CAA News Today

Registration at the 2019 CAA Annual Conference in New York. Photo: Ben Fractenberg

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2019 Annual Conference survey! Each year we work to make the Annual Conference better than the year before. It’s a large effort that takes the time of many people. We only do it once year but we need to have it perfect from that first hour registration is open, and your direct feedback helps us make that happen.

Here is what you told us about your experience this year:

  • Up from last year, 79% of you were satisfied with the Annual Conference
  • 75% liked the content of the sessions but only half of you thought the sessions represented a balance of time periods
  • 75% liked your online experience with CAA
  • 74% liked the Book and Trade Fair
  • 67% thought that the conference was welcoming and inclusive

Here’s what you liked about the conference:

  • Professional development offerings and workshops
  • Networking opportunities
  • Diverse sessions, good variety, good from a scholarly point
  • Staff—easy to find someone to help
  • Very smooth check-in process
  • Pay-as-you-Wish Day Pass
  • Conference in one building (as opposed to LA)
  • New York is a good destination – museums and galleries
  • Length of the sessions, committees’ lunch, opportunity to participate on a panel
  • Mentoring
  • Welcoming and stimulating, not the “high-brow” style of years’ past; friendly, collegial spirit
  • More inclusion of design
  • Many people got to participate
  • Planning features on website
  • Childcare
  • Book and Trade Fair
  • Convocation
  • Open sessions on diversity and other topics
  • Tables where people could sit and talk

Here is what you want to think about for next year’s conference:

  • Conference was too long, and conference fatigue was inevitable
  • Need more offerings for mentoring and interviewing
  • Bring back the free paper schedule program
  • 90-minute sessions are too short for 5 presenters; 8:30 is too early for some sessions
  • Too many things are scheduled at the same time
  • Too much for art historians rather than artists
  • Not enough for art historians
  • New York is always a problem with weather and too expensive ($13 for a glass of wine?)
  • Could never find the soul to the conference —leaves me feeling sad about our field
  • Very few senior scholars or mid-career attended, making it feel like a graduate student mentoring event
  • Too many sessions on the same topics and at the same time
  • Needs more transparency on how sessions are selected and put together
  • There was a lack of diverse topics
  • Way too large and overwhelming—no one had a chance to network—conference is no longer an academic one
  • Abstracts should be available online
  • The website is very confusing
  • Too many presenters read from their papers, looking down
  • Nothing to attract scholars or historians
  • Why are there almost no artists outside of academia at CAA

Here is what you told us about you:

  • About 67% of you are art historians; 24% are practicing artists
  • 77% of you are associated with a college or university and nearly half of you are either full-time faculty or department chairs
  • 75% of you pay for your membership fees yourself; about half of you are fortunate to have your employer to pay for it

Planning to submit a proposal for CAA 2020? The submissions portal for next year’s Annual Conference in Chicago closes April 30. We invite proposals for sessions, lightning rounds, poster sessions, and workshops from visual arts professionals working across the field in all disciplines.


Filed under: Annual Conference, Surveys

There is strength in numbers. Every day, CAA is working on behalf of professionals in the visual arts to create resources, build networks, and encourage scholarship at the highest levels. The louder our voice, the more we can do.

Rejoin CAA during the month of April and get 25% off any Tiered membership level.


Plan on participating in the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago, February 12-15, 2020? Submissions are due April 30, 2019.

Join your colleagues and fellow professionals in creating the programming for the largest gathering of art historians, artists, designers, curators, arts administrators, museum professionals, and others in the visual arts.

Now is the perfect time to rejoin and save.

Offer valid from April 1–April 30, 2019, 11:59 PM EST, to individual lapsed members for a one-year membership. Discount applies only to those whose membership has lapsed between January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2018. Log in to your CAA account to view the discount code.

Questions? Contact Member Services at 212-691-1051, ext. 1.

Filed under: Annual Conference, Membership

Alan Crockett and Alan Crockett, Jr.

posted by CAA — Apr 01, 2019

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

CAA podcasts are on iTunes. Click here to subscribe.

This week, Alan Crockett and Alan Crockett, Jr. discuss different approaches relative to community.

