Events: Informational Session on Proposed Legislation to Protect Scholars Issuing Opinions

The Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association is pleased to offer an informational session on proposed legislation to help protect scholarly opinions on the authenticity of works of art, an initiative of The Art Law Committee of the New York BarThe session will be run by Dean Nicyper, Chair of the Art Law Committee, and Judith Brelser, Chair of the Authenticity Subcommittee of the Art Law Committee, who are eager to discuss this legislation with stakeholders in the catalogue raisonné community.  The Committee’s report with a summary of proposed legislation can be found here.

The session is open to CRSA members and others within the community.  It will take place on Thursday, February 20 at 10am, at the Dedalus Foundation Brooklyn.  Please RSVP by Monday, February 17 to

The Dedalus Foundation Brooklyn is located at 254 36th Street, Suite 2-BE, Brooklyn, NY 11232.  The venue is 1 1/2 blocks from the 36th Street (Brooklyn) D/N/R subway station. 36th Street is the second stop in Brooklyn on either the D or the N lines. Please exit at 36th Street and walk west, under the elevated highway. The building is on the south side of the street. Street parking is available.

Events: CAA Annual Conference in Chicago, February 12-15

A reminder to please join CRSA at the College Art Association’s annual conference next week in Chicago for our panel and annual business meeting.  As usual the week will be packed with an incredible number of important events and meetings going on during the conference week.  Below is a short list of sessions which CRSA members may find particularly relevant and informative (click on titles for more details from CAA’s website).  Are there other sessions taking place next week that would be interesting to CRSA members?  Are you presenting or chairing a panel?  Feel free to recommend any additional sessions in the comments area below.

Wednesday, February 12

CRSA Session: Catalogue Raisonné Research and Contemporary Trends in Art Historical Discourse
12:30 PM—2:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 3rd Floor, Williford C
Maintaining the Past: Collecting and Collectors in Twenty-First-Century Museums, Part I
2:30 PM—5:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 3rd Floor, Williford A&B

Thursday, February 13

GETTY RESEARCH INSTITUTE presents Archives for Art History: Artists’ Estates And Archives
12:30 PM—2:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 8th Floor, Lake Michigan
CRSA Business Meeting
5:30 PM—7:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, Lobby Level, Continental A

Friday, February 14

JOAN MITCHELL FOUNDATION presents Creating a Living Legacy (CALL): Building Awareness on the Value of Artists’ Legacies
7:30 AM—9:00 AM
Hilton Chicago, 2nd Floor, Boulevard A&B
Digital Publishing in Art History: the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative
9:30 AM—12:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, Lobby Level, Continental C
ITHAKA S+R presents Research Support Services and the Changing Research Habits of Art Historians
12:30 PM—2:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 2nd Floor, Boulevard C

Saturday, February 15

Maintaining the Past: Collecting and Collectors in Twenty-First-Century Museums, Part II
9:30 AM—12:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 4th Floor, Conference Room 4D
COMMITTEE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY presents Fair Use: How, Why Where and For Whom?
12:30 PM—2:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 2nd Floor, International North

Recent CRSA Events: “Digitizing Artists’ and Scholars’ Archives” at the Archives of American Art

Last month CRSA organized a half-day panel titled Digitizing Artists’ and Scholars’ Archives: New Initiatives in Preservation, Dissemination, and Art History Research,” hosted by The Archives of American Art New York Research Center.  More than fifty attendees gathered on December 13 to learn how digital technologies are transforming the use image and documents archives. The three and one-half hour program included brief talks by nine panelists, audience Q & A, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the AAA’s New York Research Center, led by Archives Specialist Joy Goodwin.

CRSA is pleased to offer the following summary of the program, with links to additional information and resources:

Kate Haw, Director, Archives of American Art, spoke about the Archives’ November 2013 symposium, held in Washington, DC, on “American Art History and Digital Scholarship.”  The day-long program featured papers by art historians whose research used digital tools to analyze and present archival data in ways that yielded fresh historical insights and revised some long-held beliefs.

She also called attention to the deeply researched Kress Foundation-sponsored report, “Transitioning to Digital World: Art History, Its Research Centers, and Digital Scholarship,” which examined both the potential for digital technologies to change research and pedagical methodologies and the deep ambivalence with which many art historians and institutions regard that prospect. Among the report’s admonitory conclusions: “the current marginal status of digital art history,” especially as compared to the embrace of digital tools by other fields in the humanities, threatens to retard the growth and vitality of art history as an intellectual discipline.

Katy Rogers, Program Director, Dedalus Foundation, and Manager, Donald Judd Foundation Catalogue Raisonné Project, discussed some of the practical and philosophical goals that encouraged each foundation to place more of its text and audio archives online and the responses these materials have generated from scholars and the general public.

Walter Schlect and Janet Burka, web-archiving interns, Frick Art Reference Library, and Emily Atwater, M-LEAD-TWO Project/Intern Coordinator, Brooklyn Museum Library, discussed several of New York Art Resources Consortium’s efforts to preserve and archive art-related websites (born-digital art forms, auction sales catalogues, gallery, museum and artist’s websites, blogs, etc.). Many dynamic sites are rarely preserved as distinct date-stamped iterations, raising the specter that much of the existing and future information about art will be written over, disappear entirely, or end up as dead-end hyperlinks.

