The Eye, the Hand, the Mind
100 Years of the College Art Association
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Rutgers University Press
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Literally dozens of people have played a role in making this book a reality. First and foremost among those to whom I am indebted are members of the College Art Association (CAA) Executive Committee and Board of Directors, who accepted my proposal to step down as executive director after twenty years and become the director of the CAA centennial book project. I am grateful to them ...
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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 ...
1. The Learned Society Enterprise
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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 ...
2. The Beginnings: "Art for higher education, and higher education for Artists"
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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...
3. A Stimulating Prospect: CAA's Traveling Exhibition Program, 1929-1937
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In October 1929, Parnassus magazine 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...
4. Cooperative Relationships with Museums
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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....
5. The Changing Face of Scholarly Publishing: CAA's Publications Program
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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...
6. Uniting the Arts and the Academy: A History of the CAA Annual Conference
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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 ...
7. Mentoring the Profession: Career Development and Support
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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...
8. Art in an Academic Setting: Contemporary CAA Exhibitions
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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...
9. CAA, Pedagogy and Curriculum: A Historical Effort, An Unparalleled Wealth of Ideas
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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...
10. Visual Resources for the Arts
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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...
11. Governance and Diversity
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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...
12. CAA Advocacy: The Nexus of Art and Politics
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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...
Conclusion: The Next 100 Years
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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...
Appendix A. Purposes
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Appendix B. Presidents
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Appendix C. Administrators
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Appendix D. Editors of CAA Publications
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Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 64 illustrations
Publication Year: 2011