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Prominent Art Critic Barbara Rose has died at the age of 84

Barbara Rose, the art critic whose essays changed the narrative around the post-war art scene in the United States, is no more. She was around 84 at the time of her death. Her death was announced by art critic and close friend Phyllis Tuchman, who claimed she was suffering from cancer. It was later confirmed by her husband.

Rose was born in Washington DC in 1936. She did her undergraduate course from Smith University and earned a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University. She became a prominent name since the 1960s when she started writing articles which are staunchly critical of art publications of the time. She also served as an arts editor at Vogue. Her 1967 book, American Art Since 1900: A Critical History is considered one of the finest books in art history.

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Photo posted by her friend, Phyllis Tuchman

Barbara Rose essentially opted for a formalist approach to both her criticism and her essays, believing that abstract art is fundamentally better than realism. As time went on, her confidence in connoisseurship started to seem like a direct challenge to the modern period. At a time when every artwork of importance was considered to have inherent notions regarding gender and race attached to it, Rose was considered conservative by many.