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The more information that is made available on critical issues in the field, the greater a case can be made for advocacy to promote change. One of the major challenges for the visual-arts field is ensuring that all faculty are properly supported so that they may provide outstanding teaching, research and creative work. It is estimated that over 70% of faculty at colleges and universities in the United States are now hired on a contingent bases. This upward trend began in the 1970s and appears to dominate the future.

Data on working conditions of part-time faculty is not easily available since the funding for the National Study on Postsecondary Faculty at the Department of Education was discontinued in 2003. Data on art history, studio art, and art education faculty is even more difficult to obtain since visual arts and performing arts faculty were historically aggregated together by the Department of Education.

In response to the lack of data, the Coalition on the Academic Workforce,  comprising twenty six academic associations including CAA, organized an extensive survey. The report on this survey was published in June 2012  Of the 20,000 part-time faculty participating in the survey, 1,034 were CAA members. The data they contributed has been compiled and is now available [].

Some of the major findings from the art historians, artists and art educators indicate that: 1) part-time faculty in the visual arts field have a slightly higher salary rate than the median; 2) there are gender disparities in salaries within the visual arts; and 3) resources and benefits provided by institutions are two to three times lower for visual-arts faculty than the full sample of respondents.

What is CAA doing to address these issues? The Board adopted the Guidelines for Part-Time Faculty in 2004. The Professional Practices Committee under the chairmanship of Jim Hopfensperger and an ad hoc committee led by Tom Berding and CAA board member, John Richardson are working to update these guidelines to respond to present needs in order to provide standards for the field.

Several CAA annual conference sessions have been devoted to resources for administrators and part-time faculty. At the 2013 New York Annual Conference, a panel which included John Curtis from the American Association of University Professors and Rosemary Feal from the Modern Language Association, among others, provided valuable resources for networking among part-time faculty. An example is organizations such as CAW that are actively addressing workforce issues and state and national government advocacy. These resources can be found at

The CAA Board has organized a planning task force of members to address critical issues in the field over the next five years. The profound changes in the structure of faculty, teaching formats, digital research, publishing and creative work are some of the greatest challenges identified. The members of the task force welcome your comments in shaping how CAA can address these and other major issues of our profession. Please send your ideas and comments to CAA at

I would like to thank Peter Bucchianeri at Harvard University for compiling the data and writing the report on the responses of CAA member respondents to the contingent faculty survey.


Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts produces a curated list, called CWA Picks, of recommended exhibitions and events related to feminist art and scholarship in North America and around the world.

The CWA Picks for June 2013 comprise seven solo exhibitions, most of them bringing together work spanning an artist’s career. In Manhattan, PPOW Gallery is presenting examples from several series by the pioneering feminist artist Carolee Schneemann, and Broadway 1602 has gathered several historical installations by Nicola L, an underrecognized French artist based in New York. Work made by Nicole Eisenman since 2009 is on view at the Berkeley Art Museum in California, and Eve Sussman is the subject of a survey at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, Florida. In Europe, Ellen Gallagher is having a midcareer retrospective at Tate Modern in London, VALIE EXPORT is showing work related to touch (i.e., physical contact) in Berlin, and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm is focusing on Niki de Saint Phalle’s interest in the girl, the monster, and the goddess.

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.

Image: Niki de Saint Phalle, Could we have loved?, 1968 (artwork © Niki de Saint Phalle/BUS 2013)

Filed under: Committees, Exhibitions

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.

The Exit Interview: Frank Goodyear and Anne Collins Goodyear

They did not arrive at the Smithsonian together, but Frank H. Goodyear III and Anne Collins Goodyear, longtime curators at the National Portrait Gallery, are leaving it as a pair. After twelve years at the museum, this husband-and-wife team will begin their tenure as codirectors of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, in June. (Read more in the Washington Post.)

Detroit Museum Not the First to Consider Selling Out

Museums sell works all the time but typically not their best stuff. When they do sell, it’s to get rid of pieces that don’t suit the collection. They use the money to buy new works that are a better fit. They’re not supposed to use the money to buy computers or pay down debt, according to industry standards. But when museums aren’t freestanding institutions, as is the case in Detroit, the larger entities that control them sometimes can’t help but see dollar signs. (Read more from National Public Radio.)

