Image Credit: Walter Benjamin on a donkey

If it’s not good writing, it can’t be good criticism, to paraphrase Walter Benjamin in The Author as Producer. That’s the basic premise of the graduate program in Art Writing at the School of Visual Arts. The real history of art writing and criticism is vast, including everyone who has ever written well on art and its relation to the rest of the world. The discipline of art history has its own traditions, methodologies, terminology, and biases. Criticism needs a new “expanded field” of its own, now, and this expanded field has to be grounded in radical literature and philosophy.

From its inception, this program has also had a special emphasis on the history and future of the image. The writers of tomorrow must study images in all of their manifestations in order to better understand how we are subject to them.

Students come from all over the world, as well as from around the United States. They also come from a wide variety of backgrounds and education. What they have in common is intellectual curiosity, a passion for art, and the desire to write well.

SVA Art Writing is now accepting applications for Fall 2020. Generous departmental scholarships, as well as other forms of assistance, are available. Contact us for further information or to set up an appointment.

To see sample programs, faculty bios, news, the online journal, recordings of our popular lecture series, and admissions procedures, go to