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.

Staring at the Sea Staring at the Sea

Toward the end of January, I received an invitation to a press opening for "Manet and the Sea," at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Apr 1, 2004 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Bad Boy, Good Manners Bad Boy, Good Manners

Few of the good things that reward the rising--or risen--young artist have not fallen to John Currin in recent days.

Jan 15, 2004 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

The Abstract Impressionist The Abstract Impressionist

I have always marveled at the way in which Abstract Expressionism was able to transform a disparate group of painters, none of whom had shown any particular promise of artistic g...

Dec 11, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Art Therapy Art Therapy

While filming in Western Australia in May 1999, the critic Robert Hughes survived--barely--a head-on collision with another car.

Nov 20, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Visions of the Sublime Visions of the Sublime

One of the great benefits conferred by Modernism on our appreciation of traditional painting is that there is little inclination any longer to ascribe optical abnormalities to ...

Nov 13, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Regarding the Pain of Others Regarding the Pain of Others

In Plato's Republic, Socrates illustrates his theory of the parts of the soul with the story of Leontius, who saw some corpses rotting outside the walls of Athens and was torn ...

Aug 28, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Paint It Black Paint It Black

If the idea of monochrome painting occurred to anyone before the twentieth century, it would have been understood as a picture of a monochrome reality, and probably taken as a ...

Jul 31, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Southern Man Southern Man

In 1900 Maurice Denis painted a large canvas titled Hommage à Cézanne, which shows the esteemed master next to one of his paintings and surrounded by a crowd of a...

May 29, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Sex and the City Sex and the City

From the mid to the late 1920s, the German painter Christian Schad produced a group of paintings like little else in modern art.

May 22, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

The Anatomy Lesson The Anatomy Lesson

Matthew Barney's Cremaster cycle

Apr 17, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto