Kimmelman to Replace Ouroussoff

Michael Kimmelman’s name had been floating around as a possible Ouroussoff replacement for a few weeks, but his appointment was finally made official a few days ago. While Kimmelman has primarily served as an art critic at the paper, he has written some nice architecture articles.

Most surprising about his new position is not his interest and experience in art and music, but that he will not take on Nicolai Ouroussoff’s title of “Architecture Critic”, but will rather be named, “Senior Critic.”

While most Twitter reactions to the news have been negative—seeing the NYTimes’ refusal to hire a new architecture critic as a rejection of the field—Kimmelman’s range may prove to be a good thing.  The paper is quoted as saying, Kimmelman’s interest are “in how we life, in how buildings actually work, in city planning, public policy, neighborhoods, communities and characters, in architecture as a complex and contradictory discipline, a true generalist’s profession and synthetic art.”

Since it was the seeming lack of these exact interests that we critiqued Nicolai for, Kimmelman’s new position may be what we asked for. Sadly, it is at the expense of the position which was fought for so strongly by Ada Louise Huxtable decades ago. 

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This entry was posted in Critic Review, Critics on Critics, Events, Ouroussoff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Kimmelman to Replace Ouroussoff

  1. J Philbert says:

    I was initially worried when I heard the NYT was getting rid of the Architect Critic title. But are they? Check out the Blair Kamin’s posting of the internal Times’ memo: “he’ll be our next chief architecture critic.” Yes, it says he’ll continue to do some other columns under the title senior critic, but the Times’s own memo seems unambiguous. Do you have other sources?

    • jvdh says:

      Thanks, J Philbert. You bring up a very good point: the Times’ memo was rather ambiguous. While it has been interpreted by many to mean that he will not officially be named the new “architecture critic,” being quickly picked up on Twitter and blogs like Unbeige, regardless of what official title the NYT will give Kimmelman, this is an interesting time to examine what role architecture critics have in today’s press, and what their role can be. I hope Kimmelman will prove that a multidisciplinary background and interest can greatly improve criticism.

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