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Recent Deaths in the Arts

posted by May 25, 2011

In its semimonthly roundup of obituaries, CAA recognizes the lives and achievements of the following artists, scholars, teachers, curators, museum and gallery directors, art dealers, auction-house administrators, and other men and women whose work has had a significant impact on the visual arts.

  • Keith Aoki, a professor of law at the University of California, Davis, who helped create Bound by Law? Tales of the Public Domain, a comic book about copyright law and fair use, died on April 26, 2011. He was 55
  • Jackson Burnside, a Bahamian artist, architect, and activist who was a cultural icon in his country, died on May 11, 2011, at the age of 62
  • Matthew Carr, a figurative artist who drew portraits of Tom Stoppard and Diana Ross, died on February 23, 2011, at the age of 57
  • Nimai Chatterji, a collector of postwar avant-garde art and literature, including artist’s books, posters, and audiovisual material, died on December 25, 2010. He was 77
  • Polly K. Evans, an artist, teacher, and graphic designer who worked in the Byzantine studies program at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, died on December 28, 2010. She was 53 years old
  • Jack Franses, a specialist in and dealer of textiles, tapestries, and oriental carpets who once led a department of Islamic art at Sotheby’s in London, died on December 10, 2010, at age 83. He also designed and taught classes at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies
  • Creighton Gilbert, a historian of Italian Renaissance art who taught for many years at Yale University, died on April 6, 2011, at the age of 90. CAA’s longest standing member, Gilbert was editor-in-chief of The Art Bulletin from 1980 to 1985 and shared the Frank Jewett Mather Award with Harold Rosenberg in 1964
  • Sam Green, a promoter of Pop art who as director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia gave Andy Warhol his first retrospective in 1965, died on March 4, 2011. He was 70
  • Stephen Hahn, a connoisseur, collector, and dealer of modern art who was a past president of the Art Dealers Association of America, died on April 2, 2011. He was 90
  • John Hinchcliffe, a weaver, potter, printmaker, and designer who in 1991 had a retrospective at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum in Bournemouth, England, died on December 20, 2010. He was 61
  • Erlund Hudson, an artist who documented the home front in England in painting and drawing during World War II, died on March 9, 2011. She was 99 years old
  • Gwyneth Johnstone, a British painter whose work absorbed the influences of Western art from the Italian Renaissance to modernism, died on December 8, 2010, at the age of 95
  • Nancy Kominsky, an artist and the star of the television program Paint Along with Nancy, shown in the United Kingdom from 1974 to 1978 and rebroadcast in the United States in the 1980s, died on March 11, 2011. She was 95
  • Suzanne Lang, a potter who expressed her Marxist beliefs on plates, pots, and jugs, died in March 2011. She was 69 years old
  • Gordon Lebredt, a Canadian conceptual artist and writer who also fixed and raced motorcycles, died on February 26, 2011, at age 62. A monograph on unrealized projects, Gordon Lebredt: Nonworks 1975–2008, was published earlier this year
  • Craig “Pirate” Lucas, a painter, associate professor emeritus at Kent State University, and the winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize’s 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Arts, died on April 1, 2011. He was 69 years old
  • Ioana Nemes, a Romanian artist who showed across Europe and was on a residency at Art in General in New York, died on April 23, 2011. She was 32
  • Christopher Pemberton, an English painter, teacher, and translator of Joachim Gasquet’s Cézanne: A Memoir with Conversations, died on December 1, 2010. He was 87 years old
  • Jane Phillips, a painter turned curator and director who led the Mission Gallery in Swansea, Wales, died on February 6, 2011. She was 53 years old
  • John Pitson, a British typographer who had directed the Australian Government Publishing Service and helped author the influential Style Manual for Authors, Editors, and Printers (1966), died on November 25, 2010. He was 92
  • Lancelot Ribeiro, an Indian artist who settled in Great Britain whose abstract and representational work covered a range of styles and subject matter, from figuration to landscape to still life, died on December 25, 2010. He was 77 years old
  • Harold Rotenberg, an American artist who worked in an Impressionistic style and taught at the Museum School and School of Practical Arts (now the Art Institute of Boston), died on April 2, 2011. He was 105
  • Heather Ann Sackett, an artist based in Syracuse, New York, who worked in sculpture and ceramics, died on March 17, 2011. She was 56 years old
  • Tessa Sidey, a curator of modern and contemporary art for the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in England, died on January 1, 2011, at age 55. Among her career highlights is the exhibition Surrealism in Birmingham 1935–1954 and its catalogue
  • Julian Thompson, a leading expert in Chinese porcelain who was chairman of the London branch of Sotheby’s from 1982 to 1990, died on January 16, 2011. He was 69
  • Robert Vickrey, a Magic Realist painter who appeared in nine Whitney Museum Annuals in the 1950s and 1960s, died on April 17, 2011. He was 84 years old

Read all past obituaries in the arts in CAA News, which include special texts written for CAA.

