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The Association of Research Institutes in Art History (ARIAH), a consortium of museums and research centers based in North America or affiliated with North American institutions, has established a new program that will strengthen intellectual connections among art-history disciplines in different regions of the world. With generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Getty Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, ARIAH’s East Asia Fellowship Program will enable twelve scholars from countries in East Asia to conduct research at ARIAH member institutes on any topic in the visual arts. The project is funded for a three-year period, beginning in 2016, with four fellowships offered each year.

The East Asia Fellowship Program is open to scholars of art history from Japan, Mongolia, the People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Taiwan, and South Korea. Each fellow will be hosted by an ARIAH member institute and have the opportunity to travel to other research centers during the three- to four-month fellowship period. Fellowships will be awarded through an open, competitive application process. One fellowship per year, supported specifically by the Terra Foundation, will focus on research topics related to the art of the United States before 1980. Topics for all other fellowships will be open, as long as they can be supported by research on the collections of the host institute. The deadline for the first of three rounds of fellowships is December 31, 2015.

“It’s impossible to overstate how important material support, not to mention encouragement, from the Mellon, Getty, and Terra foundations has been for launching this program,” said Jon Mogul, chair of ARIAH and assistant director for research and academic initiatives at the Wolfsonian–Florida International University in Miami Beach, Florida. “Art history and visual studies, like other academic fields, thrive when scholars who come from different traditions and view their subject through different lenses have the chance to learn from one another. The birth of this program really underscores just how essential these three foundations are to sustaining an ecosystem in which such intellectual interchange among art historians from different regions of the world can happen more and more routinely.”

The East Asia Fellowship Program grew out of a successful project that ARIAH designed in the late 1990s which brought art historians from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean to ARIAH member institutes. The Latin American program was part of larger process that yielded longer-term results and fostered increased collaboration and intellectual exchange among academic disciplines in Latin American countries.

ARIAH conceived of and developed the new program to encourage a similar intellectual, cross-cultural exchange between scholars and to establish lasting professional connections. The fellows will work side by side with curators, librarians, and fellows from other areas of research. Among the twenty-seven member organizations of ARIAH are the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty Research Institute. The largest concentration of members can be found in the Smithsonian museums in the Washington, DC, area.

Peter Lukehart, associate dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, said that East Asia is “a geographic region from which, historically, there have been fewer applications” to the programs of ARIAH’s member institutes. “Consequently, the rich resources of these institutes are not known or available to scholars who might otherwise benefit from them. ARIAH hopes that encounters between scholars and administrators at ARIAH institutes will lead to future collaboration and interchange between fellows and their hosts. “Given the increasingly global nature of the discipline of art history,” Lukehart said, “these goals seem especially urgent.”

caa.reviews recently published the authors and titles of doctoral dissertations in art history and visual studies—both completed and in progress—from American and Canadian institutions for calendar year 2014. You may browse by listing date or by subject matter. Each entry identifies the student’s name, dissertation title, school, and advisor.

Each institution granting the PhD in art history and/or visual studies submits dissertation titles once a year to CAA for publication. The caa.reviews list also includes dissertations completed and in progress between 2002 and 2013, making basic information about their topics available through web searches.

Initiatives in Art and Culture will present “Insight and Inclusion: Expanding Visions of American Art,” a conference on American art to be held May 15–17, 2015, at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Filed under: Humanities, Research

Patricia Rubin is Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

In 2010, thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Institute of Fine Art at New York University inaugurated the Mellon Research Initiative. The initiative’s aim was to investigate trends in graduate education and advanced research in art history, archaeology, and conservation. That investigation took place at a time when those fields faced considerable challenges—financial, institutional, and conceptual. Cutbacks in funding from all sources and the concomitant or resulting instrumentalization of university education, which favors economic rationales for degree structures, department sizes, and disciplinary evaluation, presented explicit challenges to the humanistic as opposed to the “hard” sciences. They continue to do so.

The resulting publication, Pathways to the Future: Trends in Graduate Education, was introduced and discussed during three panels at CAA’s Annual Conference in February under the rubric of “Field/Work: Object and Site.” The Pathways report is the result of four years of consultation, undertaken through a series of workshops, conferences, and committees in which our fieldworkers—graduate students, professors, publishers, and university administrators, among others—were asked about the directions being taken in art history, archaeology, and conservation. These participants considered the resources those fields require to support graduate training and research; how those resources are most meaningfully allocated; and, crucially, how learning is best delivered in curriculum and training programs.

