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John Ruskin (1819-1900), c.1870. Leo Tolstoy described Ruskin as, "one of those rare men who think with their heart." A champion of the work of J.M.W. Turner, Ruskin detested the work of James McNeill Whistler[1]

An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art criticism and they are published in newspapers, magazines, books, exhibition brochures and catalogues and on web sites. Some of today's art critics use art blogs and other online platforms in order to connect with a wider audience and expand debate about art.

Differently from art history, there is not an institutionalized training for art critics (with only few exceptions); art critics come from different backgrounds and they may or may not be university trained.[2] Professional art critics are expected to have a keen eye for art and a thorough knowledge of art history. Typically the art critic views art at exhibitions, galleries, museums or artists' studios and they can be members of the International Association of Art Critics which has national sections.[3] Very rarely art critics earn their living from writing criticism.

The opinions of art critics has the potential to stir debate on art related topics. Due to this the viewpoints of art critics writing for art publications and newspapers adds to public discourse concerning art and culture. Art collectors and patrons often utilize the advice of such critics as a way to enhance their appreciation of the art they are viewing. Many now famous and celebrated artists were not recognized by the art critics of their time, often because their art was in a style not yet understood or favored. Conversely, some critics, have become particularly important helping to explain and promote new art movementsRoger Fry with the Post-Impressionist movement, Lawrence Alloway with Pop Art as examples.


According to James Elkins[4] there is a distinction between art criticism and art history based on institutional, contextual and commercial criteria; the history of art criticism is taught in universities, but the practice of art criticism is excluded institutionally from academia.[5] Always according to James Elkins in smaller and developing countries, newspaper art criticism normally serves as art history. James Elkins's perspective portraits his personal link to art history and art historians and in What happened to art criticism he furthermore highlights the gap between art historians and art critics by suggesting that the first rarely cite the second as a source and that the second miss an academic discipline to refer to.[6]

Some famous art critics[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1], from the Tate, retrieved April 12, 2009
  2. ^ James Elkins, What happened to art criticism, Prickley Paradigm Press, 2003, p. 8.
  3. ^ Website of the International Association of Art Critics http://www.aica-int.org/spip.php?article3.
  4. ^ James Elkins, Introduction in Is Art History Global?, dir. James Elkins, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2007, pp. 5-15.
  5. ^ An experience-related article is Agnieszka Gratza, Frieze or faculty? One art critic's move from academia to journalism in The Guardian, 17/10/2013.
  6. ^ . James Elkins, What happened to art criticism, Prickley Paradigm Press, 2003, pp. 4-5 and p. 9.
  7. ^ Edmond and Jules de Goncourt, French Eighteenth-Century Painters. Cornell Paperbacks, 1981, pp.222–225. ISBN 0-8014-9218-1
  8. ^ Joanna Richardson, Baudelaire, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994, p. 191, ISBN 0-312-11476-1.
  9. ^ J'accuse letter at wikisource
  10. ^ IAN CHILVERS. "Fry, Roger." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. 9 Mar. 2009 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.Retrieved 9 March 2009

External links[edit]

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New York Post
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:11:15 -0700

The New York Times has meted out an undisclosed reprimand to its art critic Carol Vogel for plagiarizing a paragraph from Wikipedia — but it appears unlikely the paper will take any action regarding several other allegations of borrowing tossed Vogel ...
The Times-Picayune
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:34:53 -0700

Street people on Franklin Avenue asking for handouts communicate with drivers via cardboard signs. Usually the signs are earnest appeals such as HOMELESS: CAN YOU SPARE A BUCK or HUNGRY: GOD BLESS YOU, that sort of thing. Once in a while ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sun, 06 Jul 2014 10:00:58 -0700

An art critic, patron of many members of the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, social philosopher, prescient proselytiser for environmental concerns, writer, philanthropist ... Wow! All that and he still didn't know anything about lady gardens. I can see we ...
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:41:40 -0700

This rather interesting – and hilarious – video of Katie Price came to light earlier and now we honestly cannot stop watching it. Although it's actually a teaser for a big newspaper interview – because she apparently hasn't told the public EVERYTHING ...

Hetq Online

Hetq Online
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 04:20:10 -0700

Hergelian also writes for a number of international art magazines including Fine Art (New York), Luxe Immo (Monaco), and L.I. Art (Paris, NY, London, Moscow) under the pen-name Movses Dzirani. He owns the Noah's Ark art gallery in Beirut and is a jury ...
BusinessWorld Online Edition
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 08:43:25 -0700

WHEN the late art critic Rod. Paras-Perez was still alive, he was notorious for his stinging comments. If he felt that certain artworks were not up to par, he wouldn't just smile and say polite things; he'd say exactly what was on his mind, and his ...
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 11:11:15 -0700

BY RICHARD CHANG / VISUAL ART CRITIC. Published: Aug. 1, 2014 Updated: 2:45 p.m.. Visual art at OC Fair. Where: Alamitos Building, OC Fair, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. When: Through Aug. 10. Hours: Noon-11 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. ...

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:27:45 -0700

He was the co-editor / co-publisher of "The Sarasota Arts Review" from 1989 to 2000 and the A&E editor and theater and visual art critic and staff cartoonist for the Observer Group newspapers from 2001 to 2007. He now writes about theater, visual art ...

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