CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — May 29, 2013

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.

DIA’s Art Collection Could Face Sell-Off to Satisfy Detroit’s Creditors

The once unthinkable is suddenly thinkable. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr is considering whether the multibillion-dollar collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts should be considered city assets that potentially could be sold to cover about $15 billion in debt. How much is the art at the DIA worth? Nobody knows exactly, but several billion dollars might well be a low estimate. (Read more in the Detroit Free Press.)

AAMD Statement on Detroit Institute of Arts Collection

A museum’s collection is held in public trust for current and future generations. This is a bedrock principle of the Association of Art Museum Directors and of the museum field as a whole. Art collections are vitally important cultural and educational resources that should never be treated as disposable assets to be liquidated, even in times of economic distress. (Read more from the Association of Art Museum Directors.)

Painting via “Power of Thought” May Hold Some Promise

An Austrian-based company called G-Tech Medical Engineering has developed software that allows people to “paint” on a computer through the “power of thought,” reports the Telegraph science correspondent Richard Gray. As Gray notes, the tool—which researchers are hoping to develop to the point that it can be a chip implanted in the brain—can help patients with progressive brain diseases. But there’s an aspect to art making that may be lost in translation. (Read more in the Houston Chronicle.)

Your Thievin’ Art? At Play in the Field of Fair Use

Julie Saul recently opened a show of work by Arne Svenson, an artist with a telephoto lens, a formalist’s eye, and a somewhat unsettling obsession with his neighbors in the glass-walled apartment building across the street. You can meet them, too, in the color pictures in The Neighbors. Assuming that they really are neighbors—and not conjured in the studio or on the computer—the work falls into one of those gray areas of fair use, the legal doctrine that allows artists to use images of or by others under certain circumstances. (Read more in ARTnews.)

Masterworks for One and All

Many museums post their collections online, but the Rijksmuseum has taken the unusual step of offering downloads of high-resolution images at no cost, encouraging the public to copy and transform its artworks into stationery, t-shirts, tattoos, plates, or even toilet paper. The museum, whose collection includes masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Mondrian, and van Gogh, has already made images of 125,000 of its works available through Rijksstudio, an interactive section of its website. The goal is to add 40,000 images a year until the entire collection of one million artworks spanning eight centuries is available. (Read more in the New York Times.)

Thousands of Cave Paintings Have Been Discovered in Mexico

Archaeologists have uncovered nearly five thousand cave paintings at eleven different sites in Mexico, the likely product of early hunter-gatherers. What’s even more remarkable is that the area was previously thought to be uninhabited. The discovery was made in the northeastern region of Burgos in the San Carlos mountain range of Tamaulipas. The archaeologist Martha García Sánchez, who works at the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History, recently presented these findings at the Historic Archaeology meeting held in Mexico’s National History Museum. (Read more from io9 and BBC News).

Help Desk: Death and Taxes (Mostly Taxes)

I have recently been the lucky recipient of an unprecedented amount of small, but not insubstantial, payments. Some are for arts writing and editing, others are one-time grants, art sales, and various art-world-related odd jobs. All earnings have been issued through W-9s and will show up as 1099-MISC income. None of it has been taxed. I understand that I should set aside a portion of these funds for the state and feds, but where do I start? (Read more in Daily Serving.)

Rejection and Its Discontents

The probability that a researcher will have a grant proposal rejected nowadays is about 1. In the current climate, in which grant agencies and foundations are receiving more proposals than ever before even as their budgets stagnate or shrink, the last few remaining decimal places of uncertainty are rapidly disappearing. It is natural to feel disappointed, angry, hurt, and frustrated when a rejection notice arrives, and it’s OK to give in to those feelings—in private, anyway. (Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

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