Filed under: Obituaries, People in the News

Humanities Advocacy Day took place on March 6–8, 2011, and Arts Advocacy Day on April 4–5, 2011. Five members of the CAA Board of Directors represented CAA: Linda Downs, Barbara Nesin, Judith Thorpe, and Jean Miller, who contribute reports below, and Andrea Kirsh. CAA’s development and marketing manager, Sara Hines, also joined the ranks of attendees, which ranged from seasoned arts administrators, artists, scholars, curators, and educators to young students aspiring to enter these fields.

Humanities Advocacy Day

Linda Downs is CAA executive director and recently became secretary of the National Humanities Alliance board of directors.

On March 8, I represented CAA during Humanities Advocacy Day in Washington, DC. Sponsored by the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), this three-day event gathered advocates from across the country to meet on Capitol Hill to inform their senators and representatives about the importance of the humanities in their districts and to support federal funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Advocates usually don’t meet their representatives directly, but their staffers tally every visit and report on messages sent.

This year, more than two hundred people from colleges, universities, professional associations, and state humanities organizations visited 107 House and Senate offices representing thirty-four states. Participants asked that Congress maintain the NEH’s enacted level of $167.5 million for fiscal year 2010. The strong attendance indicated how important this annual event is and, in particular, that an increasing number of art-minded citizens were highly concerned about the proposed Congressional budget reduction that would eliminate the NEH. With colleagues from the state of New York, I targeted new members of Congress to inform them about the importance of the humanities in their districts.

Preceding Humanities Advocacy Day was the NHA annual meeting, which took place March 6–7 and included advocacy training, a workshop on finding grants, and panel presentations. In his keynote address, David Skorton, president of Cornell University, emphasized the importance of humanities education for cultural understanding and for the security of the United States. During a luncheon, Leslie Berlowitz, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, announced the launch of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, which will bring together scholars and corporate leaders to propose steps to strengthen the humanities nationally. On one panel, three individuals demonstrated how effective, important, and creative current humanities research is: Ashley Marshall, a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University, uses digital statistics to reinterpret eighteenth-century studies; Tara McPherson, associate professor in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, established the Vectors Journal at her school, an online venture that introduces an interactive publishing platform to humanities scholars; and Damon Dozier, director of public affairs at the American Anthropological Association, described the association’s RACE project that explores all aspects of the concept of race and has attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers  over the past three years.

The humanities community made a strong impact on Congress this year. At this time of writing (late April 2011), the NEH remains in the Congressional budget, albeit at a reduced amount.

Arts Advocacy Day

Barbara Nesin is an artist, a professor and department chair of art foundations at the Art Institute of Atlanta in Georgia, and the president of the CAA Board of Directors.

Sponsored by Americans for the Arts, Arts Advocacy Day offered a full day of training followed by a second day of meeting Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill with the aim of preserving federal funding for the arts during an especially challenging economic period. During my first time attending the event, I learned how to speak about not just the intrinsic value of the arts, but also their real economic value in this country and the importance of the arts in education. In training sessions hosted by Americans for the Arts, my colleagues and I were given the voting history and committee work of our representatives and, when in conversation with them later, were told to highlight how the arts function as a business magnet, create jobs and tax revenue, attract tourism, and foster the country’s creative advantage internationally. We didn’t neglect education, as the arts strengthen academic performance in a variety of disciplines, such as science, technology, English, and math, and contribute to an innovative, competitive workforce.

This year, advocates had to prepare a unified message that was pertinent to current budget and political realities. Furthermore, those of us who wear more than one hat—for me, being a CAA board member, a professor and administrator, and a resident of Georgia—needed to understand the context of each position in relation to the overall mission for the day. We had to make a strong case to save the NEA’s budget for fiscal year 2012 and to maintain $40 million appropriated for the Department of Education’s Arts in Education programs and grants.

