Only One Szarkowski

Alan Artner writes that the death of photography curator John Szarkowski calls to mind anew how unique his talents were. “Everybody is lesser than Szarkowski, for no one active at an art museum today has come close to his record of nearly 30 years of defining contemporary photography or 45 of reapproaching masters of the medium through eye-opening writings and lectures. Without any exaggeration, it can be said that, at Szarkowski’s death at age 81 last Saturday, he left no heirs with comparable acuity of vision, liveliness of wit and elegance of expression.”