Art Council of the African Studies Association
In the past year, the Art Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) sponsored a panel and a well-attended members’ meeting at the African Studies Association (ASA) annual meeting and hosted a session at the CAA Annual Conference. The council also distributed three extensive newsletters and is finalizing plans for a triennial conference, to be held in Ghana in 2017. To build support for the Ghana event, ACASA has undertaken a fundraising campaign with a five-member committee that meets every three weeks.
ACASA has also implemented a new online system for member payments and had a sizable presence at the European Conference on African Studies (ECAS) in Paris in July 2015. ACASA financially sponsored one artist’s performance at ECAS in a series Dominique Malaquais organized that was devoted to the arts. Finally, ACASA held elections to replace most of the organization’s board members.
Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture
The Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture (HECAA) has elected new officers. The new president is Amelia Rauser of Franklin and Marshall College. She is a specialist in eighteenth-century British art and the author of numerous scholarly studies, including Caricature Unmasked: Irony, Authenticity, and Individualism in Eighteenth-Century English Prints (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2008). Christina Lindeman from the University of South Alabama is the new treasurer. She is the author of articles on art and gender in eighteenth-century Germany, with a special emphasis on the court of Anna Amalia of Weimar. Her book Representing Anna Amalia’s Bildung: Visual Metamorphosis from Personal to Political in Eighteenth-Century Germany, is forthcoming from Routledge.
HECAA also maintains a wonderful serial newsletter.
Midwest Art History Society
The Midwest Art History Society (MAHS) held its “Icons of the Midwest” session at CAA’s 2016 Annual Conference in Washington, DC. The meeting was meant to highlight important and museum-related art and art history from America’s vital middle region. This year’s topic was the Chicago Jazz Age painter Archibald Motley (1891–1981). The session’s cochairs were MAHS members Amy M. Mooney (Columbia College) and Mark Pohlad (DePaul University); the speakers were Jerma A. Jackson (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Phoebe E. Wolfskill (University of Indiana), and Romi Crawford (School of the Art Institute of Chicago). A highlight of this lively session was the remarks of the renowned Motley scholar, Richard J. Powell.
The forty-third MAHS annual conference took place in Chicago from April 7 to 9, 2016. Approximately two hundred participants and registrants convened at DePaul University’s Loop Campus to hear more than thirty academic sessions devoted to a wide range of art history. The keynote address, held at the nearby Art Institute of Chicago, was delivered by Gloria Groom, chair of European painting and sculpture and David and Mary Winton Green Curator in the Department of European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago, who was involved the concurrent Van Gogh’s Bedrooms exhibition. Other conference highlights included a reception at Columbia College’s Museum of Contemporary Photography, a session on “Recent Acquisitions in Midwest Collections” (held at the Art Institute and chaired by the curator Judith W. Mann), and two sessions comprised of undergraduate scholars. For more information and to read conference proceedings and paper abstracts, visit the conference page of the MAHS website.
MAHS will hold its forty-fourth annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio, from April 6 to 8, 2017. The event will be hosted by the Cleveland Museum of Art, Case Western Reserve University, and Cleveland State University. To open the conference, a distinguished keynote panel will speak on Raphael’s School of Athens Cartoon, currently undergoing restoration in Milan. The panel will include: Don Alberto Rocca, director of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan; Maurizio Michelozzi, a Florentine paper conservator who is undertaking the restoration; and Carmen Bambach, curator of drawings and prints for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Funding for the panel has been provided by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Chicago, the Italian Art Society, the University of Notre Dame, and MAHS.
New Media Caucus
The New Media Caucus (NMS) has elected new officers and members to its board of directors in February 2016. Mat Rappaport is president elect, Rachel Clarke is secretary, and Kevin Hamilton is chair of the caucus’s journal, Media-N. The new board members are Victoria Bradbury, Darren Douglas-Floyd, Mina Cheon, Abigail Susik, and Doreen Maloney. For more information on the organization’s structure, visit the New Media Caucus website.
Public Art Dialogue
At the CAA Annual Conference in February, Public Art Dialogue (PAD) hosted a roundtable chaired by Kirk Savage, professor of the history of art and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. Also participating were Thomas Luebke, secretary of the United States Commission of Fine Arts, and Lucy Kempf, a member of the National Capital Planning Commission.