Americans for the Arts provided me with a wealth of information about pressing state issues, identifying key politicians with critical influence and importantly emphasizing that now is not the time to point out disparities in federal support between, for example, the visual and performing arts. What was the right approach? A consistent, nonpartisan message supported by facts and real-life examples, practical solutions, and a convincing, definite ask.

Before coming to DC, I had consulted my home institution’s public-relations department to determine appropriate topics and strategies. I also reviewed issues close to CAA’s heart, ready to share information about tax reform in the arts: preserving incentives for charitable giving, extending the IRA Charitable Rollover, and rejecting attempts to create a hierarchy for deductions to nonprofits that discriminates against the arts. I also wanted to ask for support for the Artist–Museum Partnership Act—something CAA has advocated for many years—which would allow artists to deduct from their federal income tax the fair-market-value of works of art donated to and retained by nonprofit institutions. (Currently artists can only deduct the cost of their materials used to make the work). Improving the visa process for foreign guest artists was also on my list of topics.

Even though representatives from Georgia raced to attend emergency meetings regarding the difficult budget negotiations that threatened to close down the government that very week, my group managed to meet several of them and speak to the staff of others. In some cases, staffers invited us to leave informational materials provided by Americans for the Arts, which outline major funding issues and, through maps and statistics, pinpointed concentrations of arts-related business in each representative’s district—with actual dollar amounts.

Since my school has already cultivated excellent relationships with several Congressional leaders in my state, I built on that firm groundwork by sharing a sincere “thank you” for the specific ways in which each had already supported the arts, regardless of his party or voting record. These representatives—whether recognized friends of the arts or not—responded supremely to people from their own district, whether by residence or place of employment. On that local turf, there was not one who had not made some effort to demonstrate their concern for arts education and some type of arts programming to their own community. From that point, conversations went one of two ways.

To those who had previously opposed arts funding, I emphasized the significance of the arts to economic development—that is to say, I talked jobs, jobs, jobs. Armed with hard figures that proved how the arts generate substantial employment and investment in specific districts and nationally, I made the case that opposing arts funding puts many people out of work and damages local economies that depend on the arts to attract employers and business activity. Keep in mind that even a single arts event generates not only sales of tickets or art objects, but also uses numerous surrounding services and accommodations, including printers, web designers, restaurants, and hotels. These are not insignificant dollars, and no politician wants to be viewed by constituents as opposing much-needed, economically healthy free enterprise. In addition, staunch supporters of cutting taxes listened with interest when my group spoke about implementing tax benefits that would have a real impact on estates and museum collections. If such representatives were at all concerned about swing votes in their district, it would not cost much in real dollars for them to support some form of arts funding. Even a slight increase would have a dramatic and highly visible effect—something investors might call an attractive “rate of return.”

In the offices of strong supporters of the arts is where I successfully addressed other issues that CAA has been working on. Staffers in Representative John Lewis’s office told me that orphan works was not on their radar before but will be now, promising to research the subject and bring it to Lewis’s attention. Finally, we offered ourselves as resources to these elected officials and asked them for advice on what we could do to assist them.

I was gratified to see a good number of graduate students among the five hundred plus attending Arts Advocacy Day. As a CAA member and an art educator, I was keenly interested in what students had to say, especially when speaking from their personal experience. One young woman finishing her master’s in arts administration made an impassioned plea for assurance of jobs when she graduates. When I described CAA to them, several students in programs of social policy and arts administration were excited about becoming actively involved in the organization, particularly in the area of advocacy. CAA needs to continue building these connections.

As the largest organization for the visual arts in the country, CAA has significant membership numbers—more than 12,000 individuals and 1,800 institutions—that amplify considerably when counting those who belong to the affiliated societies, making us a potentially powerful voice. Congress listens to voting constituents. Although CAA doesn’t vote, it does represent an exponential body of voters. If we want the visual arts better represented on a national level, CAA is an ideal body to do so year round.

This year’s was a success: participants helped preserve federal funding for the arts in large measure, with much smaller cuts than originally proposed, and saw first-hand our full potential reach and influence. I encourage as many members as possible to attend future Arts Advocacy Days.

Arts Advocacy Day

Judith Thorpe is an artist, professor of photography, and head of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. She is also a member of the CAA Board of Directors.

