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CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Jan 15, 2014

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.

$330 Million Pledged to Save Pensions, DIA Artwork from Detroit Bankruptcy

The mediator in Detroit’s federal bankruptcy case has announced that local and national foundations have pledged $330 million toward an effort to shore up Detroit’s ailing pensions funds and to protect artwork in the Detroit Institute of Arts. US Chief District Judge Gerald Rosen’s statement made clear that the pledges do not by themselves mean that pensions and DIA art are now beyond the reach of creditors. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

Architecting Identity: What the Lobby Says about the Art Museum

As the doors to Mario Botta’s stalwart brick San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opened in 1995, its central atrium greeted visitors with the Swiss architect’s formidable grand staircase, three stories of floating granite framed by white columns and spotlighted by the serene white glow of the oculus overhead. Architecture critics deemed the stairs a monumental centerpiece reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Guggenheim ramp or the bell tower that rises above an Italian piazza. It’s gone now. SFMOMA, currently closed for construction, demolished Botta’s icon last year to make way for the museum’s forthcoming 235,000-square-foot expansion. (Read more from Blouin Artinfo.)

How Should Graduate School Change?

I recently conducted an email interview with a dean who works with graduate education in the arts and sciences at a well-endowed private institution—let’s call it Very Good University. He’s a full professor who came up through the faculty ranks and was named a dean less than a decade ago. Because I’ve shielded his identity here, he was able to offer some bracing observations about graduate school and sound prescriptions for how they might change. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Using Craft Art To Explore Contemporary LGBTQ Culture

Felt paintings, yarn drawings, quilted tapestries, and crocheted sculptures—these are the types of masterpieces that exist in the craft world, marked by either their decorative, DIY, or traditional flair. Made of everything from macramé to needlepoint, these handmade objets d’art are not exactly the first things that pop into one’s mind when discussing the complex and varied realm of contemporary LGBTQ issues in art. Yet they are the subject of Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, a new exhibition at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. (Read more from the Huffington Post.)

Judge Orders Renoir Painting Returned to Museum

The story began with one of those improbable tales of an artistic masterpiece uncovered at a flea market. It concluded last week, the painting still a masterpiece but the story about the flea market all the more improbable. A federal judge awarded ownership of a disputed Renoir painting to a Baltimore museum, citing “overwhelming evidence” that the painting had been stolen from the museum more than sixty years ago. The judge’s decision rejected the claims of a woman who maintained that she bought the painting at a flea market for $7. (Read more from ABC News.)

Sexism in Architecture: On the Rise

Sixty-six percent of female architects have experienced some form of sexism over their career, claims a survey from Architects’ Journal, with 31 percent reporting monthly or quarterly occurrences. This is a rise from 58 percent when the survey first launched in 2011. On top of this, 88 percent of women respondents felt that having children would hold them back in their career and 62 percent thought that the building industry still doesn’t accept the authority of female architects. Former RIBA president Angela Brady called the results “shocking” and said women needed to be particularly firm around the issue of equal pay. (Read more from the Guardian.)

How Is Nazi-Looted Art Returned?

In November German authorities revealed that more than 1,400 valuable works of art had been confiscated from the Munich flat of Cornelius Gurlitt, a reclusive octogenarian. The trove is full of the kind of avant-garde “degenerate” art the Nazis removed from Germany’s state museums, such as works by Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, and Beckmann, as well as older gems, such as an engraving by Albrecht Dürer. Some of it may have come from Jews who were forced to flee or were sent to concentration camps. Surviving heirs and museums have been coming forward as the rightful owners. How is Nazi-looted artwork returned? (Read more from the Economist.)

Twelve Trends Defining This Season’s Art-Museum Shows

The 2014 season has begun. While popular shows of artists like Magritte, Hopper, and Carrie Mae Weems continue their travels, dozens of new exhibitions devoted to modern and contemporary art are opening across the country. The season starts with a bang at the Guggenheim, where Italian Futurism, 1909–1944 tells the fast-paced story of the brash Italian vanguard. Cubism is in the spotlight at the MFA Houston, the only US stop for a huge Braque survey. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Museum of Art showcases the revolutionary spirit of German Expressionism, MoMA unveils Gauguin’s rare prints and transfer drawings, and Matisse is at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor. (Read more from ARTnews.)

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