|Born||May 8, 1958|
Greenwich Village, New York City
|Alma mater||Yale University,|
|Spouse||Maria Simson (m. 1988)|
Michael Kimmelman (born May 8, 1958) 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."
Kimmelman was born and raised in Greenwich Village, the son of a physician and a sculptor, both civil rights activists. He attended PS 41 and Friends Seminary in Manhattan, 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.
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, Penn Station, sound, climate change, 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, 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. The magazine New York titled an article in 2013 about him "The People's Critic".
As a pianist, he has performed as a soloist and with chamber groups in concert series in New York and around Europe. Early in his career, he was an editor at I.D. magazine and architecture critic for New England Monthly. Author of Portraits and The Accidental Masterpiece, he has hosted various television features.
A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 and 2014 Franke Visiting Fellow at The Whitney Humanities Center at Yale, where he had also been a Poynter Fellow, he has received honorary doctorates from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in 2013 and the Pratt Institute in May 2014. 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."
Kimmelman is an adjunct professor on the faculty of the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He has delivered the Robert B. Silvers Lecture at the New York Public Library and contributed regularly to The New York Review of Books.
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.
In 1988 he married the writer and editor Maria Simson.