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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
posted by Christopher Howard — September 10, 2014
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.
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: email@example.com with “Issue 10.03” in the subject line. Further information about the journal may be obtained online: https://rowman.com/Page/Journals.
Do you have a great lesson plan you want to take some time to codify and share? Funded by a Samuel H. Kress Foundation grant for digital resources, Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR), a peer-populated platform for instructors and a collectively authored online repository of art-history teaching content, seeks contributors for specific subject areas in the art-history survey. This is the second call for participation (the first went out in early 2014).
AHTR is particularly interested the following sections in art and architecture for publication in early fall 2014:
- Jewish and Early Christian Art and Architecture
- Byzantine Art and Architecture
- Islamic Art and Architecture
- Chinese Art and Architecture (early/pre-1279)
- Chinese Art and Architecture (after 1279)
- Japanese Art and Architecture (early)
- Japanese Art and Architecture (modern)
- Korean Art (early)
- Korean Art and Architecture (modern)
- Art and Architecture of Africa
- Early Medieval Art in Europe
- Romanesque Art and Architecture
- Gothic Art and Architecture
- Art of Pacific Cultures
- Eighteenth- and Early-Nineteenth-Century Art in Europe and North America
- Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Sculpture
- Twentieth-Century Sculpture
AHTR is also interested in receiving proposals for thematic art-history survey lesson plans. The editors have already received plans that engage with, for example, “Race and Identity” and “Transnationalism and Citizenship.” Please propose a thematic plan germane to the survey-level class.
For each content area, AHTR seeks lecture and lesson plans similar to those developed for its sections on the Americas (pre-1300) and Feminist Art. (Please see a great example here.) Full template guidelines will be given for the sections to be included in each plan; writers will be expected to review and amend their plan (if necessary), once edited by AHTR. These plans, which will be posted to the AHTR website in fall 2014, are supported by $250 writing grants made possible by the Kress award.
AHTR is looking for contributors who:
- Have strong experience teaching the art-history survey and strong interest in developing thoughtful, clear, and detailed lesson plans in particular subject areas
- Are committed to delivering lecture content (plan, PowerPoint, resources, activities) for one to two (a maximum of two) content areas in a timely manner. Each content area will be supported by a $250 Kress writing grant.
- Are able to make a September deadline for submission and an early October deadline for any edits.
- Want to engage with a community of peers in conversations about issues in teaching the art-history survey
AHTR’s intention is to offer monetary support for the often-unrewarded task of developing thoughtful lesson plans, to make this work freely accessible (and thus scalable), and to encourage feedback on them so that the website’s content can constantly evolve in tandem with the innovations and best practices in the field. In this way, AHTR wants to encourage new collaborators to the site—both emerging and experienced instructors in art history—who will enhance and expand teaching content. It also wishes to honor the production of pedagogical content at the university level by offering modest fellowships to support digital means of collaboration among art historians.
Please submit a short, teaching-centered CV and a brief statement of interest that describes which subject area(s) you wish to tackle to firstname.lastname@example.org. These initial texts should be delivered to AHTR in September 2014. Collaboration on content for further subject areas will be solicited throughout 2014.
posted by Alyssa Pavley — June 17, 2014
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 2013. 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 2012, making basic information about their topics available through web searches.
posted by Christopher Howard — May 15, 2014
Mapping Titian is a new digital resource that allows users to visualize one of the most fundamental concerns of the discipline of art history: the relationship between an artwork and its changing historical context. Focusing on the paintings executed by the Venetian Renaissance artist Titian (ca. 1488–1576), this site offers a searchable provenance index of his attributed pictures and allows users to create customizable collections of paintings and customizable maps that show the movement of the pictures over time and space. Mapping Titian has been generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation through a digital art-history grant to Boston University.
