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.

Artemisia and the Elders Artemisia and the Elders

In the vestibule of the superb exhibition of Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (until May 12), the organizers have installed a large colore...

Mar 21, 2002 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Seeking ‘Convulsive Beauty’ Seeking ‘Convulsive Beauty’

The legendary Surrealist exhibitions of the late 1930s and early 1940s were Surrealist in spirit and secondarily Surrealist in content. In 1942, for example, an exhibition called...

Feb 21, 2002 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Age of Innocence Age of Innocence

Norman Rockwell's ouevre is deceptively simple—the self-proclaimed 'illustrator' had more depth than he's credited for.

Dec 20, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Sculpting the Soul Sculpting the Soul

The MoMA opens a comprehensive survey of Alberto Giacometti's work.

Nov 15, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Art & the Towering Sadness Art & the Towering Sadness

Not long after the attack on the World Trade Center, when my wife and I sat dazed and weeping by the television screen, a call came through from a journalist wanting to know what ...

Oct 25, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Dick (Nixon) Heads Dick (Nixon) Heads

Arthur C. Danto writes about the career of Philip Guston.

Sep 13, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Vagina Monologue Vagina Monologue

In his essay for the catalogue that accompanies "Picasso Érotique," beautifully installed in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts until September 16, Jean-Jacques Lebel repro...

Aug 23, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Drawing for Projection Drawing for Projection

In a famous sequence of photographs, Henri Matisse documented, over the course of six months in 1935, twenty-two states of his evolving Large Reclining Nude. On impulse, I recentl...

Jun 28, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Arthur C. Danto

Letters Letters

'YO MAMA' IS A BIGOT New York City Arthur C. Danto contends that Renee Cox's Yo Mama's Last Supper is not anti-Catholic and deserves First Amendment protec...

Jun 21, 2001 / Letters / Eric Alterman, Arthur C. Danto, Maria Margaronis, and Our Readers