Recent News and Writing on Art and Art History

Katrina Grant

Robert Hughes. Image via The Conversation.


The big news from the past week was that art critic and historian Robert Hughes had died. There have been many tributes to him, from the obituaries in the New York Times, The Age and the Guardian has collected together excerpts from his writing on art over the years, to shorter and more personal tributes from art historians such as David PackwoodBendor Grosvenor and several Australian-based art academics in The Conversation. Many friends from both inside and outside the world of art history have commented to me that it was Hughes’ writings and documentaries that really introduced them to art and to really thinking and questioning art. One only has to watch one of mine, and many others, favourite clips from his New Shock of the New to remember that too often in the art world people fall back on platitudes and empty statements and never really question, or indeed look at, what a work of art represents or purports to represent.

If you want more you can watch his ‘Shock of the New’ here.

Galleries and museums around the world have been asked to examine their collections after a  well-known art dealer, Subhash Kapoor, was accused of trading in stolen antiquities from India and other countries. The museums that have bought from Kapoor include the Art Gallery of NSW, however, this week director Michael Brand, while acknowledging the need to thoroughly check the provenance of their pieces, that the as playing down the possibility that any of their collection might be under threat of restitution.

Can you make a living as an artist? And if not should the state support those who choose a career making art? A discussion in The Guardian.

Bernard Lagan in The Global Mail on the Australian Tax Office’s case against gambler millionaire David Walsh. He reports that Australians have come out in defence of the owner of MONA and the art museum he built for the public.

An interesting article in The Conversation on the ‘culture wars’ that reminds us that ‘Arts and culture have presented themselves as economically and socially useful, and any number of techniques have emerged with which to measure their impact. What is missing is a clear articulation of art’s value on its own terms.’ Agreed, we can justify art economically until the cows come home (as was done again recently in this opinion piece by Rupert Myer) but if that is the only way we justify it we will never win the argument as it simply is not the point. See clip of Robert Hughes talking to wealthy but devoid of taste art collector above for reference!

Arts Minister Simon Crean has announced the creation of a new institution to better promote philanthropy, sponsorship and business support for the arts.

The bizarre restitution case  of Cranach’s Madonna under the Fir Tree, which has been returned to Wroclaw, Poland seventy years after being stolen and then copied by a German priest.

Tony Ellwood, new director at the NGV, outlines a few of his big plans for the NGV.

The dark side of Modern Architecture.

‘Ruling on Artistic Authenticity: The Market vs. the Law’. New York Times article considering whether artistic attribution can, or should, be decided in court?

Call for Papers

Sins, Vices and Virtues at the Interface of Morality, Lisbon Portugal, March 2013 – deadline 12th October, 2012

Beyond the Garden Party: Rethinking Edwardian Culture, Durham, April 2013 – deadline 3rd December 2012.

Gothic: Culture, Subculture, Counterculture, March 2013, St Mary’s University College, Twickenham and Strawberry Hill House – deadline 30th October, 2012.

Inter-Culture 1400-1850 – Art, Artists & Migration, Liverpool Hope University (Creative Campus), April 2013 – deadline 1 October 2012

Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize – deadline January 15th 2013.

Fusion arts journal – Theme: fusion in the communication, media, creative industries and media artsdeadline 17 September 2012

Funding and Jobs

Unestablished Lecturer in Art History at The University of Cambridge – deadline 15th September.

Lectureship in Art after 1945, University of Essex, School of Philosophy and Art History – deadline 27th August.

Clare and Tony White Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Irish Art History, University of Dublin, Trinity College -School of Histories and Humanities/ Department of the History of Art and Architecture – deadline 14th September, 2012.

Postdoctoral Fellowship, History Books in the Anglo-Norman World Project, University of Dublin, Trinity College -Department of the History of Art and Architecture – deadline 14th September, 2012.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2013–2015, New York Institute of Fine Arts – deadline 1st November 2012.

Lecturer/Technician in Visual Arts, Charles Darwin University – deadline 14th August, 2012.

University of Queensland Postdoctoral Research Fellowships for Women – deadline 7th September.

Postdocs at Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts – deadline October 1st 2012.

Getty Research Institute Scholar Year 2013/14 – Theme – Connecting Seas: Cultural and Artistic Exchange – deadline November 1st, 2012

Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Melbourne Research Unit for Public Culture – deadline 23rd September.