Hilton Kramer (1928-2012)

Hilton Kramer; © 1982 Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

* * *

Hilton Kramer, who died Tuesday at the age of 84, was a mentor of unstinting generosity. My life as an artist and, especially, art critic is unimaginable without him. Hilton invited me to write for The New Criterion some twenty years ago; after that, he convinced Arthur Carter to hire me as gallery critic at The New York Observer. All the while, Hilton proved a model of critical integrity, graciousness and (often tart) good humor. That, and the man could write: few critics have crafted prose as dextrous and clear. A lot of praise will be bestowed upon Hilton in the coming days, and a lot of trash talked. But you can be sure of this: the life of culture was enriched by Hilton Kramer and now will be poorer without him.

© 2012 Mario Naves

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