The 2016 PAD award recipient was Kirk Savage, who has contributed extensively to our understanding of American memorials, particularly those dedicated to Civil War soldiers. He is the author of two award winning books: Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (1997) and Monument Wars: Washington DC, the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape (2009). Savage has also edited The Civil War in Art and Memory (2016). In presenting the award, PAD cochair Cameron Cartiere observed that one of the most compelling aspects of Savage’s scholarship is that it helps us “to look back into our history of memorialization as a means of understanding the ramifications of the political, social, and cultural decisions we make in developing contemporary memorials that mark the present, acknowledge our tumultuous past, and help us to embrace our uncharted future.”
Renaissance Society of America
The Program Committee for the sixty-third annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America invites submissions for individual papers or sessions on any aspect of Renaissance studies or the era 1300–1700. Because RSA is a multidisciplinary society, we especially welcome submissions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, as well as those that spotlight scholarship that is discipline specific. Sessions sponsored by our Associate Organizations and Discipline Representatives will make up part of the program. The rest will consist of sessions and individual papers proposed by RSA members and selected by the Program Committee.
Because the RSA Annual Meeting is a large conference—with as many as fifty sessions meeting concurrently—we have developed guidelines over the years that greatly facilitate the work of the Program Committee and help to ensure an audience for every session. Please note that proposing a session or a paper indicates your commitment to attend. The committee will not be able to accept every submission; good papers will have to be turned away. To take a slot and then later withdraw is discourteous to colleagues who would have liked to present a paper. Once the rooms are scheduled and the AV equipment is ordered, no substitutions are possible.
Organizers may propose a series of linked sessions, up to a limit of five. However, the Program Committee prefers that series be limited to three, to facilitate scheduling them in a row. Sessions organized in honor or in memory of an individual scholar are limited to no more than two. Proposals for roundtables are also welcome, but the committee asks that roundtables be stand-alone sessions in terms of their content. Roundtables that merely involve recapping the content of a series of sessions take up valuable space in the program that could be used to present other research; proposals for them are not likely to be accepted.
The committee welcomes sessions that present the scholarship of members at various stages of their careers. Each session must include at least one speaker who has received a PhD or other terminal degree. Graduate-student speakers should be in candidacy or the equivalent for their program; that is, they must be advanced students who have completed coursework, examinations, and much of their dissertation research. They are invited to speak on topics directly related to their dissertation research, rather than presenting term papers.
Please visit the RSA website for more details. The submission site will open in May, with a submission deadline in early June (TBA). You do not need to be a member to submit a proposal, but if your proposal is accepted you will need to be an RSA member for the year of the conference.
Society for Photographic Education
The Society for Photographic Education (SPE) welcomes conference proposals from photographers, writers, educators, curators, historians, and professionals from other fields for “Family Values,” the fifty-fourth SPE national conference, to be held March 9–12, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. Topics are not required to be theme based; they may include but are not limited to: imagemaking, history, contemporary theory and criticism, multidisciplinary approaches, new technologies, effects of media and culture, educational issues, funding, and presentations of work in photography, film, video, performance, and installation.
The presentation formats are:
- Graduate Student: short presentation of your own artistic work and a brief introduction to your graduate program (must be enrolled in graduate program at time of submission)
- Imagemaker: presentation of your own artistic work (photography, film, video, performance, installation, multidisciplinary approaches)
- Lecture: presentation on historical topic, theory, or another artist’s work
- Panel Discussion: active discussion among panelists (maximum of three), a moderator, and the audience on a chosen topic
- Teaching and Learning: presentations, workshops, and demos that addresses educational issues, including teaching resources and strategies (syllabi, videos, assignments, readings, class preparation and setup, and PowerPoint presentations); curricula to serve diverse artists and changing student populations; seeking promotion and tenure; avoiding burnout; and professional exchange
Current SPE membership is required of all participants with accepted proposals. Please visit the SPE website for full proposal guidelines and special award details.
