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CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — May 21, 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.

The New Manifestos: Six Artist Texts That Are Defining Today’s Avant-Garde

Once upon a time, you couldn’t flip through a European newspaper without coming across the polemical manifesto of a budding avant-garde artists’ movement. The major movements of the twentieth century all started with formal statements of intent written by artists, not critics, and often in inflammatory prose. In contrast, today’s categories like “conceptual art,” “relational aesthetics,” “bio art,” and “new media” refer to general trends in contemporary art as a whole rather than describing specific groups of artists who are professionally or socially associated with one another. What’s more, these terms are more often cooked up by critics than by artists themselves. (Read more from Artspace.)

Metropolitan Museum Initiative Provides Free Access to 400,000 Digital Images

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced today that more than four hundred thousand high-resolution digital images of public-domain works in the museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the museum’s website for noncommercial use—including in scholarly publications in any media—without permission from the museum and without a fee. The number of available images will increase as new digital files are added on a regular basis. (Read more from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

An Academic Working Dad

At a recent meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, I spoke on a panel about the challenges and possibilities of being an academic and a parent. I took the panel, organized by the group’s graduate-student council, as a positive sign that next-generation scholars in my field believe that it’s possible to integrate their professional and personal lives. Here’s the problem: not one male graduate student attended. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Judge Rules Detroit Bankruptcy Creditors Can’t Remove Art from DIA Walls

Judge Steven Rhodes ruled today that he won’t allow some of Detroit’s largest creditors to remove art from the walls at the Detroit Institute of Arts in order to inspect and appraise the works as part of the city’s bankruptcy. He also denied the creditors’ motion seeking access to up to a million additional pages of historic documents about the art housed at the city-owned museum. However, Rhodes said he would allow creditors to work with DIA officials to gain access to artwork in storage at the museum for purposes of inspection. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

Detroit Bankruptcy Judge Nixes Art Access Request

A judge in Detroit’s bankruptcy refused to grant hands-on access to a valuable trove of art last week, telling creditors who face steep losses in the case that they can visit a city museum and browse the walls like any other patron. Bond insurers have pointed to the art as a possible billion-dollar source of cash in the bankruptcy. But the city is firmly opposed to any sale and instead is banking on a separate, unique deal that would protect the art forever and soften pension cuts for thousands of retirees. (Read more from ABC News.)

Writing Environments

One of my priorities when I teach my university’s first- and second-year writing courses is to help students become more self-aware and reflective about their own writing practices. As you might expect, this means that each semester I also find myself reflecting on my own writing practices. Sometimes even experienced writers forget to consider the physical and temporal environments within which we write. We often fall into habits, and once a habit is established, it can lull us into a sense of comfort, or stagnation. It is a lesson not only that novice student writers need to learn but one from which experienced writers may also benefit. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

The Three Letters of Recommendation You Must Have

I am currently a visiting assistant professor at a regional campus of a state university system. Should I still be including a letter of recommendation from my grad-school advisor in applications? I’m three years out of grad school, and my advisor is great—always updates the letter, takes into account new work I’ve published, and so on—but does it look bad (too “grad student-y”) to rely on an advisor’s letter at this point in my career? (Read more from Vitae.)

Should I Go to Grad School? versus MFA vs. NYC

PhD and MFA programs are costly; job prospects are dim; graduate student labor is not recognized as work; there is a huge opportunity cost to spending seven years toiling away on book you worry will never see the light of day. These are urgent problems. (Read more from the Billfold.)

Filed under: CAA News