Mapping Titian contains the most up-to-date information available from print publications and from museum websites for the provenance of the paintings. The sources for each work’s provenance are cited each time the picture changes ownership and/or location. A references page includes a complete bibliographic entry for these sources. Users are encouraged to share new information or to offer corrections to the current database. As of now, the site has only paintings attributed to Titian and, because of attribution questions, does not yet include drawings by the artist. Information is still being entered and refined, and the site should be fully developed by September 2014.
Titian’s paintings have proven to be an especially rich microcosm of possible directions for the future project, Mapping Artworks, of which this current site would be one part. The application would provide a template for other scholars and educators to map other groups of objects, whether by artist, medium, or another criterion. Future phases of this project will include additional ways beyond geographic maps to visualize these “lives,” including nongeographic networks and three-dimensional virtual reconstructions of important collecting spaces in history.
Titian, Madonna of the Pesaro Family, 1519–26, oil on canvas, 16 x 9 ft. Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice (artwork in the public domain)
Khan Academy’s mission is a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere, and the site has ten million unique visitors each month. During the past year, the art-history content alone was visited by every country in the world, save three, and Khan anticipates that this material will reach more than four million visitors during the fall 2014 semester. Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization whose content is free and free of advertising.
Smarthistory at Khan Academy seeks to bring the expertise of individual scholars and curators to a new global audience. In fact, Khan Academy is now partnering with select museums. And thanks to the nearly one hundred contributors that “claimed” topics and submitted essays during their first call in October 2013, Smarthistory has published close to ninety new essays. To get a sense of their vision, read Steven Zucker and Beth Harris’s recent post on the blog for AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums.
If you are interested in sharing your expertise in the form of short introductory essays, Smarthistory could really use your help. The website’s founders, Zucker and Harris, seek art historians, archaeologists, and conservators in many areas of study; they have a particular need for specialists in African, Asian, precolonial American, and Pacific art. Together we can ensure that strong, global art-history content is well represented.
Smarthistory has created an interactive list of topics, a Trello Board, with an eye toward supporting introductory art-history courses. If something critical is missing, please let Zucker and Harris know. Once you’ve decided on a topic, send an email to Zucker and Harris (along with your CV). If everything is in order, you will be added to the Trello Board, so that you can claim that topic.
Here are the essay guidelines:
- Length: 800–1,000 words
- Writing style: informal, experiential, contextual
- Content: for teaching (not original research)
Essays are reviewed and edited by Harris, Zucker, and Smarthistory’s contributing editors. As a general rule, Smarthistory looks for the narratives a great professor tells his or her class in order to make students fall in love with the history of art.
All accepted contributed content is published on both khanacademy.org and smarthistory.khanacademy.org. All content is published with a Creative Commons attribution noncommercial, share-a-like license. You remain the owner of your content, and your contribution is always attributed.
posted by Christopher Howard — April 30, 2014
The following announcement was originally published by Ithaka S+R on April 30, 2014.
Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Art Historians
A study funded by the Getty Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, called Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Art Historians, looks at how art historians’ research practices are evolving in the digital age. Intended primarily for the museums, libraries, academic departments, and visual-resources centers that support research in art history within the United States, this project focused on five key areas:
1. The emergence of “digital art history,” and how it is diverging from the broader understanding of the digital humanities.
2. The interconnected scholarly communities that support art history, including museums, libraries, and visual-resources centers, both within and beyond an art historian’s home institution.
3. The changes that digitization and online search portals have brought to the process of searching for primary sources and the limitations of the current discovery environment.
4. The practices art historians employ for managing their large personal collections of digital images.
5. The state of graduate students’ professional training.
Within these five areas, the report makes clear that the needs of art historians can be successfully met only through the collaborative work of many support organizations. Our findings suggest several opportunities for these organizations to develop new funding, services, tools, and initiatives that will have far-reaching impact on the discipline.
This is the third project to be completed as part of Ithaka S+R’s Research Support Services Program. A report for the project in history was released in December 2012, and a report for the project in chemistry was released in February 2013.