Michael Kimmelman Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Kimmelman

Born (1958-05-08) May 8, 1958 (age 64)
Greenwich Village, New York City
OccupationCritic, columnist
Alma materYale University,
Harvard University
SpouseMaria Simson (m. 1988)

Michael Kimmelman (born May 8, 1958[1]) is the architecture critic for The New York Times and has written about public housing, public space, landscape architecture, community development and equity, infrastructure and urban design. He has reported from more than 40 countries and twice been a Pulitzer Prize finalist, most recently in 2018 for his series on climate change and global cities. In March, 2014, he was awarded the Brendan Gill Prize for his "insightful candor and continuous scrutiny of New York's architectural environment" that is "journalism at its finest."[2]

Life and career[edit]

Kimmelman was born and raised in Greenwich Village, the son of a physician and a sculptor, both civil rights activists. He attended PS 41[3] and Friends Seminary in Manhattan,[4] graduated summa cum laude from Yale College with the Alice Derby Lang prize in classics and a degree in history, and received his graduate degree in art history from Harvard University, where he was an Arthur Kingsley Porter Fellow.[1]

He was the New York Times' longtime chief art critic. In 2007, Kimmelman created the Abroad column, as a foreign correspondent covering culture, political and social affairs across Europe and elsewhere. Based in Berlin, he covered the crackdown on cultural freedom in Vladimir Putin's Russia, life in Gaza under Hamas, the rise of the far-right in Hungary and Négritude in France, among other topics.

He returned to New York from Europe in autumn 2011 as the paper's architecture critic, and his articles since then, on Hudson Yards,[5] Penn Station, sound,[6] climate change,[7] the New York Public Library, the World Trade Center, transit and infrastructure, redevelopment after Hurricane Sandy, as well as on Syrian refugee camps as do-it-yourself cities,[8] cultural identity in Baghdad and public space and protest in Turkey, Rio and post-revolutionary Cairo, among other issues at home and overseas, have helped to reshape policy and the public debate about urbanism, architecture and architectural criticism.[9][10] The magazine New York titled an article in 2013 about him "The People's Critic".[11]

As a pianist, he has performed as a soloist and with chamber groups in concert series in New York[12] and around Europe.[13] Early in his career, he was an editor at I.D. magazine and architecture critic for New England Monthly.[14][15] Author of Portraits and The Accidental Masterpiece, he has hosted various television features.

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2000[16] and 2014 Franke Visiting Fellow at The Whitney Humanities Center at Yale,[17] where he had also been a Poynter Fellow, he has received honorary doctorates from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in 2013[18] and the Pratt Institute in May 2014.[19] In 2018, his and Josh Haner's climate series in The New York Times won an award from the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) for "two superb articles on the environmental threats facing two Asian cities" that was "journalism par excellence."[20]

Kimmelman is an adjunct professor on the faculty of the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.[21] He has delivered the Robert B. Silvers Lecture at the New York Public Library and contributed regularly to The New York Review of Books.[22]

In November, 2020, he gave the Raoul Wallenberg lecture at the University of Michigan. He is the founder and editor-at-large of a philanthropically supported journalism initiative at The New York Times called Headway which is focused on global challenges and paths toward progress.[23]

Personal life[edit]

In 1988 he married the writer and editor Maria Simson.[4]


  • Studies in Modern Art: The Museum of Modern Art at Mid-Century (Harry N. Abrams, 1994)
  • Portraits: Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre, and Elsewhere (Random House, 1998)
  • The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa (Penguin Press, 2005)
  • Oscar Niemeyer (Assouline, 2009)
  • More Things Like This (McSweeney's/Chronicle Books, 2009)
  • Playing Piano for Pleasure by Charles Cooke, foreword by Michael Kimmelman (Skyhorse, 2011)
  • Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space, foreword by Michael Kimmelman[permanent dead link] (New Village Press, 2012)
  • The Olympic City photographs by Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit, foreword by Michael Kimmelman (2013)
  • Shigeru Ban: Humanitarian Architecture, essay by Michael Kimmelman (Aspen Art Press and D.A.P., 2014)
  • City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World, introduction by Michael Kimmelman (Harper Collins, 2016)


  1. ^ a b "Ask a Reporter Q&A: Michael Kimmelman". The New York Times. 2005. Archived from the original on October 15, 2009.
  2. ^ Karissa Rosenfield (March 11, 2014). "Michael Kimmelman Wins 2014 Brendan Gill Prize". Archdaily.com. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  3. ^ "Seeing Red" by Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times, September 10, 2006
  4. ^ a b "Michael Kimmelman Wed to Maria Simson". The New York Times. September 11, 1988.
  5. ^ Kimmelman, Michael; Desantis, Alicia; Gröndahl, Mika; Parshina-Kottas, Yuliya; Patanjali, Karthik; Rhyne, Emily; Ruby, Matt; Taylor, Rumsey; Sedgwick, Josephine; White, Jeremy; Roberts, Graham (14 March 2019). "Hudson Yards is Manhattan's Biggest, Newest, Slickest Gated Community. Is This the Neighborhood New York Deserves?". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Kimmelman, Michael (29 December 2015). "Dear Architects: Sound Matters". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Kimmelman, Michael (17 February 2017). "Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Michael Kimmelman (July 4, 2014). "Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a Do-It-Yourself City". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2016.l
  9. ^ Margaret Sullivan (January 10, 2013). "In the Spirit of Ada Louise Huxtable, a Times Critic Reinvents His Role". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  10. ^ "Sign of the Times: Michael Kimmelman on Madison Square Garden" by Gus Delaporte, The New York Observer, 16 July 2013
  11. ^ Rice, Andrew (2013-06-07). "New York Times Critic Michael Kimmelman's War on Madison Square Garden". New York. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  12. ^ Michael Kimmelman on YouTube, performs at the Barge, New York City, December 3, 2016 – Mozart, Quartet in G minor, K. 478
  13. ^ "Concert of Johannes Brahms chamber music". Cracow Travel. 2011-05-28. Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  14. ^ "Michael Kimmelman Named New York Times Critic of Architecture – UnBeige". Mediabistro.com. 2011-07-06. Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  15. ^ "Cityscapes: New York Times names Michael Kimmelman to be new architecture critic". Featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com. 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  16. ^ Margaret Manning. "The Pulitzer Prizes | Criticism". Pulitzer.org. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  17. ^ "YaleNews". News.yale.edu. January 17, 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  18. ^ "What is Art? Michael Kimmelman and Today's Art Criticism | Unveiled". Unveiled.corcoran.org. Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  19. ^ "Pratt Institute". pratt.edu. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  20. ^ "The SOPA 2018 Awards for Editorial Excellence – Awards Winners List", p. 23
  21. ^ "Michael Kimmelmann". Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
  22. ^ "Michael Kimmelman". Nybooks.com. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  23. ^ "Job Openings – Editor, Headway". Workday, Inc. August 13, 2020. Archived from the original on October 25, 2020.

External links[edit]