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The Eye, the Hand, the Mind

The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association

Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    The Eye, the Hand, the Mind
    Book Description:

    In 1911 the College Art Association began with a small group of college art teachers whose single mission was to promote "art interests in all divisions of American colleges and universities." Now, one hundred years later the CAA, as it is commonly known, is as diverse as the decades that witnessed its maturity and growth. Leadership and membership grew dynamically, and art and art history professors were joined by non-academic visual artists and art historians-museum professionals, art librarians, visual resource curators, independent scholars and artists, collectors, dealers, conservators, and non-college educators. The organization's goals and interests became more complex, addressing multiple concerns affecting all individuals working in the visual arts. From one single goal, the purposes of the CAA expanded to sixteen.The Eye, the Hand, the Mindis a collaborative journey, filled with pictorial mementoes and enlivening stories and anecdotes. Its pages unfold along a path-an architectural framework-that connects the organization's sixteen goals and tells its rich, sometimes controversial, story. Readers will discover the important role the CAA played in major issues in higher education such as curriculum development, preservation of world monuments, workforce issues and market equity, intellectual property and free speech, capturing conflicts and reconciliations inherent among artists and art historians, pedagogical approaches and critical interpretations/interventions as played out in association publications, annual conferences, advocacy efforts, and governance.Celebrating the centennial of CAA members and milestones, Susan Ball and renowned contributors honor the organization's complex history which, in part, also represents many learned societies and the humanities over the last one hundred years.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-5026-8
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. iii-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xi)
    (pp. 1-10)
    Susan Ball

    The seed for this book was first planted in January 1986, when I began working as executive director at the College Art Association (CAA). I was scheduled to overlap for one month with my predecessor, Rose Weil, who had been the head of the association for twelve years. In her infinite wisdom, she sat me at the round Saarinen pedestal table in her sunny office on the corner of Madison Avenue and 32nd Street in New York and told me the best way to learn about my new employer was to read the minutes of the organization’s meetings. I spent...

  5. 1 The Learned Society Enterprise
    (pp. 11-18)

    What is the role of the CAA?

    Before one can begin to examine the unique cultural history of the College Art Association (CAA), it is necessary to understand its larger context, addressing the development of learned societies in general and their function within the larger scope of academia. The formation of the CAA marked a time when the United States research university first came into being. This is not a coincidence, because the modern learned society was deeply enmeshed within the development of higher learning in America. The United States system of higher education was, and continues to be, globally...

  6. 2 The Beginnings “Art for higher education, and higher education for Artists”
    (pp. 19-32)

    This chapter presents the big picture—both the context in which the College Art Association was founded in 1911 and the first and most comprehensive purpose—“to promote art interests in all divisions of American colleges and universities.”With minor alterations, this purpose stood alone for fifty years. Five additional purposes, adopted at later dates, are also addressed in this chapter, two dealing with administrative and financial matters and three with CAA in the wider world.

    Starting with theGreat Exhibition of Works of Industry of All Nationsin London in 1851, the United States began to mobilize itself as a...

  7. 3 A Stimulating Prospect CAA’s Traveling Exhibition Program, 1929–1937
    (pp. 33-40)

    In october 1929,Parnassusmagazine featured an extensive article detailing the most recent undertaking of the College Art Association, a series of traveling exhibitions. The exhibitions focused on contemporary art and were to be circulated among colleges and universities throughout the country. The article explained the reasoning behind this new endeavor as follows:

    One advantage that the study of literature has over the study of art is that the actual examples are nearly always accessible to the student. . . . In the case of art, however, the examples to be studied are often unique and in a fixed location,...

  8. 4 Cooperative Relationships with Museums
    (pp. 41-46)

    The college art association’s intent from the beginning was “to promote art interests in all divisions of American colleges and universities” for “all instructors in the history, practice, teaching, and theory of the fine arts in a college or university of recognized standing.”¹ This “big-tent” formulation included museums both on and off campus, since from the outset scholars working in museums, either as full-time employees or as guest curators, have been involved with CAA. Nevertheless, despite the integral involvement of museum professionals and despite the obvious relationship between art historians and practitioners and museum professionals, for most of its existence...

  9. 5 The Changing Face of Scholarly Publishing CAA’s Publications Program
    (pp. 47-88)

    Since 1913, the college art association’s publications program has produced a diverse array of projects. As the organization worked to fulfill numerous needs within art publishing, its publications projects have changed and adapted over time, and as a result they have reflected not only the history of the association, but a number of larger issues in the visual arts. Most members are aware that CAA publishesThe Art Bulletin,Art Journal,CAA News,, and, up until 2000, a book series titled Monographs on the Fine Arts. CAA has also published ongoing directories for graduate programs in art history and...