The public workshops and conferences (now available on the institute’s video archive) were accompanied by the work of three committees convened to pose relevant questions and investigate different aspects of our practices as researchers and educators. Unified in aim, the review committees largely operated independently. They shaped their work according to concerns and protocols specific to each field. The form of their reporting varies accordingly. All three committees considered both present conditions and future possibilities.

The examination of the state of our subjects found them to be generally robust. If anything they are stronger than ever before, existing as they do in today’s image-based environment and able to promote critical seeing along with critical thinking. They are inherently interdisciplinary and equally international or global in their inquiry and potential impact. They have direct relation to material understanding, in the recovery and safeguarding of our physical heritage, in interpreting its present condition, and in forecasting future manifestations.

Although based on wide consultation and meticulous deliberation, this report is intended to contribute to vital and ongoing conversations about the disciplines of art history, archaeology, and conservation, about their professional and intellectual situation, and about strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. Their thoughts on those matters are contained in this document, which is available on the institute’s website for downloading and circulating. The institute hopes this document generates discussion and stimulates further thoughts on the topics it raises and regarding training and research in art history, archaeology, and conservation.

The institute is profoundly grateful to the Mellon Foundation for its generous sponsorship, and to all those who participated in the initiative.

Teaching the History of Modern Design: The Canon and Beyond
NEH Summer Institute
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 6–July 31, 2015

Teaching the History of Modern Design: The Canon and Beyond” is an exciting four-week NEH Summer Institute that will prepare twenty-five college faculty from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to meet the increasing demand for, as well as interest in, courses on modern design history. In-depth seminars will focus upon three interdependent thematic units: (1) taste and popular culture; (2) women as consumers and producers of design; and (3) political and global interpretations of design after World War II.

The director’s and visiting scholars’ complementary approaches to “The Canon and Beyond” will build upon and reinforce participants’ familiarity with standard material, while simultaneously introducing new material and critical perspectives. Field trips to regional museums and collections such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Hagley Museum in Delaware will provide participants direct experience with objects and suggest ways to use local collections in their own teaching. Group presentations by our participants will take place during the final week of the institute.

Application deadline: March 2, 2015

Notification date: March 30, 2015

Stipend: $3,300

Visiting scholars: Regina Lee Blaszczyk, University of Leeds, England; Maria Elena Buszek, University of Colorado, Denver; Catharine Rossi, Kingston University, England; Sarah Teasley, Royal College of Art, London; and Vladimir Kulic, Florida Atlantic University.

Project faculty: Carma R. Gorman, University of Texas at Austin

Institute director: David Raizman, Drexel University

Help the NEH Celebrate Its Fiftieth Anniversary

posted by January 29, 2015

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency created in 1965 and one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States, is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2015–16. To mark this historic event, we would like you to tell us about an NEH grant or grant product that has made a difference in your life, career, community, or academic field. To contribute stories about NEH’s past or for more information, send an email to NEH50@neh.gov. Please include your name and telephone number in your message.

Because democracy demands wisdom, the NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers. NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars. The grants:

  • strengthen teaching and learning in schools and colleges
  • facilitate research and original scholarship
  • provide opportunities for lifelong learning
  • preserve and provide access to cultural and educational resources
  • strengthen the institutional base of the humanities

Since 1965, the endowment has opened new worlds of learning for the American public with noteworthy projects such as:

  • Seven thousand books, 16 of which have won Pulitzer Prizes and 20 of which have received the Bancroft Prize
  • The Civil War, the landmark documentary by Ken Burns viewed by 38 million Americans
  • The Library of America editions of novels, essays, and poems celebrating America’s literary heritage
  • The United States Newspaper Project, which catalogued and microfilmed 63.3 million pages of historic newspapers and paved the way for the National Digital Newspaper Program and its digital repository, Chronicling America
  • Annual support for 56 states and territories to help support some 56,000 lectures, discussions, exhibitions, and other programs each year

We look forward to hearing from you!

CAA Update from the President

posted by November 13, 2014

DeWitt Godfrey, professor of art and art history at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, is president of the CAA Board of Directors.

