Peter Plagens, art critic for Newsweek, is the author of Sunshine Muse:
Art on the West Coast, 1945-70 and the novel Time for Robo, among other
works. He is also a painter.
Two books on art controversies and arts funding in America explore how and
when taxpayer money can be used to support public art.
Two biographies of Thomas Eakins reveal the art world's attitudes about the painter's bodily obsessions: Was he a curious innocent, a brilliant anatomist or a dirty old man?
Photographs are supposed to be unbiased recognitions of
reality, but they're really self-portraits of the photographer. The
Ongoing Movement, a blend of biography and analysis, examines what
happens when photographers create deliberately untruthful pictures.