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Frank Rutter

(1876—1937) art critic and museum curator


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British art critic, born in London, the son of a solicitor. After taking a degree in Semitic languages at Cambridge University in 1899 he became a professional art critic in 1901. He was one of the staunchest British supporters of Impressionism and of modern French painting in general, and he denigrated the Royal Academy, which he thought outmoded. In 1908 he was one of the founders of the Allied Artists' Association and in 1909 he launched and edited its journal, Art News. Roger Fry's first Post-Impressionist exhibition in 1910 inspired Rutter to write a short book entitled Revolution in Art: An Introduction to the Study of Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and Other Modern Painters (1910), in which he equates artistic radicals with political ones, incorrectly identifying Cézanne as a Communist. From 1912 to 1917 he was curator of the City Art Gallery in Leeds, where he was an early mentor of Herbert Read, who assisted Rutter on his illustrated quarterly periodical Art and Letters, which ran from 1917 to 1920. In 1917 he returned to London and worked for the Admiralty until the end of the First World War. Rutter's numerous books include Evolution in Modern Art: A Study of Modern Painting, 1870–1925 (1932), Art in My Time (1933), and Modern Masterpieces: An Outline of Modern Art, posthumously published in 1940. He also wrote much of the text of Orpen's The Outline of Art (1923), although in the original edition he is credited only with the final chapter.

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.


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