A Step in the Wrong Direction—or False Advertising?

What comes after crowd sourcing and crowd funding? Crowd deaccessioning, of course. Yup, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens has opened an exhibition of five paintings from its collection by the French artist Bernard Smol (1897–1969). The museum wants to keep just one of them because of “limited storage space and evolving collecting philosophy.” (Read more in Real Clear Arts.)

“You Become Better with Age”

At what age do people hit their stride professionally? Categorically speaking, athletes, engineers, politicians, television writers, salesmen, and actresses all have varying norms and shelf lives, sometimes affected by physical attributes or societal expectations. Seemingly immune to ageist perceptions and traditional notions of retirement are artists. A historical look reveals that a striking number have been highly productive and turned out some of their best work late into old age, including Bellini, Michelangelo, Titian, Ingres, Monet, Matisse, Picasso, O’Keeffe, and Bourgeois. (Read more in ARTnews.)

Best Practices for Live Tweeting

I often live tweet the conferences and events I attend. For example, I was involved with the Twitter discussion while at the Linked Ancient World Data Institute, which led to great conversations with people who weren’t able to attend and allowed for continued engagement among the participants. However, there were times when people asked that information not be shared or that links not be posted—and this information was respected. Overall, though, live tweeting was a major boon to the event. (Read more at Inside Higher Ed.)

The Modern Writing-School Paradox: More Students, Fewer Jobs, More Glory

Never before have there been so many teachers telling so many students how to write. However meager the money, teaching is a paying gig and a subsidized education. The students, though, are a mystery. The number of traditional MFA programs, undergraduate writing programs, nontraditional low-residency writing programs, online writing courses, weekend writing workshops, summer writing conferences, writers’ colony retreats, private-instruction classes, and how-to-write books, blogs, and software programs has grown so colossally you’d think there is as much demand for new writers in the marketplace as there is for mobile-app designers. You’d be wrong. (Read more in the Atlantic.)

A Pollock Restored, a Mystery Revealed

Jackson Pollock’s process and his canvases have been so extensively studied that it would seem there could be nothing else to learn. Yet a ten-month examination and restoration of his One: Number 31, 1950, by conservators at the Museum of Modern Art, have produced new insights about how the artist worked. (Read more in the New York Times.)

Art Detective Warns of Missing Checks That Let Stolen Works Go Undiscovered

European auction houses, dealers, and collectors are failing to make adequate checks to avoid handling stolen artworks, an art lawyer has warned after recovering from an Italian auction an old-master painting taken from its British owner in a burglary more than thirty years ago. Christopher A. Marinello, who specializes in recovering stolen art and resolving title disputes, said: “We do find a lot of stolen and looted artwork in civil-law countries such as Italy, France, and Germany. Consigners of tainted works of art often try to hide behind the good-faith purchase laws of these countries while performing little or no due diligence.” (Read more in the Guardian.)

Filed under: CAA News

CAA is pleased to announce the five inaugural recipients of the new Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award. Thanks to a one-year grant of $60,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CAA will provide funds to emerging authors who are publishing monographs on the history of art and related subjects. The purpose of the subventions is to reduce the financial burden that authors carry when acquiring images for publication, including licensing and reproduction fees for both print and online publications.

The winning books for spring 2013 are:

  • Claudia Brittenham, The Cacaxtla Paintings: How Art Shaped the Identity of an Ancient Central Mexican City, University of Texas Press
  • Chelsea Foxwell, In Search of Images: Kano Hogai and the Making of Modern Japanese-Style Painting, University of Chicago Press
  • Jesse Locker, “The Hands of Aurora”: Artemisia Gentileschi and Her Contemporaries, Yale University Press
  • Megan R. Luke, Kurt Schwitters: Space, Image, Exile, University of Chicago Press
  • Karl Whittington, Body-Worlds: Opicinus de Canistris and the Medieval Cartographic Imagination, Press of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies

Successful applicants are emerging scholars who are under contract with a publisher for a manuscript on art history or visual studies. For full details on the grant, please review the Application Guidelines and the Application Process, Schedule, and Checklist. Fall deadline: September 15, 2013.