Two years ago, riding on the recent election of Barack Obama and the promise of increased funding for the arts and humanities, participants in Arts and Humanities Advocacy Days felt vibrancy and excitement in the air. The atmosphere in Congressional offices during Arts Advocacy Day in 2011 contrasted with that optimism tremendously. Facing budget and partisanship battles daily, federal legislators threatened once again to not just reduce but extinguish all NEA initiatives and Department of Education programs for Arts in Education. In the end, Congress did not axe the endowment as feared and returned $25 million to Arts in Education for fiscal year 2012. Truth be told, these amounts are so small that their impact on the national budget is negligible. These annual skirmishes, however, continue to reflect the raging ideological battles regarding the arts in this country.

Events of a week in which Congress canceled appropriations hearings and a budget stalemate nearly closed down the federal government subdued advocacy meetings with senators, representatives, and their aides. My group from Connecticut found it difficult to advocate more than flat funding for the NEA, but we asked the offices of Senators Joseph Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal and Representatives Rosa L. DeLauro, John Larson, Joe Courtney, Jim Himes, and Chris Murphy to renew their commitment to the arts and to join or continue serving on the Congressional Art Caucus and the Senate Cultural Caucus.

In order to benefit the arts and humanities—and the interests of CAA in particular—we must develop a means to send advocates to meet specifically with key members of Congress during the annual Arts, Humanities, and Museums Advocacy Days. CAA’s vast number of professionals in academia, museums, and elsewhere should be heard in a focused manner, and members of the CAA Board of Directors may need to get more involved in organizing participation in the three national advocacy days.

Attending this year sharpened my awareness of how members of Congress perceive the role of the arts differently in this country. That said, I was heartened to see bipartisan support for the arts and encouraged to advocate continued and greater support for the arts. It was quite a civics class!

Arts Advocacy Day

A member of the CAA Board of Directors, Jean Miller is associate dean of administrative affairs of the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas in Denton. She also oversees her schools Design Research Center in Dallas.

I became acquainted with Americans for the Arts and attended Arts Advocacy Day for the first time in 2009 as a representative of CAA’s Professional Practices Committee and a resident of the state of Maryland. This year, I represented CAA as a board member and cochair of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD) Advocacy Task Force. Now a Texas resident, I also made efforts to cultivate a relationship with members of Texans for the Arts.

Although Arts Advocacy Day has a similar structure and comparable messages from year to year, the underlying sense of urgency during the 2011 proceedings made it markedly different from those of 2009. This was due in part to the possibility of the government shutting down during the budget talks. All advocates intensely felt the charged atmosphere during the Americans for the Arts–sponsored Congressional Arts Breakfast and later on Capitol Hill when meeting representatives and their staff.

Like my colleagues above, I was impressed by the record attendance of over five hundred advocates from around the country, gathering to communicate a consistent message about the value of art and culture in our lives to Congress. Actors Kevin Spacey and Alec Baldwin and several other celebrities joined attendees over the course of the two days to lend their voices in support of the arts and artists. As they spoke candidly about their mentors and career opportunities, these individuals served as great moral support and inspired us to strategize together to position the arts better in the national budget conversation.

To help frame discussions with legislators and their staff, advocacy leaders urged us to take a practical, bipartisan approach to all conversations. At the same time, they also encouraged us to send a clear, strong, and persistent message to Congress about sustaining NEA funding—not increasing it as we had asked in the past—and to share stories about how the NEA has had a strong impact on our communities and states.

Were we successful? I believe that yes, as a committed group of arts professionals and students, we took the time to study current issues, applied an advocacy framework to discuss important points, and stood up as citizens to increase visibility for the arts locally and nationally. Was it enough? Unfortunately no. What else could CAA do as an organization? Perhaps we can strengthen ties with its affiliated societies, which in sum represent over 300,000 people, and use a large collective voice in support of advocacy efforts. With the affiliates, CAA can design strategies to reach the political leaders who are in positions of making the tough budget decisions. With many CAA staff and board members involved in strengthening connections to affiliated societies and working on advocacy and outreach, I think this is entirely possible.

CAA is the principal national and international voice of the academic and professional community in the visual arts; the organization was founded on the principle of advocating the visual arts and actively continues that engagement today (see The Eye, The Hand, The Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association, edited by Susan Ball). The principal goal of CAA advocacy is to address issues of critical importance in the visual arts that benefit artists, art historians, and museum workers and to inform the public.

