Agency History / Biographical Note:
In 1953 the Partisan Review published his first piece of art criticism. His first appointment was as editor for Arts Magazine, where he worked from 1955-1961. He then served as art critic for the Nation (1962-1963) and as art critic and associate editor for the New Leader (1964-1965).
In 1965, Kramer began a nearly twenty-year association with the New York Times, initially as art news editor, then, beginning in 1973, as art critic. In 1982 Kramer left the Times to co-found and edit his own magazine, the New Criterion, with Samuel Lipman. Subsequently, he served as editor and publisher at the New Criterion and also as art critic for the New York Observer.
Throughout his professional career, Kramer lectured frequently at academic institutions and museums. He also served on the faculty at the Indiana University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Bennington College, and Yale University's School of Drama. Additionally he sat on the board of trustees for the New York Studio School.
Kramer was a contributor to many publications, including Commentary, the New Republic, the New York Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Partisan Review, Modern Painters, the London Times Literary Supplement, the New York Post ("Times Watch" and "Media Watch" series) and Arts and Antiques.
In 1970, Kramer received the Elsie O. and Philip D. Sang Prize for Critics of the Fine Arts. In 1973 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities from Syracuse University and in 2004 was a National Endowment for the Humanities medalist. Hilton Kramer died on March 26, 2012; he is survived by his wife, Esta Kramer (nee Teich).
Scope and Content:
Absent from the collection are files documenting Kramer's involvement with the New Criterion.
Cite as: Hilton Kramer Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.
Access Restrictions: None.