New Yorker Art Critic Peter Schjeldahl Dies at 80

Peter Schjeldahl (photo by Gilbert King; courtesy the New Yorker)

Peter Schjeldahl, the New Yorker’s art critic and a half-century-long prose stylist of New York City’s art scene, died today, October 21 at the age of 80.

Although Schjeldahl’s cause of death has not been officially confirmed, he was diagnosed with lung cancer at 77. In his fragmentary, freewheeling essay “The Art of Dying,” published in the New Yorker in 2019, Schjeldahl recounted how he was once awarded a Guggenheim grant to write a memoir but never completed the task. “I don’t feel interesting,” he said simply. “The

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