CAA specifically advocates change and improvements in these areas:

  • Government funding for the arts and humanities
  • Freedom of expression and against censorship
  • Intellectual-property rights
  • Preservation of the artistic integrity of public spaces
  • Higher education and technologies to facilitate distance learning
  • Philanthropy for the arts and humanities
  • Tax policy as it applies to CAA members
  • Conditions in universities, museums, and other workplace environments of CAA members

CAA cosponsors and regularly sends representatives to the annual Arts, Humanities, and Museum Advocacy Days in Washington, DC. Email petitions are requested of CAA members throughout the year when legislation is being considered in Congress related to specific issues. This year’s advocacy message to Capitol Hill focused on maintaining the funding levels of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Recent issues related to freedom of expression and censorship on which CAA has taken a public position include:

  • Incarceration of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei
  • Removal of David Wojnarowicz’s video from the Hide/Seek exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery
  • Proposed removal of the John T. Biggers mural at Texas Southern University
  • Removal of the Department of Labor mural in Augusta, Maine
  • Adrian Piper’s placement on the Transportation Security Administration Watch List
  • Supreme Court amicus brief in support of petition for review regarding artists whose vehicular artwork was removed by the City of San Marcos, Texas
  • Supreme Court amicus brief asserting the unconstitutionality of a federal law criminalizing the depiction of animal cruelty in United States v. Stevens

In addition, CAA has been involved in intellectual-property rights, as described below.

Orphan Works

CAA participated actively in US Copyright Office proceedings to study orphan works and, thereafter, actively supported legislation—yet to be passed by Congress—that would require users to conduct work-by-work, due-diligence searches to identify and find the copyright holder. If that search failed to identify or find the copyright holder, the work could be used without the threat of injunctive relief or statutory damages. If the copyright holder emerges after the work has been researched and used, he or she could still sue the user for copyright infringement, but a losing defendant would only be required to pay the normal license fee; the proposed legislation includes a safe harbor for museums that removed works expeditiously. It is unclear if any orphan-works legislation will be reintroduced in this or subsequent Congresses. After the March 2011 decision of Judge Denny Chin of the US Court of Appeals Second Circuit rejecting the settlement of the Google Books litigation, CAA’s counsel was approached by Public Knowledge (“a D.C. public interest group working to defend citizen’s rights in the emerging digital culture”) asking if CAA remained interested in orphan-works legislation and, if so, to sign a letter to Congress requesting that orphan-works legislation be reintroduced.

Cost for Reproducing Images of Artwork in Museum Collections

In recent member surveys, one of the most critical issues articulated was the high cost of reproduction rights of works in museum collections that are not under copyright. CAA has requested formal attention to this issue from the Association of Art Museum Directors.

Fair Use

CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property, chaired by Doralyn Pines and Christine Sundt, is reviewing and proposing revisions to the Intellectual Property in the Arts section of the CAA website. The committee will also review a draft set of fair-use guidelines being prepared by the Art Law Committee of the New York Bar Association and the Visual Resources Association; after such review, the CAA Board of Directors may be asked to endorse the updated guidelines.

Extension of Copyright Term

CAA signed a Supreme Court amicus brief regarding the retroactive application of the extension of copyright term in Eldred v. Ashcroft. The Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 was challenged with the original complaint filed on January 11, 1999. CAA was an amicus when the case was brought to the Supreme Court, which held on January 15, 2003, that the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 was constitutional (see the March 2003 CAA News).

Artist-Museum Partnership Act

CAA actively supports the Artist-Museum Partnership Act, which establishes fair-market-value tax deductions for works given by artists instead of the current limitation to cost of materials. Information on the progress of the Artist-Museum Partnership Act is published in the weekly CAA News email, posted in the Advocacy section of the website, and communicated to the Services to Artists Committee. If and when a bill is subject to a vote in Congress, CAA will urge all members, affiliated societies, and committees to contact their representatives.

Coalition on the Academic Workforce

CAA is a member of the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, which recently prepared a survey of contingent faculty. Over 30,000 individuals completed the questionnaire—many were CAA members—and the results will be tabulated this spring. Information on all aspect of working conditions is included in this survey and will assist in informing future standards and practices. CAA’s Professional Practices Committee and Education Committee are kept informed of the survey and its tabulation and will analyze the results and determine action to take that will benefit CAA members. Contingent faculty is currently responsible for 76 percent of teachers in American colleges and universities. CAA supports equitable hiring, representation, and benefits for this growing segment of the faculty.

