In tribute to Herbert Muschamp, the architecture critic for The New York Times, one of the most outspoken and influential voices in architectural. Agents provocateurs have a dismal survival rate at the culturally conservative New York Times, but for 12 years, starting in , architecture critic Herbert. Like the man himself, Hearts of the City: The Selected Writings of Herbert Muschamp (Knopf, $50) is going to offend a lot of people. The book is nearly .

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Writing with the same gratuitous dispassion that characterized Landman’s remarks inOuroussoff — whose own critical and writerly powers hold not a candle to Muschajp — dismissed Muschamp’s writing as “quirky” and “self-indulgent. For him, heaven might well be a dim, luxuriantly appointed lobby with library shelves. He also served as director of the graduate program in architecture and design criticism at the Musxhamp School of Design from to, a role that must have satisfied his desire to impress moldable intellects but hardly indulged his talent for the kind of performance writing that became his hallmark.

The cause was lung cancer, according Michael Wa rd Stout, his lawyer. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Herbert Muschamp

Certainly the or so nuschamp collected here amount to no shameful legacy. He played kingmaker, he fed the starchitect craze, he chatted up a lot of grotesque work we’ll regret for ages, and he made “excitement” an architectural value it doesn’t deserve to be, especialy considering that what he really meant by “excitement” was “whatever happened to turn Herbert Muschamp on.


Muschamp was openly gay, and the centrality of gay men in the cultural life of New York City was central to his writing. Herbert Muschamp herbbert October in New York. Spot on parody piece.

Hearts of the City by Herbert Muschamp — Justin McGuirk

Flicking a feather across their assembled nipples, he scolds, “Girls, if you’re not erect, I’m not erect. One of his most often quoted lines came from a review: ArchitectureMediaObituaries. With each gesture, his shirt rode up ever so slightly, revealing a tantalizing sliver of tan, muschhamp tummy.

Views Read Edit View history. The response above points to something rather obvious and unsaid in Beirut’s post: Throw in Hadid and you have an orgy of star power. Languages Deutsch Edit links. As the architecture critic for The Times from to Herbert Muschamp, File Under Architecture, Despite the heights that Muschamp reached, there is an argument that architecture criticism was genuinely in trouble even on his watch.

But he had no favorites; he only championed what was interesting. Messages, big ideas, careful muscamp, second-guessing, refinements and revisions, anonymity: The innovative narrative technique developed by Vladimir Nabokov for his novel Pale Fire—essentially a single epic poem with footnotes and commentary—anticipated hypertext, the internet, and the interconnected world of blogs.

Freud was often lurking in the background of his prose.

If he knew you could deliver more he would demand more. Muschamp’s views were both ahead of their time. What was wrong-wrong-wrong was the Times putting him in charge of architecture criticism.

Rest in Peace, Herbert Muschamp

This tantalizing motif — impulse, surrender, gratification — is the central one of the twenty-first century. Rest in peace, Herbert Muschamp.

Of course, everyone muschmap that Herbert Muschamp did not “step down” of his own accord — that he did not “set the timetable,” as Jon Landman told the Observer in Never been to neither but looking through my Flickr on widgets, and also my extensive research on great looking buildings, I can’t wait to be in Tokyo!


Muschamp attended the University of Pennsylvania but dropped out after two years to move to New York Citywhere he was a regular at Andy Warhol ‘s Factory. After the burn wore off you had to admit that he zeroed in on the flaws that you thought no one would notice but you.

One of his most often quoted lines came from a review: I was painfully reminded of another much more casual presentation one glorious autumn on Capri. He had a completely unique voice, and that can’t be said about very many people writing about design now. I simply had to work from a mental punchlist of Muschamp tropes: In places this comes across as a tad kooky, but somehow it all hangs together. University of PennsylvaniaParsons School of Design. Retrieved from ” https: His support for this new architectural elite came from witnessing a dream being made manifest — the dream of the avant-garde being handed the opportunity to build on Main Street.

These days the job is unthinkable without recourse to a vein-popping barrage of short- and long-haul flights. I Love the 80s Miami Vice: He founded his professional practice in Madrid in www.