Our Faculty & the 99th Annual CAA Conference

caa_2011_conferenceThe College Art Association will be holding its one-hundredth anniversary celebration and its 99th annual conference in midtown from February 9-12, 2011.  Hailed as the largest and most comprehensive art forum internationally, the conference presents over 200 talks, discussions, and meetings exploring a vast collection of topics in art scholarship and practice.  Attracting over 5,000 attendees from a wide expanse of art careers, the conference features book and trade fairs, receptions and reunions, annual awards for distinction, and an annual MFA exhibition, in which student work from MFA programs across the region will be featured.

The School of Art and Design History and Theory is proud to announce our faculty’s extensive contributions to the conference.

Wednesday, February 9th:

2:30–5:00 PM

Petit Trianon, 3rd Floor, Hilton New York

Sharyn Finnegan, Part-Time Associate Teaching Professor, will be co-chairing a panel, “Feminism and the Co-op Model in the Art World” with Fu Lien, Lamar University.  The panel will include papers presented by Meredith A. Brown, Courtauld Institute of Art, Andrew D. Hottle, Rowan University, Laura Meyer, California State University, Fresno, Kathleen Wentrack, Queensborough Community College, City University of New York, Frida Kahlo, Guerrilla Girls, Joanna Gardner-Huggett, DePaul University, Daria Dorosh, Fashion Institute of Technology, Katerina Lanfranco, Fordham University, as well as a paper presented by Sharyn Finnegan herself, entitled, “History of Women in New York City Cooperative Galleries from 1943 to the 1990s”.

For more information about Sharyn’s paper, please see the abstract below:

Since the Jane Street Gallery was established in 1943, New York cooperative galleries with women members challenged the art world’s exclusionary policies.  The East 10th Street artist-run galleries of the ’50s continued this, but it was only after the feminist movement in the early ’70s, during the third generation of co-ops in SoHo, that fifty percent of the artists in co-ops were women, while still two percent in galleries nationwide. Today, New York’s artist cooperatives, more numerous than ever, continue to provide inspiration.

Friday, February 11th:

9:30 AM-12:00 PM

Beekman Parlor, 2nd Floor, Hilton New York


Talia Avisar, MA History of Decorative Arts and Design graduate and Part-time Faculty, will be presenting a paper, “Gift of Health: Food Rituals and Childbirth in Late Medieval and Renaissance Florence” on the food rituals surrounding childbirth in Late Medieval and Renaissance Florence, a topic that emerged from her master’s thesis.  The session, “Medicine and Science in Medieval Visual Culture”, will be chaired by Jennifer Borland, Oklahoma State University, and includes papers presented by Megan C. McNamee, University of Michigan, Kathleen Crowther, University of Oklahoma, Jean A. Givens, University of Connecticut, and Jack Hartnell, Courtauld Institute of Art.

For more information about Talia Avisar’s paper, please see the abstract below:

In Florence, throughout the late fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, the pre- and postpartum nourishment of a woman was given a unique consideration and eloquence through the use of specially occasioned and elaborately decorated dining wares. Although significant scholarly attention has been paid to these enduring material remains of the childbirth ritual, the perishable component of the natal tradition—the food—has been largely neglected. As this paper will demonstrate, it is essential to understand the relationship between these durable and ephemeral aspects, for their meanings enhanced each other and coalesced into a unified symbolic presentation that nourished both body and spirit. By reconnecting the painted childbirth wares with the specific foods that they were intended to serve and by examining the medicinal and social resonance of the natal foodstuffs, this paper will redress the vital role that food played in the childbirth rituals of the era.

7:00-9:00 PM

East Ballroom Foyer, 3rd Floor


Sharyn Finnegan, Part-Time Associate Teaching Professor will be contributing to ARTexchange by exhibiting her recent drawings of Iceland.

Saturday, February 12th:

9:30 AM–12:00 PM

Sutton Parlor South, 2nd Floor, Hilton New York


Jilly Traganou,  Assistant Professor of Spatial Design Studies and Program Director for the forthcoming MA Design Studies, will be chairing the session “Architectural and Spatial Design”.  She will argue the necessity of inscribing architecture as well as studies of design in various spatial scales within the field of design studies, and propose a new field which will merge separate areas into a united path of scholarship and practice.  The session will include papers by Daniela Sandler, University of California, Santa Cruz, Helge Mooshammer, Goldsmiths, University of London, Michael Windover, McGill University, Lydia Matthews, Parsons The New School for Design, and Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, The New School.  For a more detailed explanation of the session’s topic, please see Professor Traganou’s earlier publication, “Architectural and Spatial Design: Inscribing Architecture in Design Studies“, published in the Journal of Design History.