CAA is moving ahead on several strategic goals. After a year of investigation and discussion with over 200 artists, art historians, curators, editors and reproduction rights officers, Professors Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi are drafting the new Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts which will be reviewed by the Task Force on Fair Use, the Committee on Intellectual Property, the Professional Practices Committee, and an independent Legal Advisory Committee. We anticipate that the code will be presented at the Annual Conference in February 2015.

At the October 26th Board meeting, the formation of two task forces was approved: one to review CAA’s governance structure, and one to review its professional committees. As a greater number of faculty are now part-time, the board and committee requirements have to be adjusted so that the best expertise is brought to CAA within the most economical timeframes. The Board also had a lively discussion on the best directions to be taken regarding advocacy and how CAA can respond quickly and efficiently to issues that affect members’ daily work. We are exploring the creation of a task force on advocacy.

The CAA Board and senior staff held a day-long retreat which focused on a vision for the future of the annual conference—a more flexible structure, greater opportunities for interdisciplinary discussion, serving the needs and interests at each stage of a career in the visual arts, and the ability to quickly address issues that arise in the field, have an international perspective and participation, and reach those members who are not able to attend the conferences.

New, updated volumes of the Directories of Graduate Programs are now available through CAA’s website. From the data published in the directories, CAA will draw statistical information about all the visual-arts subdisciplines, mapping important changes in the field regarding enrollment and employment. We plan to make information from the past four years available to members in the coming months.

The September issue of The Art Bulletin features the third essay in the “Whither Art History?” series, as well as essays on Jan van Eyck and commemorative art, Hans Burgkmair and recognition, Watteau and reverie, and contemporary Indian Art from the 1985-86 Festival of India. The latest issue of Art Journal includes a forum called “Red Conceptualismos del Sur/Southern Conceptualisms Network,” featuring articles printed in their original Spanish and Portuguese alongside new English translations—this is the first foray into multilingual publishing for CAA. Art Journal Open’s first web editor, Gloria Sutton, associate professor at Northeastern University, has commissioned features from the artist Karen Schiff and the new-media historian Mike Maizels, as well as a dialogue between the curator Becky Huff Hunter and the artist Tamarin Norwood. The vision for this website is to provide an online space for artists’ works, experimental scholarship, and conversations among arts practitioners. And caa.reviews, now open access, includes nearly 2,500 reviews of books, exhibition catalogues, and conferences on art, as well as an annual list of completed and in-progress art history dissertations. Thirty-four field editors commission reviewers to address new publications, exhibitions, and exhibition catalogues and videos in every area of the visual arts. The new copublishing relationship between CAA and Taylor & Francis that supports all three CAA journals will complete its first year this month with a marked increase in readership. We are encouraging authors to use the multimedia resources offered at Taylor & Francis Online as well as its citation app.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded CAA and the Society for Architectural Historians a grant to cooperatively carry out research and develop guidelines in digital art and architectural history for promotion and tenure in the workforce. With the increased use of digital platforms in research and publishing there is a need for guidelines that reflect the best practice in evaluating digital art and architectural history. A task force will be formed of two art historians, two architectural historians, a librarian, a museum curator, a scholar from another humanities or social science field with expertise in digital scholarship, and a graduate student or emerging professional in art history or architectural history. CAA will hire a part-time researcher to gather information on current practices from faculty members throughout the country. Please see the Online Career Center for the listing.

CAA, like other learned, membership societies, faces significant challenges and opportunities for the future. The changing landscape of publication, academic workforce issues, advocating for the arts and humanities, serving a changing membership and the field are areas where CAA has and will continue to make a difference, by building on our legacy of leadership and embracing the necessary changes required to meet our mission and vision.

Dissertation titles in art history and visual studies from American and Canadian institutions, both completed and in progress, are published annually in caa.reviews, making them available through web searches. PhD-granting institutions may send a list of their doctoral students’ dissertation titles for 2014 to dissertations@collegeart.org. The complete Dissertation Submission Guidelines regarding the format of listings are now available. CAA does not accept listings from individuals. Improperly formatted lists will be returned to sender. For more information, please write to the above email address or visit the guidelines page. Deadline: January 15, 2015.

