College Art Association

The College Art Association of America (usually referred to as simply CAA) is the principal professional association in the United States for practitioners and scholars of art, art history, and art criticism. Founded in 1911, it aims to "cultivate the ongoing understanding of art as a fundamental form of human expression."[1] CAA currently has 13,000 members, primarily academics, professors, and graduate students who study and/or teach art practice, history, or theory, including visual arts, visual culture, and aesthetics. Although the organization was founded in the United States and its offices are located in New York City, its membership, concerns, reputation, and influence are international in scope. The five-year strategic plan for 2010-15 includes a focus on artists and designers, developing student and emerging scholars, affiliated societies, and international memberships while continuing to serve members involved in related and interdisciplinary fields in the visual arts, including curatorial practice, scholarship, and education.

Activities of CAA

CAA publishes several academic journals, including The Art Bulletin, one of the foremost journals for art historians in English, and Art Journal, a quarterly devoted to twentieth- and twenty-first-century art and visual culture. The association also publishes, an online publication devoted to the peer review of new books and exhibitions relevant to the fields of art, art history, and architecture.

The CAA Annual Conference

The College Art Association holds an international conference in February every year. Special events and speakers are planned for the two conferences spanning CAA's centennial year in New York in 2011 and in Los Angeles in 2012. Approximately four to six thousand members attend, depending on the location, which alternates among major cities in various regions of the United States. The convention is the largest and most important of the year for makers and interpreters of visual art and visual culture; major university and many smaller college art and art-history departments interview candidates for teaching positions at the convention, although hiring occurs all year long. In addition to such job-placement activities, several hundred programs including presentations of papers and panel discussions on diverse topics (special sessions, forums, exhibitions, media presentations, governance meetings) and social events such as receptions and dinners hosted by academic art and art history departments and allied or affiliated organizations, as well as massive book exhibits located in one of the main hotel or convention center exhibition areas, fill the convention's four days from early morning through late evening. The name CAA is often used colloquially among academics to refer to this convention (as in "Are you planning to attend CAA this year?").

The College Art Association recognizes nearly seventy Affiliated Societies. Some of these originated and largely operate outside the arena of CAA and its annual conference, like the International Association of Art Critics and the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. Others originated within CAA and generally operate at or in parallel to the annual conference, including the New Media Caucus, the Visual Culture Caucus, and the Women's Caucus for Art.


  1. "About CAA." College Art Association. 11 Nov. 2004. CAA. 25 Oct. 2010 <>.

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External links

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