CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Aug 12, 2015

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.

Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey

The results of the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey lead to a range of conclusions, many of which are perhaps best addressed by museums on the local level, as local and regional demographics tend to differ considerably across the continent. The headline is unsurprising: utilizing the categories employed by the 2000 US Census, 72 percent of AAMD staff is Non-Hispanic White, and 28 percent belongs to historically underrepresented minorities. (Read more from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.)

Women Take the Lead in US Museum Jobs, but Minorities Are Still Underrepresented

American museums have made significant progress toward gender equality but little headway in building ethnically diverse staff, according to a report from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The average museum’s curatorial, education, conservation, and top administrative staff members are 84 percent white. The report, based on a survey administered to 181 museums, was the first comprehensive study of the ethnic and gender makeup of US museum employees. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

The Guerrilla Girls, after Three Decades, Still Rattling Art World Cages

After three decades as masked crusaders for gender and racial equality in the art world—and increasingly, everywhere else—the Guerrilla Girls have lately been enjoying a victory lap. Last year, the Whitney Museum of American Art acquired the group’s portfolio of eighty-eight posters and ephemera from 1985 to 2012, documenting the number of women and minorities represented in galleries and institutions, including the Whitney itself. (Read more from the New York Times.)

A Sobering Look at How AIDS Changed Art in America

In the most literal way, AIDS left its mark on the art world. Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres are just a few of the well-known artists who died from illnesses related to the virus. And as a result, some of the art from the late 1980s and 1990s reflected the fear, mourning, and misunderstandings surrounding the epidemic. Art AIDS America, an exhibition that’s temporarily up in West Hollywood and opening in full at the Tacoma Art Museum in October, looks at how AIDS inserted itself into the art world’s conversation. (Read more from Wired.)

What’s at Stake in the Artist’s Resale Right Debate?

During the Scull auction of 1973, in which the collector Robert C. Scull sold some fifty iconic works of Pop and Minimalist art for $2.2 million, Robert Rauschenberg, whose work was represented prominently among the lots but who earned nothing from their sale, showed up to heckle the collector. Footage from the Scull auction was played to a packed house at Artists Space in New York, which hosted a panel of arts professionals that addressed resale rights for artists. (Read more from Artsy.)

Is the Copyright Office Inflating the Need for Orphan Works Legislation?

The issues and concerns surrounding orphan works emerged from the Copyright Act of 1976 when copyright protection became automatic and registration became optional. The Copyright Office has noted in its most recent report, Orphan Works and Mass Digitization, that the inability to locate the owners of these copyrighted but not registered works is “perhaps the single greatest impediment to creating new works.” But is it? (Read more from Clancco.)

Facing Facts: Artists Need an Entrepreneurial Mindset, Part 2

The attention generated by my first essay on artist entrepreneurship made me elated and depressed simultaneously. It was obviously hitting a nerve of many in the live arts whose training gave them no foundation for how to actually make a living. Although many college and university faculty members came forward in the comment section to demonstrate that there are, in fact, programs that prepare students for the marketplace, there is still a disconnect for most artists between their creative practice and the pragmatic skill set necessary to make a go of it in the real world. (Read more from HowlRound.)

Instagram Takes on Growing Role in the Art Market

Anyone in the art market who was not already paying attention to the social-media platform Instagram had to sit up and take notice in late April after the actor Pierce Brosnan visited the showroom of Phillips auction house in London. Brosnan snapped a selfie in front of a work he admired: the Lockheed Lounge, a space-age aluminum chaise longue by the industrial designer Marc Newson. Then he added the words “let the bidding commence” and posted it to the 164,000 followers of his Instagram feed. (Read more from the New York Times.)

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