Alan Crockett is professor emeritus at Ohio State University.

Alan Crockett, Jr., is director at Klamath/Siskiyou Art Center, and an instructor at College of the Siskiyous.

Filed under: CAA Conversations, Podcast

New in

posted by CAA — Mar 29, 2019

Meredith Gamer reviews Colouring the Caribbean: Race and the Art of Agostino Brunias by Mia L. Bagneris. Read the full review at

Christine Giviskos reviews The Power of Prints: The Legacy of William M. Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor by Freyda Spira and Peter Parshall. Read the full review at

Filed under:

Serve on a CAA Award Jury

posted by CAA — Mar 28, 2019

CAA invites nominations and self-nominations for individuals to serve on ten of the fourteen juries for the annual Awards for Distinction for three years (2019–22). Terms begin in May 2019; award years are 2020–22.

CAA’s fourteen awards honor artists, art historians, authors, curators, critics, and teachers whose accomplishments transcend their individual disciplines and contribute to the profession as a whole and to the world at large.

Candidates must possess expertise appropriate to the jury’s work and be current CAA members. They should not hold a position on a CAA committee or editorial board beyond May 31, 2019. CAA’s president and vice president for committees appoint jury members for service.

Jury vacancies for spring 2019:

  • The Art Journal Award: two members
  • Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award: three members
  • Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism: one member
  • Charles Rufus Morey Book Award: two members
  • Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize: two members
  • CAA/AIC Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation: one member
  • Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement:  one member
  • Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art: two members
  • Distinguished Feminist Award: one member
  • Distinguished Teaching of Art Award: one member

Nominations and self-nominations should include a brief statement (no more than 150 words) outlining the individual’s qualifications and experience and a CV (an abbreviated CV no more than two pages may be submitted). Please send all materials by email to Cali Buckley, CAA grants and special programs manager; submissions must be sent as Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF attachments. For questions about jury service and responsibilities, contact Tiffany Dugan, CAA director of programs and publications.

Deadline: May 13, 2019

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by CAA — Mar 27, 2019

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Protesters at the Guggenheim Museum last month dropped white slips of paper symbolizing OxyContin prescriptions. Last week the museum said it would no longer accept money from members of the Sackler family behind the drug. Image: New York Times

The scrutiny of the Sacklers comes amid a broader reckoning in the museum world about who sits on their boards and bankrolls their programs. (New York Times)

University of Tennessee Will Be Free for Low-Income Students Starting in Fall 2020

The school joins a small—but growing—list of US colleges and universities seeking to make higher education more accessible. (Think Progress)

Study: 40% of Community College Students Take Humanities Classes

Community colleges have seen massive growth in their humanities programs over the past few decades. (Education Dive)

Museums Need to Move with the Times – That’s Why Deaccessioning Isn’t Always Bad News

“Some may view this as pandering to the politically correct. But American art museums have a moral responsibility and historical mandate inscribed in their charters to reach the broadest possible public.” (Apollo Magazine)

$2.8 Million in Met Museum Admission Revenues Will Go to 175 Cultural Nonprofits

NYC officials announced last week that funds from the Met’s change in admissions policy will be redistributed. (Hyperallergic)

Opinion: A Bigger Scandal at Colleges — Underpaid Professors

“What these folks did is not the worst thing happening in our educational system.” (Boston Globe)

Filed under: CAA News

Anja Foerschner and Marta Jovanovic

posted by CAA — Mar 25, 2019

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

CAA podcasts are on iTunes. Click here to subscribe.

This week, Anja Foerschner and Marta Jovanovic discuss feminist art.

Dr. Anja Foerschner is a curator, scholar, and professor at the Node Center for Curatorial Studies in Berlin.

Marta Jovanovic is an artist and founder of PerformanceHUB in Belgrade.

Filed under: CAA Conversations, Podcast

New in

posted by CAA — Mar 22, 2019

Ginger Elliott Smith reviews Mary Corse: A Survey in Light, edited by Kim Conaty. Read the full review at

Caroline Levitt writes about A Moment’s Monument: Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture by Sharon Hecker. Read the full review at

Filed under:

The following article was written in response to a call for submissions by CAA’s International Committee. It is by Sabrina DeTurk, associate professor, College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Fig. 1: Exterior of Jameel Arts Center, Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai, UAE. Photo by Sabrina DeTurk.