Humanities Indicators, a project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has released the findings from its 2012–13 Humanities Departmental Survey. The report says:

Despite considerable discussion in the media about the impact of the recent recession on academia in general and the humanities in particular, the results from the Humanities Departmental Survey (HDS-2) suggest considerable continuity between the 2007–08 and 2012–13 academic years—bearing in mind that we are only seeing snapshots from two moments in time. Among the degree-granting departments surveyed for both HDS-1 and HDS-2 (in art history, English, languages and literatures other than English, history, history of science, linguistics, combined languages and literatures programs, and religion at four-year institutions) the number of existing departments and faculty appeared relatively unchanged, though the number of students majoring in the humanities slipped.

You can read an overview of the report, as well as breakdowns on individual disciplines—including art history—on the Humanities Indicators website.

Filed under: Advocacy, Research — Tags:

Rowman & Littlefield is pleased to announce the release of Volume 10, Number 3 of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals, a focused issue dedicated to the subject of provenance research in American institutions. Guest-Edited by Jane C. Milosch, Lynn H. Nicholas, and Megan M. Fontanella, the issue draws attention to current research in the field by highlighting key resources and initiatives, case studies from collections throughout the United States, and perspectives on unprovenanced cultural property and Nazi-era claims.

\Bringing together the expertise of independent scholars and professionals who are affiliated with American institutions, this issue aims to foster dialogue among museums, archives, and research centers and to broaden the accessibility of information. The collection of articles opens with a Foreword by Megan M. Fontanella and an introduction by Lynn H. Nicholas. A closer look at resources and initiatives is offered in the following articles: “Provenance: Not the Problem (The Solution): Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative” by Jane C. Milosch; “Princes, Dukes, and Counts: Pedigrees and Problems in the Kress Collection” by Nancy H. Yeide; “The ‘German Sales 1930–1945’ Database Project” by Christian Huemer; and Laurie A. Stein’s “’Everyone Brings a Piece to the Puzzle’: Conversations with Elaine Rosenberg and Reflections on Provenance Research among The Paul Rosenberg Archives.” Case studies include: “Navigating the Gray Area: Pechstein’s Girl Combing Her Hair, the Littmann Collection, and the Limits of Evidence” by Catherine Herbert; “Researching the Wertheim Collection at the Harvard Art Museums” by Elizabeth M. Rudy; “One Painting Concealed Behind Another: Picasso’s La Douleur (1903) and Guitar, Gas-Jet, and Bottle (1913)” by Christel Hollevoet-Force; “The Eugene Garbáty Collection of European Art” by Victoria Reed; and Dorota Chudzicka’s “’In Love at First Sight Completely, Hopelessly, and Forever with Chinese Art’: The Eugene and Agnes Meyer Collection of Chinese Art at the Freer Gallery of Art.” Perspectives on legal claims include Gary Vikan’s “Provenance Research and Unprovenanced Cultural Property” and Stephen W. Clark’s “Nazi-Era Claims and Art Museums: The American Perspective”.

This impressive group of articles is valuable to art historians, curators, and myriad others whose work addresses provenance. The collection showcases thoughtful, methodical and meticulous research related to individual owners and to individual works and collections of art. It serves as a touchstone for provenance research in American Institutions. Journal Editor Juilee Decker stated, “It is particularly exciting to see this issue of Collections appear in print. This focused issue takes the lead in proactive press regarding the continuous efforts of provenance research at American institutions. Building on the recent interest surrounding ‘The Monuments Men,’ this journal forms part of the epilogue to an unfinished story of provenance that both pre- and post-dates the Second World War, providing insight into the challenging, exciting and ongoing work of provenance researchers that continues to be integral to museums worldwide.”

“The value of this focused issue on provenance research in American institutions,” remarks guest editor and Director of the Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative Jane C. Milosch, is that it “brings together scholars and researchers to share their incredible work and to initiate important discussions for the future. While the greatest focus and challenge of provenance research remains sifting through immense amounts of paper and digital archival materials, communication and collaboration are essential to effective provenance research and to sharing with and educating others on how specialized and time-consuming provenance research is with its often inconclusive results and on-going nature.”

Published by AltaMira Press (an imprint of Roman & Littlefield), Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals is a multidisciplinary journal for all aspects of handling, preserving, researching, interpreting, and organizing collections. To purchase Volume 10, Number 3 (Summer 2014) focusing on “Provenance Research in American Institutions” call 1.800.273.2223 or send an email to: journals@rowman.com with “Issue 10.03” in the subject line. Further information about the journal may be obtained online: https://rowman.com/Page/Journals.

Filed under: Publications, Research