posted by Christopher Howard — Nov 30, 2010
Members receive a special 30 percent discount when preordering the forthcoming book on the history of CAA, The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association. Edited by Susan Ball, this 328-page hardcover book will be published in January 2011 by Rutgers University Press. It will also be available at the 99th Annual Conference and Centennial Kickoff in New York, where a special signing party will take place.
CAA members may preorder the book online for $20.97 (listed at $29.95). The special offer will end soon. Use code 02CAA10 on the Rutgers University Press website, after you “Add to Cart” and before you “Checkout.”
CAA was founded in 1911 with a single stated purpose: “to promote art interests in all divisions of American colleges and universities.” From this humble yet ambitious origin, Ball has organized her book thematically instead of chronologically, with sixteen “purposes” covered in twelve chapters, some written collaboratively. As such, it offers not a comprehensive history but rather a presentation of memorable highlights that tells the complex, contentious story of a venerated organization.
The Eye, the Hand, the Mind reviews familiar aspects of CAA. Craig Houser negotiates the history of CAA’s dynamic publications program, which began in 1913 with the first issue of The Art Bulletin, and Julia Sienkewicz chronicles the evolution of the Annual Conference. Less known is CAA’s traveling-exhibition program in the 1930s, uncovered by Cristin Tierney. More recently, Ellen Levy explores how CAA has similarly supported presentations of artwork by its members, both students and professionals. Other authors investigate myriad other topics: developments in pedagogy and curriculum; political involvements and advocacy work; visual resources, libraries, and issues of copyright; professional support and career development; partnerships with museums and their associations; relationships to other learned societies in the humanities; governance structure and diversity matters; and much more.
Ball, who served as CAA executive director from 1986 to 2006, is now director of programs at the New York Foundation for the Arts. In addition to organizing the book project, she contributed a chapter on the founding of CAA, administrative and financial matters, and the organization’s larger role in the visual arts.