CAA News Today

An Open Letter to Victoria H. F. Scott Regarding the CAA

posted by Linda Downs — Feb 08, 2013

Dear Victoria Scott:

We would like to address the concerns about CAA presented in the undated essay titled “The Art History Guild” that was forwarded to us today .

  • CAA statistics and finances: CAA presents an annual report including achievements, statistics and finances at the Annual Members Business Meeting held every year at the Annual Conference. This year it will be held on Friday, February 15th at 5:30 PMin the Rendezvous Trianon Ballroom on the 3rd Floor of the New York Hilton. This report is summarized and published in the CAA News following the meeting.
  • CAA now is able to provide accurate statistics on the total number of members (currently at 12,233 individuals and 1,792 universities and libraries). However, only those members who enter their demographics can be counted according to disciplines. Currently 1,760 members do not enter this information. As of February 1, 2013:
  • Administrator 353 (some of whom are art historians)
    Architect 22
    Art Educator 1,152
    Art/Architectural Historian 4,273
    Artist 3,111
    Conservator 26
    Critic 54
    Dealer/Gallerist 29
    Designer 126
    Editor  37
    Librarian  72
    Museum Educator  40
    Other  670

CAA has in the past two years published directories of graduate programs in art history (as well as many other disciplines in the visual arts)  This is as comprehensive a compilation of art history programs throughout the US and in English speaking countries as we are aware exists. The directories information is based on only those universities and schools that chose to participate in this publication.

The U.S. Department of Education does not keep separate statistics on art historians. Nor is there Department of Education statistics on most of the humanities disciplines.  This issue was addressed by the National Humanities Alliance in cooperation with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences by developing the Humanities Indicators Project. CAA is an active participant in this project by providing the graduate directories information. Please see Part III. Workforce for information on art historians nationally:  When the Humanities Indicators was published the information was published in the CAA News and posted on the website:  The Humanities Indicators is now being updated and the information will be published and distributed to members when it is available.

CAA would like to hire a statistician as the Modern Language Association and the American Historical Association have on staff. We are currently beginning to work on a new strategic plan and this will be an opportunity to add this in the future. It was a good reminder that we should be more diligent in posting statistical information that we do have or have access to.

The current annual budget of CAA is $4.7 million which supports The Art Bulletin the Art Journal,, the Art Journal website, CAA News, the directories of graduate programs, the list of dissertations in art history; the annual conference programming, national workshops for artists, international travel program, the Meiss Publications grants, the Meiss Mellon Authors’ grants, Fellowships for Art Historians, Fellowships for Artists, the Code of Fair Use in Creative Work and Scholarly Publishing project, distinguished achievement awards juries, as well as task forces, Professional Interest Practices and Standards Committees, and advocacy for the visual arts such as visits to Congress and the participation in the Coalition for the Academic Workforce. There are currently 30 full-time and part-time staff members and over 400 members who contribute their expertise and time to association committee work each year.

  • CAA Standards and Guidelines are developed by experienced faculty through the CAA Professional Practices Committee. This committee is in charge of seeking individuals with expertise in various areas of the visual arts to both update existing standards and create new ones. Contingent Faculty Standards are on the agenda to be developed. Jim Hopfensperger, Western Michigan University is currently chair. Please contact him if you are able to serve on the Contingent Faculty Standards development subcommittee:
  • CAA Guidelines for Interviewers: CAA does not condone interviewing candidates in hotel bedrooms. CAA provides interview tables and booths at every conference and most universities use these spaces. A few universities rent hotel suites for interviews which provide neutral spaces outside of bedrooms. In reviewing the guidelines we find that they do not explicitly say that hotel bedrooms should not be used for interviews. We will refer this to the Professional Practices Committee for revision.  Thank you for pointing this out.

We would like to thank you for your concern about the association and can assure you that the CAA Board and staff take all criticisms seriously and will rectify them. Please contact us directly if you have any further concerns or questions regarding the association: or

Sincerely yours,

Anne Collins Goodyear, President                                                      Linda Downs, Executive Director


Filed under: CAA News