The Death of Criticism
In 1997, my friend Martin Pawley wrote a column for The Architect’s Journal titled “The Strange Death of Architectural Criticism.” The leading architectural critic of his generation, Martin died in 2008, but I wonder what he would have to say about the latest demise of his craft? The New York Times has a “chief architecture critic” who hardly ever writes about architecture. Paul Goldberger, our leading critic, has not appeared in the New Yorker since September 2011. I always check to see what Sarah Williams Goldhagen, the interesting critic of The New Republic, has to say, and she hasn’t posted anything since November 2011. The Huffington Post has a crowded architecture page, although it is hard to find a clear critical voice among all the snippets of information. Slate decided it could do without an architecture critic—me—last December. I don’t know whether it’s the recession and dearth of new buildings, or whether after the boom years, when architecture became faddish, the fad has simply faded. Popularity has its costs.
UPDATE Goldberger has since moved to Vanity Fair.