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CAA News Today

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.

New Appraisal of Detroit Institute Art Collection Is Underway

Officials handling Detroit’s federal bankruptcy proceedings, who have been accused by creditors in recent months of underestimating the value of works held by the city-owned Detroit Institute of Arts, told a judge last week that a comprehensive appraisal of the value of the collection is now underway. (Read more from the New York Times).

Can We Create a Culture That Values Good Teaching?

How do you change academic culture? One reason that question gets asked a lot is that it’s so hard to answer. Another reason is that so much of academic culture needs changing. How might we create a culture that actually esteems effective teaching? The value of such a thing ought to be clear, if only because it would blunt some of the frequent public criticisms of universities for a too-narrow focus on research. But creating a teaching culture hasn’t proved so easy. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education).

The Story behind the Yams’ Whitney Biennial Protest

I am on record as supporting the Yams collective’s decision to quit the Whitney Biennial. The art world clearly has a problem of institutionalized racism: it is shockingly white. When a group of dozens of African American artists pull out of an important art show, it is important to listen even if—or especially if—that conversation is difficult. The cause of the Yams exodus, as originally reported, was their objection to a work by Joe Scanlan, a white male artist who creates artwork in the guise of a fictional black female artist, Donelle Woolford. (Read more from Artnet News).

How to Restore a Rothko (without Ruining a Rothko)

In the 1980s, the art conservator Raymond Lafontaine developed a new way to preserve paintings: he used light from slide projects to augment works that had faded. The technique came from “thinking about color perception,” Jens Stenger, a former conservation scientist in Harvard’s Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, explains. “In human color perception you have a light source, a surface, and a viewer, and the three interact. If you can’t change the surface, you can change the light source to change the color.” (Read more from the Atlantic).

Faculty Salaries Are Not the Problem

I’ve been deeply gratified lately to see increasing noise in the media about administrative salaries—and particularly presidential salaries—in higher education. What is coming to light now is what many faculty have known for years: universities don’t have more overhead these days because of growth in the faculty ranks, but because of explosive growth of administrations and administrator salaries. Given their spending priorities, it seems like these new administrative behemoths are badly out of step with the mission and purpose of the university—at the expense of those most vital to the university’s existence: faculty and students. (Read more from the Adjunct Project).

Nazi-Era Auction Catalogues Published Online

The annotated catalogues of the Nazi-era auction house Weinmüller were released online on the database lostart.de. The ninety-three volumes detail the sales made between 1936 and 1945 by Adolf Weinmüller, whose auction house flourished during the Second World War thanks to the forced sale of Jewish collectors’ personal property and the liquidation of Jewish art dealerships. The annotations in the catalogues include the names of consigners and buyers as well as the prices paid for the works. (Read more from the Art Newspaper).

Why Drawing Needs to Be a Curriculum Essential

Drawing has seen something of a renaissance in the last twenty years in the United Kingdom. From the Campaign for Drawing to the Drawing Research Network, and from the Drawing Room to the Rabley Drawing Centre, we’ve witnessed a proliferation of passion, effort, and energy matched by increased museum exhibitions, dedicated degree courses, professors, publications, and conferences. All of the above have been established in pursuit of understanding, developing, and promoting drawing, and many inside and outside the sector endure to evidence drawing as the most sophisticated means of thinking and communicating as well as an activity for everyone. (Read more from the Guardian).

On Screen and on the Block

Is digital art the next big thing in the contemporary art world? At the moment, the market for art that’s created and displayed on a screen—as distinct from paintings, prints, and photos that are generated digitally and then printed—is small. Phillips’s inaugural “Paddles ON!” sale of twenty digital and digitally related works in New York last October, held in association with the image-posting site Tumblr, was the first such event to be held at an international auction house. (Read more from the New York Times).

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