Shaina Larrivee, Project Manager, The Isamu Noguchi Catalogue Raisonné and Heidi B. Coleman, Archivist, The Noguchi Museum, presented an overview of some of the resources of the Noguchi online CR, and discussed how their ongoing work to enrich and add to the CR’s capabilities reinforces the Museum’s outreach to multiple  audiences.

Last, but not least (because nearly every project requires money as well as a good idea) Susan Shiroma, Senior Librarian, The Foundation Center, gave a detailed introduction to fundraising strategies and information available to CRSA members, whether they work as independent scholars or under the auspices of institutions. She demonstrated tools to identify which individuals and organizations fund what kinds of projects (as well as where, when and why they fund them); how to find a fiscal sponsor; how to use the Foundation Center’s online databases and tutorials; and how to obtain customized and assistance by visiting one of the Foundation Center’s national network of field offices and resource partners.

Events: CAA Panel “Catalogue Raisonné Research and Contemporary Trends in Art Historical Discourse”

Please join CRSA for our 2014 panel session at the College Art Association Conference in Chicago: Catalogue Raisonné Research and Contemporary Trends in Art Historical Discourse.

The CRSA session will take place Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 12:30-2 pm, in Willidord C, 3rd floor (Hilton Chicago Hotel). Each talk will last 15 minutes, leaving us time for discussion among the panelists and audience Q & A.


LOUISA WOOD RUBY, Head, Photoarchive Research, Frick Art Reference Library, New York
“Understanding the Early Modern Workshop: A Case for Retooling the Traditional Old Master Drawings Catalogue Raisonné

While recent scholarship has amply demonstrated that many early modern artists employed assistants, authors of traditional catalogues raisonné have yet to fully embrace this research, preferring to exclude works other than those done almost if not exclusively by their subject. Similarly, despite numerous publications indicating otherwise, most authors still hew to the market-driven concept that there is only one “original” version of a work of art by any given artist, and fail to note that often artists produced fully autograph second versions of a composition, either on commission or for the open market. This paper is a call for the rethinking of the traditional catalogue raisonné, particularly the old master drawing catalogue raisonné, to more accurately reflect what current art historical studies have revealed about the products and practices of the early modern workshop.

DAVID P. McCARTHY, Professor, Art and Art History, Rhodes College, Memphis
“Putting Westermann in a Box: Utility and Limitations of the Catalogue Raisonné”

Long regarded by scholars, curators, and critics as idiosyncratic, uncategorizable, and singular, H.C. Westermann (1922-81) would seem both ripe for sustained research and fraught with difficulty for anyone who ventures into a serious consideration of his art. Using the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago’s 2001 two-volume exhibition catalogue and catalogue raisonné of Westermann’s sculpture as a test case, I will consider the ongoing importance and utility of the catalogue raisonné, especially in regard to those artists who are now undergoing historical re-evaluation. My talk will focus on Westermann’s work in 1958, when he was still living in Chicago, in order to address the interplay among form, production, place, and provenance, each important to the artist’s practice and to his critical reception in this pivotal year in his development.

GWENDOLYN OWENS, Senior Advisor, Visual Arts Collections, McGill University, Montreal
“Thinking Systematically”

My experience authoring a catalogue raisonné on American modernist Maurice Prendergast has continued to shape and inform my subsequent research on the 19th-c. landscape paintings of David Johnson, Canadian artist Melvin Charney’s design’s for the Canadian Center for Architecture gardens, and the 1970s architectural interventions of Gordon Matta-Clark. Even if I am writing about a subject that has nothing to do with questions of authenticity, style, or the dating of a work of art, I find myself thinking systematically, in effect creating a mental catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work as a tool that helps me understand how the characteristics of individual works and projects–their numbers, types, themes–and the occurrence and duration of the artist’s interest in particular methods and modes of working fit into the context of his or her entire oeuvre. Far from being a methodology focused largely on issues of authenticity or provenance, the systemic framework of catalogue raisonné research is a conceptual tool useful to all research on works of art.

GAVIN DELAHUNTY, Head of Exhibitions and Display, Tate Liverpool, UK
“Carl Andre: The Complete Poems”

Although Carl Andre is best known for laconic things–obdurate sculptures made of metal or bricks, laid flat on the floor in symmetrical configurations–he has also made an art of words. Indeed, Andre is a prolific poet, and his poems have always played a crucial part in his work, their brilliant investigations of text and pattern making their way into exhibitions, extremely rare editions, and citations. Yet the poems remain largely unseen and unspoken to this day. Carl Andre: The Complete Poems will be the first publication to present all Andre’s more than one thousand poems together, individually illustrated and organized chronologically, and accompanied by the customary catalogue raisonné information regarding titles, dates, medium, exhibition history, provenance, etc. But The Complete Poems also will depart from the conventions of the catalogue raisonné in several important respects by providing information on the tone or voice of each poem, its subject, context, pattern, vocabulary and structure, in order to give its readers unprecedented insight into the poems’ materiality, their conceptual development, the artist’s working methods, and the wider range of his interests.

Launch week at the CRSA Forum

Welcome to the new CRSA Forum!  This week, we are launching the website with daily articles, including interviews, profiles, announcements, and suggested reading.  Next week and moving forward, readers can expect weekly and bi-weekly additions to the site.

Follow the Forum by entering your email address in the right-side menu to receive notifications of new posts as they are added.  And stay involved!  We welcome suggestions for articles, profiles, announcements and other information related to catalogues raisonnés.  Contact us using the form below or via the CRSA Listserv.