In November 2018, Dubai witnessed the opening of the Jameel Arts Centre, the city’s first non-commercial contemporary arts space (Fig. 1). Located on the banks of the Dubai Creek, in the still-developing area of the Jaddaf Waterfront, the center is a project of the Saudi-based organization Art Jameel, a foundation focused on arts and culture programming that is sponsored by the Jameel family. The Jameel Arts Centre will be programmed as a kunsthalle, featuring temporary exhibitions showcasing works drawn from the Jameel collection as well as commissioned works by contemporary artists and those on loan from other institutions. Community events and educational outreach are also key elements of the center’s programming initiatives and the 107,640 square-foot space includes facilities such as an open-access library of over 3,000 volumes as well as coworking areas. There will also be a sculpture park as well as an outdoor arena for performing arts or film screenings.

The Jameel Arts Centre’s inaugural exhibitions included a series of artist’s rooms featuring the work of women artists from the Middle East whose work has garnered critical acclaim though not always international visibility. Maha Al Malluh (Saudi Arabia), Mounira Al Solh (Lebanon), Lala Rukh (Pakistan), and Chiharu Shiota (Japan) showed work that reflected on the personal, communal, and political, sometimes all in one piece.

In Maha Al Malluh’s sculpture, Food for Thought, dozens of well-used cooking pots of all sizes are affixed to two walls of the gallery with their undersides facing the viewer. The burns, scrapes and dents on these surfaces become both a pattern and a portrait, suggesting the many meals, large and small, cooked and served in these vessels. The pots invoke both an individual and collective activity of dining. One senses that these pots have traveled far to reach their current destination, perhaps reflecting the experience of refugees who have fled from so many troubled parts of the region, often with few possessions other than simple cooking utensils and basic clothing.

Lala Rukh’s minimalist and meditative prints and video speak to the personal experience of her mother’s death as well as the changing political landscape of Southeast Asia in the 1990s. However, the darkness of the room in which the works are displayed made it all but impossible to read the contextualizing and interpretive materials that are necessary to understand the meaning of Rukh’s subtle forms.

Fig. 2: Installation view of Chiharu Shiota, Departure (2018). Photo by Sabrina DeTurk.

The inclusion of a sculptural installation by Chiharu Shiota, featuring an Arabian dhow (sailing vessel) sourced from a local boatyard, struck an odd note among the rooms (Fig. 2). While Shiota’s sculpture, which featured her signature webs of red yarn, was visually compelling, there was little sense, beyond the inclusion of the local boat, of its contribution to the larger dialogues encouraged by the exhibitions. In an image-obsessed city such as Dubai, one can’t help but wonder if this installation served more as an Instagrammable photo opportunity than as a work of serious contemporary art.

The inaugural group exhibition at Jameel Arts Centre, Crude, was curated by Murtaza Vali and featured the work of eighteen artists and artist collectives. In the show’s catalogue, Antonia Carver, the Director of Art Jameel, described the exhibition as “presenting an innovative material reading of a substance so crucial in shaping local and regional histories and cultures.” The included works run the gamut from archival photographs to video to sculptural installations to found objects and reflect a diversity of artistic approaches to the cultural, political, and economic significance of oil in the region throughout the last six decades.

Fig. 3: Houshang Pezeshknia, Portrait d’homme (1949). Photo by Sabrina DeTurk.

The earliest works in the show, documentary photographs by the Iraqi, Latif Al Ani, and paintings by the Iranian, Houshang Pezeshknia (Portrait d’homme, 1949, Fig. 3), highlight the role that the discovery of oil played in shaping the modern culture and identity of both countries. Al Ani’s photographs focus on the material benefits of the oil industry, featuring images of new, modernist housing developments and smiling children showing the bottles of milk now provided as part of the government school lunch program. Pezeshknia’s paintings are more introspective; their rough brushstrokes emphasize the harsh features of those who work on the pipelines and the scars left on the Iranian landscape by the new technologies of oil extraction.

