As the New York Sun recounted in 2006, “when Hilton was still chief art critic of The New York Times, he found himself seated next to Woody Allen, who asked him whether he felt embarrassed when he ran into people whose work he had attacked. ‘No,’ Hilton replied without missing a beat, ‘I expect them to be embarrassed for doing bad work.’”
Kramer was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and began publishing critiques of art in 1957. Over the years, he wrote for Commentary, The New Republic, National Review, The New York Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation and so on. He joined the staff of The New York Times as an art news editor in 1965 and rose to become the paper’s chief art critic from 1973 to ’82, when he resigned to become founding editor of The New Criterion.
Kramer was smart and curmudgeonly and scathing and politically conservative and a wiseass. He pissed on Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Post Modernism. He had a point.