Society of Architectural Historians
The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) is accepting abstracts for its 2017 annual international conference in Glasgow, Scotland (June 7–11). Abstracts may be submitted for one of the thirty-six paper sessions, for the Graduate Student Lightning Talks, or for open sessions. SAH encourages submissions from architectural, landscape, and urban historians; museum curators; preservationists; independent scholars; architects; and members of SAH chapters and partner organizations. Deadline: June 6, 2016.
Applications are open for the SAH/Mellon Author Awards, which are designed to provide financial relief to scholars who are publishing their first monograph on the history of the built environment and who are responsible for paying for rights and permissions for images or for commissioning maps, charts, or line drawings in their publications. Deadline: May 15, 2016.
SAH invites nominations and self-nominations for the next editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (JSAH) to serve a three-year term: January 1, 2018–December 31, 2020. JSAH is a quarterly, blind-peer-reviewed international journal devoted to all aspects of the history of the global built environment and spatial practice, including architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, and city planning. Published since 1941, JSAH has defined the field of architectural history and is a pioneer in digital publication. Articles published in JSAH are historically rigorous, conceptually sophisticated, and theoretically innovative. Deadline: June 15, 2016.
Registration is open for the SAH Field Seminar, “Architectural Layers of a Southeast Asian Region,” to take place December 1–13, 2016. The program will explore the fascinating architectural landscape of Vietnam, focusing in particular on the modern era from the nineteenth century to today. Participants will also visit the spectacular Angkor complex in Cambodia, capital of the Khmer empire from the ninth to fifteenth century. The SAH Study Program Fellowship deadline is August 11, 2016.
Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture
In February and March 2016, the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture (SHERA) conducted an election for its board of directors. As a result, a SHERA–Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) liaison was created, with Anna P. Sokolina as an officer. This new position will be open for reelection every three years. In addition, Hanna Chuchvaha, Natalia Kolodzei, and Andrei Shabanov were designated members at large, and Nicholas Iljine was reelected a member at large for another two-year term.
SHERA has launched a call for papers for its sponsored session for emerging scholars for CAA’s 2017 Annual Conference, chaired by Alice Sullivan.
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 Digital Age of Data Art
Many artists use raw data produced by our societies as material, seeking innovative means of display or transforming it into a work of art. By blurring boundaries between art and information, data art dispels the myth of the romantic artist while offering a fundamental artistic act in a critical commentary of the digital age in which we live. (Read more from TechCrunch.)
Help Desk: Getting Paid for Curatorial Work
I’m a professional curator with over a decade of experience, mostly as a salaried professional. I’d like to do more freelance work, but curators seem to get paid nothing, absurdly little, or astronomical sums. How can I actually get paid for the work I do? (Read more from Daily Serving.)
Creating Value around Women Artists
Helen Molesworth, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, discusses why gender imbalance in museums persists, why we must expand our definition of “genius,” and what hard choices institutions must make in order to create a truly balanced program. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)
I once confessed to having volunteered on a political campaign. My friend reacted with surprise: “But, nobody actually does that, do they?” With that roundabout question, he accused me of two crimes: one political, the other aesthetic. (Read more from the Point.)
Van Gogh Museum Wants to Share Its Expertise, for a Price
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has started a program to offer its professional services to private collectors, corporations, and other institutions. It says the move could create a new revenue stream as a hedge against declining government financing and global events like terror attacks that could have an effect on visitor numbers. (Read more from the New York Times.)
This Art Historian Teaches FBI Agents and Surgeons How to See
Amy Herman teaches people how to see. Her tools of choice are famous artworks from major art institutions all over the world. Her typical pupils? Cops, FBI officers, medical students, and first responders. Herman teaches a class that helps people fine-tune their observational skills—which often prove critical in solving a crime or conducting open-heart surgery. (Read more from Fast Company.)
Technology Can Make Art-History Lessons Come to Life
It’s one thing to study the elegance, beauty, and sophistication of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, but what if virtual reality or mobile technology could actually transport you there to experience the marvel itself, rather than just reading about it? A handful of organizations and technologies are tinkering in this space to make art education something that leaps out of the textbooks and engages students on a richer sensory level. (Read more from EdTech.)
Accessing Publisher Resources via a Mobile Device
Step 1: Google search on intermittent stem-cell cycling to look for article mentioned by a colleague. Step 2: Land on article at publisher website. Look at author list. Skim abstract. Yup, this is the one. (Read more from the Scholarly Kitchen.)