Several artists in the exhibition drew on found images and archival film footage for their works. These include Raja’a Khalid, whose Desert Golf series (2014) uses vintage print media from American publications such as Life magazine to document the seemingly inexorable, if equally inexplicable, compulsion that expatriate oil executives had for finding ways to play golf in the hostile desert landscape. In several of these images, bewildered local residents look on, setting up an us/them dichotomy and pervasive sense of cultural difference that still marks expatriate and local relations in the Gulf region.

Fig. 4: Installation view of Crude exhibition. Monira Al Qadiri, Flower Drill (2016) is on the wall. Photo by Sabrina DeTurk.

Sculptural installations featured prominently in the exhibition. For example, Monira Al Qadiri’s Flower Drill (2016, Fig. 4), displayed high on the wall in one of the galleries, features fiberglass forms based on the design of drill heads and coated in two-toned automotive paint, connecting the work to both the initial and final stages of oil production and consumption. Alessandro Balteo-Yazbek’s Last Oil Barrel is a tiny wooden sculpture of a barrel, whose price is linked to oil futures and whose value will be determined only at some unspecified date in the future when a sale is fixed, reflecting the connections between the commodity value of both art and oil. The artist identifies the date of the work as “postponed,” indicating that it remains in some way incomplete until that time.

Although Crude was an intellectually rigorous and aesthetically compelling first exhibition from the Jameel Arts Centre, it remains to be seen whether there will be a sufficient audience for this type of show in Dubai over the long term. While the center’s opening weekend saw packed galleries, a weekday in January found the author almost alone in the spaces. The question of representation and inclusion of Emirati artists will undoubtedly also be raised at some point in the center’s development.

Fig. 5: Installation view of Crude exhibition. Hassan Sharif, Slippers and Wire (2009) is in the foreground. Photo by Sabrina DeTurk

A sculpture by the pioneering Emirati conceptualist artist Hassan Sharif (Fig. 5) was included in Crude and works by Emirati sculptors Shaikha Al-Mazrou and Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim were shown in the lobby and outside garden respectively. However, this is but a small sample of the variety of contemporary art being produced in the United Arab Emirates and local artists may, understandably, begin to call for greater visibility in this high-profile contemporary arts space. The Jaddaf Waterfront remains under construction and as yet there is not a sustained community to support the idea of the Jameel Arts Centre thriving as a local creative hub. That said, the potential for growth and development is there and the openness with which the center is positioning itself is welcome in a city where the arts scene can often feel closed and difficult to penetrate. Jameel Arts Centre is a welcome addition to the creative landscape of Dubai and will hopefully continue to develop as a space for contemporary expression.

Filed under: International

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by CAA — Mar 20, 2019

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Okwui Enwezor at the Venice Biennale, 2015. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia, photo: Giorgio Zuchhiatti via Frieze

Culture Ministers from 16 German States Agree to Repatriate Artifacts Looted in Colonial Era

The ministers agreed to work with museums and institutions to develop repatriation procedures with “the necessary urgency and sensitivity.” (The Art Newspaper)

How Curator Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019) Changed the Course of Art

A tribute to the Nigeria-born poet, critic and curator, who passed away last week at the age of 55. (Frieze)

‘What Does It Take?’: Admissions Scandal Is a Harsh Lesson in Racial Disparities

“This scandal exposed the fact that there is a misplaced emphasis on so-called affirmative action inequities, rather than privilege.” (New York Times)

The Rapid Closure of Art Institutes Across America

Dream Center, a Christian nonprofit with no experience in higher education, has imploded, taking thousands of students—and millions in student loans—down with them. (Hyperallergic)

The Undiscussed Sexual Exploitation Buried in Matisse’s Odalisque Paintings

“So ingrained is exploitation in our understanding of female sexuality within (and outside of) art history that these incredibly basic readings recede into the background and are deemed somehow radical.” (Hyperallergic)

Curator Cuts at Leicester Museums Criticized as Disastrous

Museum leaders in the UK have condemned a cost-cutting proposal to replace curators with an “engagement team.” (The Guardian)

Filed under: CAA News