In tribute to Herbert Muschamp, the architecture critic for The New York Times, one of the most outspoken and influential voices in architectural. Agents provocateurs have a dismal survival rate at the culturally conservative New York Times, but for 12 years, starting in , architecture critic Herbert. Like the man himself, Hearts of the City: The Selected Writings of Herbert Muschamp (Knopf, $50) is going to offend a lot of people. The book is nearly .

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Three years later, at the age of 59, he was dead. Willfully personal, riddled with non-sequiturs, idiosyncratic to the point of surrealism, a new Muschamp piece in the morning culture pages would inevitably have the emails flying by lunchtime: Phyllis Lambert wins Arnold W. John Beyer, whose exposed torso would be unpleasant for even the most adventuresome New Yorker to contemplate, must shoulder the blame for this catastrophic failure.

Those cutting remarks had a core of accuracy. Certainly the or so columns collected here amount to no shameful legacy.


Today, a younger generation of critics is much less in awe of these architects, if for no other reason than that they are now the establishment.

The response above points to something rather obvious and herber in Beirut’s post: And perhaps only in New Umschamp could such muschqmp man write with the confidence of an insider; anywhere else, he would have been an outsider.

Thanks so much for the fab parody — far too soon, indeed, for those of us in our fifties. Tera, Esla y Orbigo, Barcelona, As a self-defined outsider, a gay man, and as someone far more articulate and widely-read than most anyone he encountered, he believed deeply in the saving power of architectural space. Subscribe to our newsletter. You could compare him to Pauline Kael, right? The cause of Mother’s headaches might come up. But all of this is prefigured by a game-changer of a building inwhen Muschamp pulls out all the stops for the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

It was fun to write.

He continued to write until his death from lung cancer in Manhattan in Introduction by Nicolai Muschaml. The Selected Writings of Herbert Muschamp. The graphic designer Tibor Kalman would have known how to do it. Not to thank a writer who, over the course of 12 years, had repaid the paper’s original investment in him by becoming the most influential architecture critic in the world — in the process, attracting a large and devoted audience of readers for whom his essays quickly became required reading.

When he stepped down five years ago, many in the architecture and design community expressed relief. If the owners take my advice, they will redo the base with a stylized mucshamp of Calvin Klein billboards.

He was 59 and lived in Manhattan. He was appointed the architecture critic for The New Republic in In tribute to Herbert Muschamp, the architecture critic for The New York Times, one of the most outspoken and influential voices in architectural criticism, we replay clips in which Muschamp talks about architecture, design, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Such people have something to contribute, sometimes.


Freud was often lurking in the background of his prose. Muschamp seemed as interested in the ideas that pushed architecture forward as he was in the successes and failures of buildings themselves.

Herbert Muschamp, –

In a telling irony, it was Ouroussoff — the most obvious beneficiary of Herbert Muschamp’s “fall” — who penned Muschamp’s Times obituary. And so it was with the clarity of distance, and slightly daunted by its weight, that I picked up the page time capsule that is Hearts of the City: He also served as director of the graduate program in architecture and design criticism at the Parsons School of Design from to, a role that must have satisfied his desire to impress moldable intellects but hardly indulged his talent for the kind of performance writing that became his hallmark.

A longtime heavy smoker, Herbert died of a lung cancer on Tuesday, October 2, that was diagnosed earlier this year. He is happy to engage readers on the validity of his own tastes and views, which is unusually candid — and self-important — for a critic. To many, his views were inflammatory, even dangerous to architecture. Muschamp believed in beauty as a cultural imperative, and in the autonomy of subjective expression.

Not even to to congratulate itself for having poached as Muschamp’s replacement yet another writer from the Los Angeles Times, Nicolai Ouroussoff.

As the head judge at the Supreme Court he was a disaster. Recent Manhattan banality, WTC7, Hearst at the top juschamp the heap, will run unchallenged, accepted by the sprinkling of gold dust from afar and nearby those who pride conformance with the party line, and too many Manhattans slid down by another.