Hello, world: Philadelphians at CAA

Post by Andrea Kirsh

The 95th annual College Art Association meeting will be held in New York from Feb. 14-17. The New York meetings are always well-attended; they expect 6,000 people, which can be a bit overwhelming. Some attend because they are looking for jobs, others to get an idea of current approaches in their area, but for me, I love the chance to see anyone and everyone I’ve ever known and worked with in the art field. While I make use of phones and the internet, there’s nothing like seeing people in the flesh, and CAA brings together artists and art historians, museum staff, cultural agency workers, foundation staff, critics, dealers, and people with specialized knowledge in every aspect of the art field. Whether you want to know about copyright and the legal status of appropriated images or the best way to handle digital technology for teaching, you can find an expert.

Looking through the schedule, I noticed a lot of participants from the Philadelphia area. the University of Pennsylvania will have a particularly commanding presence. The following colleagues will be giving papers (with the session topic in parentheses):


Cortney E. Chaffin, Penn, Nancy Steinhardt, Penn, will be discussant (China’s bronze age);
Stephen Peterson, Penn and Emily Hage, PMA (artists’ periodicals, 1945-90);
Renata Holod, Penn (Europe and the Orient in the 18th century);
Patrick Coue, Penn (ephemeral art in the 18th century);
Michael Leja, Penn and former Philadelphian, Sylvia Yount (the object in cultural context);
Andrew Casper, Penn (thematization of the senses in 16th century);
Jennifer Bird, Bryn Mawr (drawing);
Natasha Ruiz Gomez, Penn (19th century art);
Valentina Follo, Penn (visionary leadership: art and politicians);
Therese Dolan, Tyler, chair (realism in 19th century);
Jesse Goldstein, Space 1026 (practice of the print);
Bruce Metcalf, artist and independent scholar, chair (When is technique central to meaning?);
Timothy D. McCall, Villanova University (history of Italian art);
Stephennie Mulder, Penn (Islamic art);
Alejandra Gimenez-Berger, Temple University (recent grant recipients);
Pepon Osorio, Temple University and Terry Adkins, University of Pennsylvania (diversity in studio critique);
Odili Donald Odita, Tyler, chair (contemporary African art);
Jose Roca, Philagrafika (new forms in printmaking and sculpture);
Ian Verstegen, independent scholar (renaissance and baroque);
Ann Kuttner, Penn (chair) and Benjamin Anderson, Bryn Mawr (late antique art).

[Ed note: Philadelphia sculptor Virginia Maksymowicz emailed with this addition to Andrea’s list]:

Virginia Maksymowicz, Franklin and Marshall, presenting “Paper Dolls: Women Sculptors and the Body in Pulp” on Helen Frederick’s “Why Beat Pulp? Mapping Paper Terrains in 2006-07.”

I am delighted that Jose Roca will represent Philagraphika even before he moves here, and that Space 1026 will have a voice. These colleagues working beyond the institutional comfort of either museum or university confirm that Philadelphia’s art community is developing well.


Full disclosure requires that I mention that I’m on the board of CAA (as is Dale Kinney, Bryn Mawr), and will be leading a pre-conference career workshop on “Opportunities for Art Historians beyond Museums and Academe,” and participating in a session on “The Return of the Object” organized by the Association of Art Museum Curators. If readers have any feedback on CAA, do let me know ( That’s what board members are for.

[Ed. note: last time the CAA had a blog covering the conference and that’s a great idea. I don’t see a listing for a 2007 conference blog but maybe it’s just not up yet.]

–Andrea Kirsh is an art historian living in Philadelphia. Read her latest Philadelphia Introductions article on emerging artists at InLiquid.