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Calvin Tomkins

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Subject: Gerald and Sara Murphy, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, John Currin, Susan Cheever
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Calvin Tomkins

Calvin Tomkins (born 17 December 1925) is an author and art critic for The New Yorker magazine.


  • Life and career 1
  • Bibliography 2
    • Books 2.1
    • Essays and reporting 2.2
  • References 3

Life and career

Tomkins was born in Orange, New Jersey. After graduating from Berkshire School, he attended Princeton University and received an undergraduate degree in 1948.[1] He then became a journalist and worked for Radio Free Europe from 1953 to 1957 and for Newsweek from 1957 to 1961.[2]

His first published contribution to The New Yorker was a Leo Castelli, Frank Stella, Carmel Snow, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Frank Gehry, Damien Hirst, Richard Serra, Matthew Barney, and Jasper Johns.[3]

Tomkins has been married four times. His first wife was Grace Lloyd Tomkins, with whom he had three children. His second and third marriages were to Judy Tomkins and Susan Cheever (with whom he had one child). His fourth and current wife is fellow writer Dodie Kazanjian, who is both a Vogue magazine contributing editor and director of Gallery Met at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.[2][4]



  • Tomkins, Calvin (1951). Intermission : a novel. New York: Viking Press. 
  • The Bride and the Bachelors: Five Masters of the Avant-Garde (1965)
  • The The Lewis and Clark Trail, (New York: Harper & Row, 1965)
  • The World of Marcel Duchamp (Time, Inc.: New York, 1966; part of the Time-Life Library of Art series; ISBN 0-8050-5789-7)
  • — (1968). Ahead of the game: four versions of avant-garde. Harmondsworth: Penguin. 
    • Prev. published as The bride and the bachelors.
  • Eric Hoffer: An American Odyssey (New York: Dutton, 1969)
  • Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1970). Published in celebration of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Centennial.[5]
  • Living Well Is the Best Revenge: The Life of Gerald and Sara Murphy (New York: Viking Press, 1971; Modern Library edition published in 1998). An enlarged version of a 1962 New Yorker profile of Gerald and Sara Murphy; tells of the lives of American expatriates in France in the years between World War I and World War II.
  • With co-author Judy Tomkins, The Other Hampton (New York: Viking-Grossman, 1974)
  • The Scene: Reports on Post-Modern Art (Viking Press, 1976) ISBN 0-670-62035-1
  • Off the Wall : A Portrait of Robert Rauschenberg (1980)
  • With co-author Bob Adelman, Roy Lichtenstein: Mural with Blue Brushstroke (New York: Abrams, 1987)
  • Post- to Neo-: The Art World of the 1980s (New York, Henry Holt, 1988); republication of articles published in The New Yorker between 1980 and 1986.
  • Duchamp: A Biography (Henry Holt, 1996)
  • Dodie Kazanjian and Calvin Tomkins, Alex: The Life of Alexander Liberman (New York: Knopf, 1993).
  • Lives of the Artists (2008) Henry Holt and Company, ISBN 0-8050-8872-5
  • Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews (2013) Badlands Unlimited, ISBN 978-193644039-9

Essays and reporting

  • Tomkins, Calvin (March 24, 2014). "Experimental people : the exuberant world of a video-art visionary". Profiles.   Profiles Ryan Trecartin.
  • — (March 25, 2013). "Anarchy unleashed : a curator brings punk to the Met". The Art World.   Profiles Andrew Bolton.


  1. ^ "Famous Alumni". Boarding School Review. Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jonathan Lill (2007), Calvin Tomkins Papers in The Museum of Modern Art Archives, The Museum of Modern Art
  3. ^ a b c Calvin Tomkins, The New Yorker website, accessed November 12, 2010
  4. ^ by Calvin Tomkins; reviewed by Robert AtkinsLives of the Artists, Art in America, accessed November 12, 2010
  5. ^ Finding aid for the George Trescher records related to The Metropolitan Museum of Art Centennial, 1949, 1960-1971 (bulk 1967-1970). The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
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