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CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Jul 30, 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.

Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities at Universities and Research Institutes in the US and Germany

The Volkswagen Foundation aims to strengthen transatlantic academic relations, especially in the field of the humanities, via a funding initiative called Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities at Universities and Research Institutes in Germany and the USA. For this project, Volkswagen will work closely with the New York–based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. (Read more from Volkswagen Stiftung.)

Report for Detroit Creditor Nearly Doubles Value of DIA Collection at $8.5 Billion

A new report analyzing the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts almost doubles the previous estimates of what the works are worth, putting their value at $8.5 billion. The new fifty-page assessment, a copy of which was obtained by the Detroit News, was prepared in just two weeks by the appraiser Victor Wiener of New York’s Victor Wiener Associates. (Read more from the Detroit News.)

Fame, Fortune, and the Female Artist

I have collected art, and been involved with artists and the art world, for almost fifty years. Through all that time, I have wondered why female artists have less success, fewer exhibitions, and less attention than male artists. I own works by women artists; it is hard for me to see, literally to see, how women and men differ in the quality of their work. Why are women artists less known and less admired? (Read more from the Huffington Post.)

Vernacular Criticism

Yelp does a lot of things, including a number of things that make people hate it. But one thing it does is provide a platform for vernacular art criticism, a different kind of writing about art and the public spaces where it is seen. Vernacular criticism can reject the guidelines set by cultivated artistic tastes, or it can guilelessly speak in ignorance of them, or in its naïve fascination with them can inadvertently expose their falseness. (Read more from the New Inquiry.)

Are MFAs Ruining Art?

This summer has seen another bumper year of MA and MFA students. As ever, the work coming from international art schools is good, bad, and everywhere in between. There is also an increasing professionalization of the artists coming from the academic system. Degree-show presentations can resemble solo booths at art fairs. Often the work presented is ready to slip immediately into the gallery system. The question remains: Is this a good thing? (Read more from Artsy.)

Spotting a Bad Adviser—and How to Pick a Good One

Universities have a lot of names for the professor who works with a graduate student on a thesis or dissertation and later signs off on it. The main titles are “adviser,” “director,” and, more rarely, “sponsor.” Some universities, including my own, call a professor in this position a “mentor.” I like “adviser” because I think that’s the best description of the job when it’s being done well. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Low Pay, Monotonous Work: Are Artist Assistant Positions Worth the Trouble?

In the course of a normal workday, Sharela Bonfield may order supplies, supervise interns, clean, answer the telephone, arrange meetings, create PowerPoint displays, handle paperwork, administer archives, and do “whatever else needs to be done.” It is difficult to say exactly what Bonfield’s job actually is, because she has so many responsibilities, but her title is clear enough: artist’s assistant. (Read more from Gallerist.)

I Didn’t Get the Job. Can I Ask Why?

If you made it to the campus-visit stage, then yes, in my opinion, you can contact the search-committee chair or department chair and ask for some feedback on your candidacy. But there’s a caveat: you have to stick to general, nondesperate sorts of questions. Questions like: “I would like to ask if you can provide any feedback on my materials or visit that would provide insight as I move forward in my job search.” (Read more from Vitae.)

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