2:30-5:00 PM

Bryant Suite, 2nd Floor, Hilton New York


Sarah Lawrence, Associate Professor of Design History and Program Director for the MA History of Decorative Arts and Design, will be will be presenting a paper entitled “The Designer as Curator: The Marks Gallery Exhibitions at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York” as part of the session “Artist as Curator”.  For this session, chaired by Avantika Bawa, Washington State University, and Celina Jeffery, University of Ottawa, Sarah Lawrence will join fellow speakers Sarah Gould, University Paris Diderot-Paris 7, Bruce E. Checefsky, Cleveland Institute of Art, Dew Harrison, University of Wolverhampton, and Stuart Keeler, University of Toronto.

For more information about Professor Lawrence’s paper, please see the abstract below:

In 2003 the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, NY, opened the first exhibition space at the museum devoted exclusively to display of the permanent collection.  In order to give “creative interpretations” to the museum’s extraordinary collection of decorative arts and design, the curators of these exhibitions have included artists and designers.  I discuss four such exhibitions curated by Hella Jongerius, Yinka Shonibare, the Campana Brothers, and Shahzia Sikander.  In each of these, the artist has made a personal selection of works from the museum’s permanent collection.    The installation incorporates new work by the artist inspired by the Cooper-Hewitt, its history and its objects.  In this way, the curatorial activity is explicitly conflated with the artist’s creative practice.  There is, I suggest, an interpretative act of appropriation and transformation that defines the exhibition. Within the specific context of the Cooper-Hewitt, these curatorial opportunities serve to challenge and enrich the notion of design.

2:30-5:00 PM

Concourse A, Concourse Level, Hilton


Lorraine Karafel, Part-time Faculty, will present her paper,”Papal Majesty and Political Propaganda:  Image and Meaning in Raphael’s ‘Grotesques of Leo X’”, as part of the session, “Italian Art Society, Claiming Authorship: Artists, Patrons, and Strategies of Self-Promotion in Medieval and Early Modern Italy, Part II”.  Chaired by Babette Bohn, Texas Christian University, and Sheryl Reiss, University of Southern California, the session will also include papers by David Boffa, Rutgers University, Sally J. Cornelison, University of Kansas, Meryl Bailey, University of California, Berkeley, and Frances Gage, Buffalo State College, State University of New York.

Lorraine Karafel’s paper will discuss a little-known set of tapestries that Raphael designed in c. 1515-16 for Pope Leo X that were the first to depict grotesques as primary motifs and the first in an all’antica style.  This paper will argue that Pope Leo understood the value of art for self-promotion and the tapestries’ complex program celebrated their patron on multiple levels.

Please also feel free to stop by these exciting special events!

Reception for Parsons alumni and CAA visitors

Thursday, Feb. 10, 5:30 pm-7:30 pm

The Lobby of the Sheila Johnson Design Center, 2 W. 13th Street


Co-sponsored by the SJDC and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, this is a reception for the SJDC exhibitions, Cartoon Polymaths (curated by Bill Kartalopoulos) and Creating a Zero-Waste Garment (curated by Timo Rissanen, Fiona Dieffenbacher, and Kyle Farmer), with a book signing for Gregory Sholette’s Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture (the subject of two CAA panels), which argues that imagination and creativity in the art world originate and thrive in the non-commercial sector. This event will feature hands-on workshops with two artists within his book: artist/radical knitter Cat Mazza of MicroRevolt, which investigates the dawn of sweatshops in early industrial capitalism and Jim Costanzo, an artist who will teach people the historical legacies of brewing moonshine whiskey.

MFA Fine Arts students exhibition and reception

Friday, Feb. 11, 6:00 pm-9:00 pm

Hunter College Art Gallery (451 West 41st Street, between 9th and 10th Ave.)


Curated by Carin Kuoni, Vera List Center for Art and Politics Director, this exhibition represents Parsons’ contribution to the broader show featuring student works in MFA programs throughout the greater New York metropolitan region.



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