  10. 6 Uniting the Arts and the Academy A History of the CAA Annual Conference
    (pp. 89-128)

    The annual conference plays an ongoing role in reinforcing and redirecting the identity of the College Art Association. In many ways it is the heart of the organization. For young scholars, reference to the conference evokes anxious memories of job interviews or first presentations. For senior scholars, it means yearly reunions with friends, and a barrage of paper sessions, interviews, and meetings. The conference is an annual landmark in the career of most scholars in the arts.

    The annual conference was initiated in 1912 and promises to continue indefinitely. Its history is of wide-ranging importance beyond its impact on any...

  11. 7 Mentoring the Profession Career Development and Support
    (pp. 129-144)

    Central to the mission of a learned society is the nurturing of those who are the future of its field of study and of the professions that promote and enliven that field. Through the years the College Art Association has pursued this mission by creating, expanding, and, as time passes, elaborating on or modifying a great range of programs, services, and activities for its members and for the institutions that employ them. From concerns with the curricula of academic programs for art professionals, through services for appropriate employment and continued career development, to support and recognition of accomplishments at each...

  12. 8 Art in an Academic Setting Contemporary CAA Exhibitions
    (pp. 145-154)

    As art has allied with the university as the central site of learning and disciplinary identity, the nature and purposes of art schools and exhibitions have changed, points well established by historian Howard Singerman.¹ Along with professionalization, a de-emphasis of traditional manual craft skills has occurred; interventions, “biologically attuned art” that includes bioart and synesthetic art, new media, environmental art, and performative practices take place alongside the production of traditional art objects. Contemporary artists often find that the university and its galleries enable necessary access to the expertise provided by professionals in other disciplines, to costly equipment, and to an...

  13. 9 CAA, Pedagogy and Curriculum A Historical Effort, An Unparalleled Wealth of Ideas
    (pp. 155-180)

    Since its founding in 1911 and throughout its history, the College Art Association has consistently sought to focus the fields of art history and studio art on issues of pedagogy and curriculum through a multitude of approaches, which have always been modified in intensity and scope to these fields’ changing needs. At first, because of the tenuous condition of the arts in American colleges during the 1910s and early 1920s, such a focus was crucial to CAA. Most important, it directly encouraged (most often through its presidents) individual scholarship on pedagogy and curriculum, which was presented at the annual meetings...

  14. 10 Visual Resources for the Arts
    (pp. 181-192)

    Since its founding in 1911, CAA has tackled many causes in the name of education and for the betterment of society, but one, assuring that visual resources are available and accessible to all, can be traced as a common thread. The content of educational visual resources then as now remains closely aligned to classroom needs, but what changed over time were attitudes and positions regarding rights of access. Copyright now plays a much larger role than in CAA’s early days in determining what students see in class, how scholars use images in publications, and the costs of collecting, accessing, and...

  15. 11 Governance and Diversity
    (pp. 193-224)

    The two purposes pertaining to membership, governance, and diversity were formulated as a result of the College Art Association’s strategic planning in the 1990s. These purposes would have been inconceivable in 1911, when CAA was founded. The art historians and artist-teachers who formed the association were mostly white people of Northern European ethnicity. In this early period, the word “diversity” was associated more with the somewhat problematic makeup of CAA in terms of its membership and mission: (1) the uneasy alliance between artists and art historians, (2) the delicate balance between teaching and scholarship, and (3) the awkward geographic surplus...

  16. 12 CAA Advocacy The Nexus of Art and Politics
    (pp. 225-238)

    How does a professional organization with a politically diverse, geographically diffuse, and temperamentally challenging membership actively work to address the concerns of competing constituencies? Certainly, institutional labyrinths are part of the maneuverings of all such organizations, where Robert’s Rules of Order heroically push the proceedings beyond posturing and protecting territory. With the College Art Association it is that middle word in its name that has provided the colorful fireworks in its history of advocacy. The organization has repeatedly soul-searched regarding its mission and whom it serves, has considered a name change numerous times, and has mediated countless disagreements between artists,...

  17. Conclusion: The Next 100 Years
    (pp. 239-244)

    The work of a learned society is a complex affair that requires balancing the general professional needs and concerns of a diverse membership with the specific support of individual opportunities for creative and scholarly production. The College Art Association in this regard is little different than the dozens of other groups that negotiate those rocky shoals, pressured by external economic and social changes on the one hand while attending to internal exertions of force to move the organization on the other. Yet, as the contributions in this volume have shown, the dynamic development of artists, art historians, and visual arts...

    (pp. 245-246)
    (pp. 247-249)
    (pp. 250-250)
    (pp. 251-253)
  22. NOTES
    (pp. 254-290)
    (pp. 291-305)
    (pp. 306-310)
  25. INDEX
    (pp. 311-328)
  26. Back Matter
    (pp. 329-331)