CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Dec 02, 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.

Black Artists and the March into the Museum

After decades of spotty acquisitions, undernourished scholarship, and token exhibitions, American museums are rewriting the history of twentieth-century art to include black artists in a more visible and meaningful way than ever before, playing historical catch-up at full tilt, followed by collectors who are rushing to find the most significant works before they are out of reach. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Can Art Exist on Social Media?

The arrival of a new passport is not usually newsworthy. But in July 2015, when the Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei posted a photo of himself with his new passport to Instagram, the world responded with barely contained excitement. The story was covered by the New York Times, CNN, and Time, among others. (Read more from Apollo.)

Carnegie Museum Computer Program Collects Every Detail on Its 30,098 Artworks

Elysa, a computer-software program named for Andrew Carnegie’s housekeeper, cleans up and standardizes information already known about 30,098 artworks in the Carnegie Museum of Art collection. Elysa (pronounced Eliza) breaks apart a paragraph packed with names and dates and organizes it into a format that computers can manipulate or turn into a map. (Read more from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

Will Video Kill the Lecturing Star?

You may have heard about the flipped classroom approach, in which lectures are viewed at home and class time is used for discussion, project work, and other practical exercises. You may also have been wondering whether to bother with it, and how it actually would work in practice. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Google Steps Up to Defend Fair Use, Will Fund YouTubers’ Legal Defenses

After years of missteps, blunders, and disasters in which YouTube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, new, user-friendly initiative through which it will fund the legal defense of YouTube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright-infringement claims. (Read more from Boing Boing.)

The New Art-World Math: What It Really Costs to Run a Gallery

Pity the poor art dealer. Not a phrase you hear a lot in an industry for which the stereotype is of jet setting and high living. But veteran art dealers report that some big things have changed to make it more difficult, and less profitable, to run an art gallery—even in what’s been a booming market for contemporary art. (Read more from the New York Observer.)

Where Is the Union for Arts Admin Workers?

Contrary to what you might expect from a New England–born Irish American whose descendants worked on railroads, pubs, and politics, I was raised with a healthy ambivalence toward unions. But having worked in nonprofits and the arts since before I was legally able, I’ve started to think that there might be some value in bringing the camaraderie and collective bargaining of unions into the arts, specifically on the administrative side. (Read more from HowlRound.)

Art Critics Have Ignored the Condition of Artworks for Too Long

Judging the quality of an artwork must always involve some appreciation of its current condition. This is not to say that an artist’s reputation should be defined by the injuries their work may have suffered over the centuries—although an understanding of the endurance of materials might well be one mark of artistic success. Rather, anyone who enjoys looking closely at works of art should always be conscious that they are unlikely to be presented as they were originally intended or achieved by the artist. (Read more from Apollo.)

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