How It Works

How does advocacy work at CAA? CAA both monitors advocacy issues and is approached by universities, colleges, organizations, and individuals who raise issues via CAA’s counsel, officers and members of the board, executive director, deputy director, affiliated societies, or other partner organizations such as the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Association of Art Museum Directors, or the associations of the American Council of Learned Societies. If an issue warrants action and is consistent with the advocacy policy, CAA will prepare a response. Depending on the importance and complexity of the issue, CAA will prepare an email, letter of support, or statement; cosign a letter with other organizations; or, in exceptional circumstances when legal action is required, prepare an amicus brief or support proposed legislation. All advocacy issues brought to CAA’s attention are reviewed by the counsel and the executive director. Consistent with the organization’s Advocacy Policy, the Executive Committee and, if necessary, partner organizations also review the issues. Important matters where legal action is involved will be brought to the board.

At the February 2011 board meeting, Andrea Kirsh, then vice president for external affairs, volunteered to work as CAA’s advocacy coordinator. She has since actively assisted in carrying out research and drafting letters and statements. CAA members who would like to be informed of the organization’s advocacy efforts—and spread the word—can send an email to

CAA has received a $25,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the next ARTspace, taking place during the 100th Annual Conference and Centennial Celebration in Los Angeles, February 22–25, 2012.

Designed to engage CAA’s artist members and the general public, ARTspace offers program sessions free of charge and includes diverse activities such the Annual Artists’ Interviews, screenings of film, video, and multimedia, performances, and presentations that facilitate a conversational yet professional exchange of ideas and practices. Held at each conference since 2001, ARTspace is intended to reflect the current state of the visual arts and arts education.

The grant, which is the NEA’s third consecutive award to CAA for ARTspace programming, will help fund, among other things, ARTexchange, a popular open-portfolio event for artists, as well as [Meta] Mentors programming, which has covered topics such as do-it-yourself curatorial and exhibition practices, international networks for artists, and assistance with grants, taxes, and promotion.

Image: ARTexchange participants at the 2011 Annual Conference in New York (photograph by Bradley Marks)

During summer 2010, Linda Downs, CAA executive director, and Andrea Kirsh, then vice president of external affairs, visited more than a dozen deans and chairs of art and art-history departments in New York and Philadelphia to better understand the needs of their students and faculty. One topic that arose among studio artists was CAA’s stance on orphan works, which some perceived as not protecting artists. Downs explained that CAA was indeed aware of balancing the interests of artists and art historians. Following this, the Board of Directors thought that all studio departments should understand CAA’s position and has thus sent the following letter to them.

Dear Colleagues

This letter is intended to address concerns about CAA’s advocacy on behalf of orphan-works legislation. An orphan work is any copyrighted work—book or other text, picture, music, recording, film, etc.—for which the copyright owner cannot be identified or located. Everyone recognizes that there is an orphan-works problem. The inability to clear rights for orphan works often precludes their use, by scholars, publishers, students, and creators. The US Copyright Office documented the considerable extent of this problem, and the CAA submitted comments to the Copyright Office describing the adverse effect of the orphan-works problem on artistic creation and scholarship.

The Copyright Office recommended legislation that would amend copyright law to allow orphan works to be used without an undue risk of suit to the user—of statutory damages or an injunction—assuming that the user conducted a diligent search for the copyright owner and properly attributed the work as an orphan work. That has been the basis of the legislative proposal seriously considered by Congress. CAA has only supported those proposals which are appropriately balanced. Should the copyright owner pursue and prevail in an action for infringement against a user, the legislation requires appropriate compensation for use of the work.

In advocating for orphan-works legislation, CAA has taken full account of the concerns of artists, designers, and photographers that such legislation, if enacted, would allow bad-actor copyright infringers to avoid statutory damages or injunctive relief.

The legislation supported by CAA would require users to conduct diligent searches, with the parameters of such a search elaborated in the legislation itself, to identify and locate copyright owners as a precondition of having such works become eligible for orphan-works treatment. The last legislative proposals, supported by CAA, are detailed and meaningful, but they also are not inappropriately or unduly burdensome. They include searches of Copyright Office records and the use of other appropriate databases and other resources. In any litigation, the burden would be placed on the users to demonstrate that their searches complied with the requirements of the law.

