Henry McBride


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American art critic, born at West Chester, Pennsylvania. He worked as a writer and illustrator of seed catalogues before he saved enough money to move to New York in 1889. After studying at the Art Students League and elsewhere, he taught at various schools and gained a wide experience of art through travels in Europe. In 1913 he began working for The Sun in New York, in writing art criticism. Some of his first articles (unsigned) were on the Armory Show (1913) and they were among the most moderate and informative devoted to the exhibition. McBride continued writing for The Sun until 1950 and also contributed criticism to The Dial, which during the 1920s (it ceased publication in 1929) was ‘the most distinguished literary monthly in the US to champion modern artistic movements’ (Oxford Companion to American Literature). From 1930 to 1932 he was editor of Creative Art, which was initially published as a supplement to the American edition of the London-based Studio. When The Sun merged with the World Telegram in 1950, it dispensed with the services of McBride (now in his 80s), but he was taken on by Art News, for which he wrote a regular column, 1950–5. McBride was a much-liked man who had many friends in the art world; he even got on tolerably well with the quarrelsome Dr Barnes. His sympathies were wide (in his later years he wrote perceptively about such rising stars as Pollock and Rothko) and his literary style was relaxed and unpretentious. A collection of his articles was published in 1975 as The Flow of Art: Essays and Criticisms of Henry McBride.

Subjects: Art.

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