American writer and editor who has had a distinguished career in art journalism. He was born in Orange, New Jersey, and studied at Princeton University, graduating in 1948. From 1955 to 1959 he worked at Newsweek magazine, and in 1960 became staff writer at The New Yorker. His first book was The Bride and the Bachelors (1965), a collection of profiles that features Cage, Duchamp, Rauschenberg, and Tinguely. He became friendly with Duchamp whilst interviewing him and in 1966 published The World of Marcel Duchamp, in the Time-Life Library of Art series, a popular account of the artist. A full-scale biography of Duchamp by Tomkins appeared in 1996. His other books include Living Well is the Best Revenge (1971) (about Gerald Murphy), Off the Wall: Robert Rauschenberg and the Art World of Our Time (1980), and Post- to Neo- (1988).