CAA is aware of fears that artists whose works cannot easily be signed, or have other identifying information attached to them, that are “born orphan” because they never are associated with identifying information, or that can easily be stripped of identifying information and be made available on the internet, are or might readily become orphaned. Concerns have been expressed that such works could be used unfairly and unscrupulously, without appropriate compensation and attribution. Other concerns have been raised that users might prefer to use works that appear to be orphaned (and avoid having to pay for them) in lieu of engaging creative artists to create new works.

CAA is not unmindful of these concerns. CAA encourages artists to consider the advantages of registering their works with the US Copyright Office ( A diligent search under orphan-works legislation would include the office’s records.

For CAA’s statement on orphan works, please refer to If you have further concerns about the implications of orphan-works legislation, we would be happy to discuss them.


Barbara Nesin, MFA
President, College Art Association

CAA and other learned societies are increasingly aware of the complex demands and responsibilities entailed by scholarly publishing today. In an era of globalization and digitization, organizations must revisit long-standing assumptions and carefully reconsider the process of developing and reviewing publications. Among the critical issues are copyright, competing political and cultural sensitivities, and even differing international legal standards for what may and may not appear in print or online. In the fall of 2009, Paul Jaskot, then CAA president and in conjunction with the Board of Directors, formed a task force to study the organization’s editorial procedures and safeguards.

The seven-person Task Force on Editorial Safeguards included representation from CAA’s three editorial boards and the Publications Department staff. Meeting monthly by telephone from March to October 2010, and with continued consultation through January 2011, the group carefully documented and studied editorial procedures for each journal. It also gathered information about practices at similar academic periodicals—including those published commercially and by other scholarly associations. Ultimately, the task force was pleased to find that CAA’s editorial safeguards were already among the most through and progressive, though it recognized that they could be strengthened further. Based on its research, the task force made a series of recommendations, which the CAA board adopted at its February 2011 meeting.

The task force’s recommendations focused on three primary areas: identifying conflict of interest, establishing transition protocols, and enhancing training for editors. The group also instituted a clear protocol for responding to editorial concerns. Revised author packets will further clarify the responsibilities for those writing for CAA’s journals. Fact checking, for example, remains the province of the contributor, although peer reviewers and other editors will raise questions when warranted. The guidelines also established the retention of documents by editors, in consultation with the Publications Committee.

At its May 2011 meeting, the board added a further safeguard to those approved at its previous meeting. CAA now requires all new editors, editorial-board members, and committees members, including the board itself, to certify their adherence to the newly revised Statement on Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality.

The Task Force on Editorial Safeguards, led by then CAA vice president for publications, Anne Collins Goodyear of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, comprised the following: Laura Auricchio, Parsons the New School for Design; Ikem Okoye, University of Delaware; Judith Rodenbeck, Sarah Lawrence College; and Rachel Weiss, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. CAA’s codirectors of publications, Betty Leigh Hutcheson and Joe Hannan, served as ex-officio members. The editors-in-chief and reviews editors of CAA’s three journals provided invaluable assistance to the task force, as did members of the Publications Committee. Alan Gilbert, CAA editor, also provided critical input.

Every year CAA collaborates with publishers to offer special discounts on forty-seven magazines and journals covering art and culture. This longstanding member benefit encourages the exchange and dissemination of artistic and scholarly viewpoints and complements CAA’s three journals to which members have access.

Established magazines such as Artforum, Art in America, and October join more eclectic publications like Cabinet, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and the Believer in a diverse stable of printed matter. CAA welcomes Critical Inquiry and History of Photography back into the fold and introduces West 86th, formerly known as Studies in the Decorative Arts. The discount program even includes a quarterly DVD series, called Wholphin.

If you are interested in starting a new subscription or renewing an existing one, please log into your CAA account and click the Member Benefits link at left. On the following page, click the link under the Subscription Discounts header to download the PDF file with the contact information and order coupon for each journal or magazine. If you have questions about this benefit, please contact Member Services at 212-691-1051, ext. 12.

Filed under: Membership

The Getty Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to CAA in support of international travel for twenty applicants to attend the 100th Annual Conference and Centennial Celebration, taking place February 22–25, 2012, in Los Angeles. Through the new CAA International Travel Grant Program, CAA will provide funds for travel expenses, hotel accommodations, per diems, and conference registrations. Recipients will also receive one-year CAA memberships. Applicants may be art historians, artists who teach art history, and art historians who are museum curators; those from developing countries or from nations not well represented in CAA’s membership are especially encouraged to apply.

