Jed Perl, the art critic at the New Republic and a contemporary (as well as one time-co-worker) of Hilton Kramer, has an even assessment of the late critic and founder of The New Criterion who passed away in March. He had, Mr. Perl says, two sides–the enthusiastic aesthete and the harsh polemicist:
Hilton Kramer, the founder of the intellectual journal The New Criterion and a prolific critic whose aggressive support of high culture made him a polarizing figure in the arts, died early Tuesday morning at the age of 84. The cause was heart failure, according to The New York Times. Kramer is best known for his writing on art and he served as chief art critic at The New York Times for almost a decade, penning acerbic reviews that championed highbrow art over the depredations of popular culture.