CAA Needs You to Serve on a Jury!
As we start preparing for the Annual Conference, CAA is seeking members to join its Awards for Distinction Juries. Jury members must be current CAA members.
We have extended the deadline to May 20, 2016. Those selected will be acknowledged on the CAA conference website and in the Annual Convocation program, and will receive a complimentary ticket to the 2017 Annual Conference Opening Reception.
CAA invites nominations and self-nominations for individuals to serve on eight of the twelve juries for the annual Awards for Distinction for three years (2016–19). Terms begin in May 2016; award years are 2017–19. CAA’s twelve awards honor artists, art historians, authors, curators, critics, and teachers whose accomplishments transcend their individual disciplines and contribute to the profession as a whole and to the world at large.
Candidates must possess expertise appropriate to the jury’s work and be current CAA members. They should not hold a position on a CAA committee or editorial board beyond May 31, 2016. CAA’s president and vice president for committees appoint jury members for service.
The following juries have vacancies:
- Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award: three members
- Art Journal Award: two members
- Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize: two members
- CAA/AIC Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation: two members
- Charles Rufus Morey Book Award: three members
- Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art: two members
- Distinguished Teaching of Art Award: one member
- Frank Jewett Mather Award: one member
Nominations and self-nominations should include a brief statement (no more than 150 words) outlining the individual’s qualifications and experience and an abbreviated CV (no more than two pages). Please send all materials by email to Katie Apsey, CAA manager of programs; submissions must be sent as Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF attachments. For questions about jury service and responsibilities, contact Tiffany Dugan, CAA director of programs.
Extended Deadline: May 20, 2016.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $15,000 to the College Art Association (CAA) for ARTspace, part of the CAA Annual Conference. This is the eighth consecutive year the NEA has supported ARTspace. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.
“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from CAA offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”
ARTspace is a conference within the conference tailored to the interests and needs of artists and open to all attendees. Organized by CAA’s Services to Artists Committee, it includes a large-audience session space and a media lounge. ARTspace is the site of the Annual Artists’ Interviews held on Friday afternoon. Each morning begins with coffee and tea. The 2016 Annual Conference Artists’ Interviews featured conversations between Rick Lowe and LaToya Ruby Frazier and Joyce Scott with George Ciscle.
Save the date for the 2017 Annual Conference, February 15-18 in New York City.
To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring16. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov
Smarthistory seeks to bring the expertise of individual scholars and curators to a new global audience. Smarthistory is now an independent not-for-profit organization and a leading resource for teaching and learning art history (Smarthistory received 13.5 million pageviews from more than 190 countries in 2015 alone). All content on Smarthistory is available for free and without advertising. Thanks in part to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in the last 15 months Smarthistory published 230 essays and videos with an emphasis on global content including the art of Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Read more about Smarthistory here.
If you are interested in sharing your expertise in the form of short introductory essays, Smarthistory could really use your help. The website’s founders, Steven Zucker and Beth Harris, seek art historians, archaeologists, and conservators in many areas of study; they have a particular need for specialists in African, Asian, Native American, and Oceanic art.
Smarthistory uses Trello, an interactive list of essay topics chosen to support introductory art history courses. If you are interested in contributing, send an email to Zucker and Harris and please include your CV (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com). If everything is in order, you will be added to the Trello Board, so that you can claim a topic in your area of specialization. If there is a topic that you feel should be added to Trello, please let Zucker and Harris know.
An astrophysical dog who travels to and escapes from a black hole is the protagonist of Julia Oldham’s The Loneliest Place, an artist’s project featured in the Spring 2016 issue of Art Journal.
The issue, the first in the editorship of Rebecca M. Brown of Johns Hopkins University, also features Emma Chubb’s essay on small-boat Mediterranean migration in the work of Isaac Julien; Natilee Harren’s exploration of Fluxboxes, the confounding commodities produced by Fluxus artists in the 1960s; and a seven-author forum on diversity and difference, moderated by Jordana Moore Saggese.
The Reviews section examines books by Gil Z. Hochberg, Jay Murphy, and Anthony Gardner; an annotated bibliography by James Walsh takes a sidelong look at the arctic plants of New York City.
