Arthur C. Danto

Art Critic

Arthur C. Danto was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1924, and grew up in Detroit. After spending two years in the Army, Danto studied art and history at Wayne University (now Wayne State University) and then at Columbia University.

From 1949 to 1950, Danto studied in Paris on a Fulbright scholarship, and in 1951 returned to teach at Columbia, where he is currently Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy.

Since 1984, he has been art critic for The Nation, and in addition to his many books on philosophical subjects, he has published several collections of art criticism, including Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism; Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992); Playing With the Edge: The Photographic Achievement of Robert Mapplethorpe (University of California, 1995); and, most recently, The Madonna of the Future: Essays in a Pluralistic Art World (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000). He lives in New York City.

Stargazer Stargazer

Andy Warhol's eye for significant banality transformed the familiar into art. Ric Burns's new American Masters documentary traces the roots of Warhol's smirking genius.

Sep 13, 2006 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

All About Eva All About Eva

In the late '60's, Eva Hesse's ambitious sculptures challenged the art world. Collected in a new exhibition, her art is even greater today.

Jun 28, 2006 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

I’ll Be Your Mirror I’ll Be Your Mirror

The art on display at the Whitney Biennial 2006 doesn't have to tell us it's not morning in America: We know that by watching the evening news.

Apr 13, 2006 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Letters Letters


Feb 2, 2006 / Letters / Arthur C. Danto and Our Readers

Soul Eyes Soul Eyes

Fra Angelico's genius for depicting the interior life--states of love, spirituality or anguish--is stirring the interest of contemporary artists.

Jan 19, 2006 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Live Flesh Live Flesh

In no other body of work is the sexuality of human flesh explored as truthfully as in the transgressive, erotically charged images created by Egon Schiele.

Jan 4, 2006 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Letters Letters


Nov 17, 2005 / Letters / Arthur C. Danto, Our Readers, Anatol Lieven, and Russell Jacoby

Mute Point Mute Point

The undulating monoliths in architect Peter Eisenman's Holocaust memorial in Berlin are more banal than beautiful--which suits Eisenman fine.

Sep 29, 2005 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

The American Sublime The American Sublime

Robert Smithson's epic earthwork, Spiral Jetty tends to render critics speechless.

Sep 1, 2005 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

The Optical Unconscious The Optical Unconscious

Max Ernst at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

May 19, 2005 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto