The Anatomy of Architecture: Ontology and Metaphor in Batammaliba Architectural Expression (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987), which won the inaugural Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award from the Arts Council of the African Studies Association. The production of both African Vodun and The Anatomy of Architecture were supported by grants from CAA’s Millard Meiss Publication Fund. Blier’s books have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Korean. A publication edited with David Bindman, called The Image of the Black in African and Asian Art, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

Her scholarship has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including African ArtsJournal of African HistoryAmerican Journal of Semiotics, Anthropology and Art, and Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. A short essay “Art, Mimesis, and Tigritude” can be found in the June 2013 issue of The Art Bulletin as part of the series Notes from the Field: Mimesis. Other essays in CAA’s flagship journal are “Kings, Crowns, and Rights of Succession: Obalufon Arts at Ife and Other Yoruba Centers” (September 1985) and “Imaging Otherness in Ivory: African Portrayals of the Portuguese ca. 1492” (September 1993). Both articles were selected by members of the Art Bulletin Editorial Board for the Centennial Anthology of the Art Bulletin’s “greatest hits,” designating important articles and reviews since the journal’s 1913 founding to mark CAA¹s Centennial in 2011.

Aaron M. Wile is the winner of the 2015-16 prize. The Prize is awarded annually by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies to the author of the best article regarding any aspect of eighteenth-century culture. Receiving the award is Wile’s “Watteau, Reverie, and Selfhood” published by College Art Association in The Art Bulletin.

The Clifford Fund was originally established to support an annual prize in honor of James L. Clifford. Clifford founded The Johnsonian News Letter in 1940, was Secretary to the English Institute, twice a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and third President of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. During his long and energetic life, he produced numerous books, articles, bibliographies, essays, edited collections, editions and, of course, the much beloved, imitated, and quoted Johnsonian News Letter. Accordingly, the Clifford Prize is awarded to the author of the best article on an eighteenth-century subject, interesting to any eighteenth-century specialist, regardless of discipline.

The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is a non-profit, educational group founded to promote the study of all aspects of the eighteenth century. It sponsors conferences, awards, fellowships and prizes, and publishes Eighteenth-Century Studies and Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. Requests for information about the Clifford Prize and nominations may be addressed to:

ASECS
PO Box 7867, Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109 USA
Telephone (336) 727-4694
Fax (336) 727-4697
E-mail asecs@wfu.edu

CAA wishes to thank the many artists, scholars, curators, critics, educators, and other professionals in the visual arts who generously served as Career Services mentors—for the Artists’ Portfolio Review, Career Development Mentoring, the Mock Interviews, and the Professional Development Roundtable Discussions—during the 2016 Annual Conference in Washington DC. CAA also appreciates the work of the leaders of the Professional Development Workshops and the speakers at Orientation.

Orientation

Susan Altman, Middlesex County College; Michael Aurbach, Vanderbilt University; and Terri Weissman, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Artists’ Portfolio Review

Susan Canning, College of New Rochelle; Jill Conner, Independent Critic and Curator; Brian Curtis, University of Miami; Peter Kaniaris, Anderson University; Suzanne Lemakis, Citigroup (retired); Craig Lloyd, Mt. St. Joseph University; Judith Pratt, Judith Pratt Studio; and David Voros, University of South Carolina.

Career Development Mentoring

Susan Altman, Middlesex County College; Michael Aurbach, Vanderbilt University; Leda Cempellin, South Dakota State University; James Farmer, Virginia Commonwealth University; Toni Guglielmo, Getty Leadership Institute, Claremont Graduate University; Dennis Ichiyama, Purdue University; Mark O’Grady, Pratt Institute; Christopher Olszewski, Savannah College of Art and Design; Doralynn Pines, Metropolitan Museum of Art (retired); Judith Pratt, Judith Pratt Studio; Florence Quideau, Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York; Andrew Jay Svedlow, University of Northern Colorado; Ann Tsubota, Raritan Valley Community College; Philip Van Keuren, Southern Methodist University; and Chad Wesley Airhart, Carson-Newman University.

Professional Development Roundtable Discussions

Michael Aurbach, Vanderbilt University; Peter Kaniaris, Anderson University; Brian Curtis, University of Miami; Suzanne Lemakis, Citigroup (retired); and Leo Morrissey, Georgian Court University.

Mock Interview Sessions

Susan Altman, Middlesex County College; Maria Ann Conelli, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn; Erin C. Devine, Northern Virginia Community College; Carole Garmon, University of Mary Washington; Christian J. Gerstheimer, El Paso Museum of Art; Terence Hannum, Stevenson University; Kim Hartswick, City University of New York; David Howarth, Zayed University; Dennis Ichiyama , Purdue University; Matt King, Virginia Commonwealth University; Andrea Kirsh, Independent Scholar and Rutgers University; Jason Lahr, University of Notre Dame; David LaPalombara, Ohio University; Jo-Ann Morgan, Western Illinois University; Mark O’Grady, Pratt Institute; Arthur Blake Pierce, Valdosta State University; Thomas Post, Kendall College of Art and Design, Ferris State University; Patricia Joan Sarro, Youngstown State University; Mattie M. Schloetzer, National Gallery of Art; and Megan Koza Young, Prospect New Orleans.

Brown Bag Lunches and Sessions

Leda Cempellin, South Dakota State University; Rachel P. Kreiter, Spelman College; Sooyoun Lee, Cornell University; Brittany Lockard, Wichita State University; Tamryn McDermott, George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College; Lauren Puzier, Sotheby’s Institute of Art; Annie Storr, Montserrat College of Art; Jenny Tang, Yale University; and Amanda S. Wright, University of South Carolina; and Megan Koza Young, Prospect New Orleans.

Professional Development Workshops

Susan Altman, Middlesex County College; Barbara Bernstein, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and University of Virginia; Steven Bleicher, Coastal Carolina University; Mika Cho, California State University, Los Angeles; Chris Coleman, University of Denver; Curtis Fletcher, University of Southern California; Ronda Grizzle, Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia Library; Sharon Leon, George Mason University; Lisa Reilly, University of Virginia; Gigi Rosenberg, Author and Artist; David Sokol, University of Illinois, Chicago (emeritus); and Blaise Tobia, Drexel University.