CAA welcomes new members to the Board of Directors, Roberto Tejada of the University of Houston and Dina Bangdel of Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, who have filled vacant positions left by two resigning directors. The board also selected two directors to serve one-year officer terms: Tejada is secretary and N. Elizabeth Schlatter is vice president for Annual Conference. Four other new board members were elected in February 2016.
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.
How Identity Politics Captured the Art World
The background radiation is still there, two decades later, from the infamous 1993 Whitney Biennial—the so-called multicultural, identity-politics, political, or just bad biennial. Establishment art history at the time was a broken model, built on white men and Western civilization and certain ossified ideas about “greatness” and “genius.” New artists looking for new ways to speak to new audiences couldn’t get their voices heard or work seen. (Read more from New York.)
When the Art Gallery Closes
Although I am sad about the closing of Mixed Greens, the way the gallery presented its departure from the contemporary art scene in Chelsea feels more like a hopeful new beginning than an ending. This positive and inclusive attitude and a devotion to transparency set Mixed Greens apart from many other New York galleries. (Read more from Bmore Art.)
A Call to Replace Adjuncts with Tenure-Track Faculty Members
In his ten months as the University of Oregon’s president, Michael H. Schill has been a stalwart proponent of raising the academic profile of an institution that trails its peers in important areas, including graduation rates and research dollars. To reverse that trend, Schill says, the university needs to raise $2 billion, replace adjunct professors with tenure-track faculty members, and focus its marketing more on academics and less on athletics. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)
Catalogue of Internet Surf Clubs
The term “surf club,” which originated from the Nasty Nets group blog tagline “Internet Surfing Club,” is often used to describe group artist blogs where the prevailing subject is internet culture and aesthetics and where the roles of artist, curator, and archivist are blurred. Art club or online art club describes similar artist group blogs that explore digital illustration and collage or use a group blog to explore connections between works of noninternet art. (Read more from Rhizome.)
How Drawing Focuses the Mind
Sketching something close up and looking at it from afar are approached in quite different ways by the brain. When you see something familiar, the higher-order parts of the visual system quickly piece together information from the eyes to help you to understand what you’re looking at, whether it’s a whalebone corset or a designer lingerie set. (Read more from the Guardian.)
Help Desk: Quid Pro Quo
Until recently, I have only accepted offers to attend press previews at large-scale institutions when I knew I was going to write about the exhibition. Increasingly, I can’t predict whether I will want to write about a show until I see it. Is it okay—ethically, journalistically—to accept these invitations, attend press previews, and not write about the exhibition? (Read more from Daily Serving.)
Neoliberal Tools (and Archives): A Political History of Digital Humanities
Advocates position the digital humanities as a corrective to the “traditional” and outmoded approaches to literary study. Like much Silicon Valley rhetoric, this discourse sees technological innovation as an end in itself and equates disruptive business models with political progress. Yet despite the aggressive promotion of the digital humanities as radical insurgency, its institutional success has largely involved displacing politically progressive humanities scholarship and activism in favor of manufacturing digital tools and archives. (Read more from the Los Angeles Review of Books.)
Learning from My Teaching Mistakes
As a professional failed academic, I get asked if my decisions in graduate school were to blame for my failures. The answer is, of course, yes and no. Similar to anyone else with a PhD who isn’t delusional or lying, my relationship with my doctorate contains multitudes of defeats. And now, six years after I finished, I’ve got some perspective on both what I screwed up and what I didn’t. (Read more from Vitae.)
In 2015, the College Art Association published a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts that established policies on the fair use of copyrighted materials for professionals in the visual arts field. The Code outlines the principles and limitations for applying the doctrine of fair use in five areas: critical writing, teaching, making art, museum uses, and online access to archives and special collections. It is available online, along with supplementary information, at the Fair Use web page.
With the input of our members, CAA is now developing curriculum materials to help teachers educate their students about fair use so that people entering the field will start out with a basic understanding of this important doctrine. Please help us develop useful materials by completing the following short survey, which is being administered by American University, CAA’s partner on the fair use initiative.
Please complete no later than May 20.
There are only six questions that should take less than five minutes to complete.
Thank you for your help!