The goal of the project is to increase international participation in CAA and to diversify the organization’s membership (presently sixty-five countries are represented). CAA also wishes to familiarize international participants with the submission process for conference sessions and to expand their professional network in the visual arts. Members of CAA’s International Committee have agreed to host the participants, and the National Committee for the History of Art will also lend support to the program.

CAA will publish an official call for grant applications on its website on Friday, July 8, 2011; the program will also be publicized in CAA News. A jury will select the twenty grant recipients.

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship. The following exhibitions and events should not be missed. Check the archive of CWA Picks at the bottom of the page, as several museum and gallery shows listed in previous months may still be on view or touring.

May 2011

Mahalia Jackson

Poster for a Mahalia Jackson concert in Topeka, Kansas, 1962 (photograph provided by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum)

Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44114
May 13, 2011–February 26, 2012

The eight sections of Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power will highlight how women have driven the engines of creation and change in popular music since the early twentieth century. Blues women from the 1920s such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith set the stage for those who followed: Brenda Lee, the Ronettes, Janis Joplin, Carol King, Donna Summer, Siouxsie Sioux, Madonna, Bikini Kill, Queen Latifah, and Lady Gaga. In addition to displays of artifacts and memorabilia, as well as videos and listening stations, the interactive exhibition will set up a recording booth where visitors can record a short story or moment of inspiration related to women in rock.

“From Portraits to Pinups: Women in Art and Popular Culture”
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238
May 14, 2011

On Saturday, May 14, the Brooklyn Museum will hold a daylong symposium in conjunction with the exhibition Lorna Simpson: Gathered (a CWA Pick from February). Graduate students will present their research on topics such as the implications of women artists using images of women in their work, the connections between women’s history and contemporary art, and perceptions of race and gender. In addition, Wendy Steiner, an English professor and the founding director of the Penn Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak about concepts of beauty, while a panel discussion will feature the comedian Erica Watson, the drag king Shelly Mars, and the illustrator Molly Crabapple.

Uta Barth
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603
May 14–September 14, 2011

The photographer Uta Barth once intriguingly said that her contemplative images of domestic scenes devoid of action “are really not of anything in that sense, they register only that which is incidental and peripheral implied.” Curated by Elizabeth Siegel of the Art Institute of Chicago, this exhibition presents her latest series, called … and to draw a bright white line with light, alongside two earlier bodies of work: white blind (bright red) from 2002 and Sundial from 2007.

Gail Levin Lee Krasner

“Illustrated Lecture and Book Signing: Dr. Gail Levin”
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238
May 15, 2011

On Sunday, May 15, the art historian Gail Levin, who teaches at Baruch College and the Graduate Center in New York, will discuss her most recent book, Lee Krasner: A Biography (New York: William Morrow, 2011), which looks beyond Krasner’s relationship with her husband Jackson Pollock to detail her own brilliant career as a painter in New York. A book signing will follow the 2:00 PM talk.

Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color
Women’s Museum
3800 Parry Avenue, Dallas, TX 75226
May 21–July 23, 2011

This traveling exhibition surveys Loïs Mailou Jones’s seventy-five years as a painter, tracing the development of her work from her early career into her signature mixture of African, Caribbean, American, and African American iconography, design, and thematic elements. Comprised of over sixty paintings, drawings, and textile designs from public and private collections, Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color also includes, for the first time, major holdings from the late artist’s estate for public presentation. A CWA Pick in October 2010, the exhibition originated at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.

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New Member Benefit: Club Quarters

posted by May 10, 2011

Update from April 2015: CAA no longer participates in the Club Quarters program.

In an effort to enhance member benefits, CAA recently joined Club Quarters, a group that offers reasonable room rates at full-service hotels for partnering organizations and companies. The Club Quarters system extends nationwide, with four participating hotels in New York, two in Chicago, and one each in Boston, Houston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. You also have a choice of three hotels in London.

CAA’s section on the Club Quarters website explains your benefits. Click “Your Member Rates” to download a PDF with the hotels’ names, addresses, and daily rates. The section also publishes detailed information regarding the amenities and services available to you and offers maps, travel directions, and area attractions.

Make your reservations online through Club Quarters. You may also write to, call 203-905-2100, or send a fax to 203-348-6401.

CAA hopes that you will find Club Quarters useful in your personal or professional life.

Image: A Club Quarters hotel in San Francisco

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