CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Dec 12, 2012

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Openness, Value, and Scholarly Societies: The MLA Model

In 2011, the Modern Language Association established a new office of scholarly communication and began a series of experiments in ways of supporting the open exchange of scholarly work among its members. While the office and its platforms are new, the motivating force behind the office is not. From the beginning, scholarly societies were designed to play a crucial role in facilitating communication between scholars working on common subjects. (Read more from College and Research Libraries News.)

Ten Essential Apps for the Mobile Artist

Michelangelo, Raphael, and the rest of the old masters drew everything they saw, everywhere they went. The new masters of the twenty-first century can still adhere to that artistic custom, with powerful apps designed for a mobile and creative world. GeekSugar has rounded up apps with specific media in mind, such as ink, charcoal, and watercolor, and more general-purpose digital drawing tools, too. When inspiration unexpectedly strikes, modern-day artists will be grateful they had these ten essential iOS drawing apps in their mobile toolkit. (Read more from GeekSugar.)

Monday Musings: The Price of a Free Membership

I’ve been following with interest the news that the Dallas Museum of Art is abolishing admission for the permanent exhibits and offering free memberships to all. I hear with increasing frequency from colleagues in cultural nonprofits that people don’t want to make long-term commitments such as season passes or memberships anymore and want their experiences a la carte; and that people want real and meaningful engagement with organizations—they don’t want to be anonymous, interchangeable customers. Making memberships free in response to these drivers of change seems like a reasonable experiment. But how does the math work out? (Read more from the Center for the Future of Museums.)

Museum Policies and Art Images: Conflicting Objectives and Copyright Overreaching

Museums face steady demand for images of artworks from their collections, and they typically provide a service of making and delivering high-resolution images of art. The images are often intellectually essential for scholarly study and teaching, and they are sometimes economically valuable for production of the coffee mugs and note cards sold in museum shops and elsewhere. Though the law is unclear regarding copyright protection afforded to such images, many museum policies and licenses encumber the use of art images with contractual terms and license restrictions often aimed at raising revenue or protecting the integrity of the art. (Read more from the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media, and Entertainment Law Journal.)

A New (Kind of) Scholarly Press

The FAQ to go with the announcement that Amherst College is launching a new scholarly press ends with the question “Isn’t this endeavor wildly idealistic?” The answer is yes. But Amherst thinks that there may be long-term gains—both for scholarship and the economics of academic publishing—by publishing books that are subject to traditional peer review, edited with rigor, and then published in digital form only, completely free. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

The Moment of Digital Art History?

Two thousand and twelve has proven to be a significant year as art history continues its transition into the sphere of the digital humanities. The following post aims to provide a summary of discussions around “digital art history,” which at present describes a mode of practice without a fully articulated definition. This summary will also extend beyond the institutional considerations primarily expressed in recent reports and consider the implications for digital art history on public engagement, including the involvement of new-media practitioners, such as bloggers and users of social-media platforms. (Read more from 3 Pipe Problem.)

If He Did It

In trying to figure out the why—no seriously, WHY?—of Bob Dylan’s second painting exhibition at Gagosian, Gallerist NY’s Michael Miller was left with the same Only Possible Explanation that’s been dogging me since the musician’s first baffling Gagosian gig in October 2011: “All I could come up with was a conspiracy theory cooked up by a friend, that both of Mr. Dylan’s shows at Gagosian are actually the work of Richard Prince using ‘Bob Dylan’ as a pseudonym, making the ultimate statement on art and artifice, and proving once and for all that Bob Dylan is whoever you want him to be.” (Read more from

USC and MOCA Are in Talks about “A Possible Partnership”

Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art and the University of Southern California are in talks about a possible partnership that would link the ambitious private university with the fiscally struggling downtown museum. Responding to Los Angeles Times inquiries, USC’s provost Elizabeth Garrett said that discussions are underway “about a possible partnership that would enhance the missions of both institutions.” Talks “are very preliminary at this time,” she added, providing no further details. (Read more from the Los Angeles Times.)

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