Art Critic Jed Perl Quits the New Republic

Longtime art critic of the New Republic Jed Perl was the latest top staff member to resign in the past week over differences with owner Chris Hughes. He joined editor Franklin Foer and literary critic Leon Wieseltier who resigned last week. Perl, the well-known author of books including New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century (2005) and Antoine’s Alphabet (2008), laid it all out in his resignation letter. According to copies of the letter posted online, Perl wrote:

“This is to inform you that I am resigning as art critic for The New Republic as of today. I have held this post for exactly twenty years. My first piece, ‘Twombly Time,’ appeared on November 14, 1994. I have regarded it as a great honor to have my work included both in the 100th Anniversary Anthology and the 100th Anniversary Issue. But I can no longer in good conscience even imagine my work appearing in the magazine. Your assault on the magazine has nothing whatsoever to do with print versus digital or with age versus youth. Chronologically, you are young—and some of us who are now leaving the magazine are older. But to me you seem old—old in the conventionality of your fast-forward thinking that goes nowhere. What you have done to The New Republic has broken the hearts of many people in their twenties and thirties—people who would like to take part in the great intellectual conversation that The New Republic has been for a hundred years and is no more.”

Twitter was alight with fellow writers weighing in on the resignation including art critic Deborah Solomon and New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, the latter of whom tweeted: “I gather the fine art critic Jed Perl, for 20 years a major voice @tnr, has joined the long list of writers resigning from the magazine.”

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