Holland Cotter

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Holland Cotter (born 1947)[1] is an art critic with the New York Times. In 2009, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

Cotter was born in Connecticut and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts.[1] He earned his A.B. from Harvard College in 1970, where he studied English literature under poet Robert Lowell and was an editor of the Harvard Advocate literary magazine.[1][2] His first art course was an anthropology course on primitive art, which led to his first of many visits to Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.[2]

Cotter earned an MA in American modernism from the City University of New York in 1990 and a M. Phil in early Indian Buddhist art from Columbia University in 1992, where he also taught Indian art and Islamic art.[1][3] He has been a writer and editor for the New York Arts Journal, Art in America, and Art News.[1]

Cotter was a freelance writer for the New York Times from 1992 to 1997 before being hired as a full-time art critic in 1998.[1] Specifically hired for his expertise in Asian art,[4] he is credited with exposing contemporary Indian and Chinese art to a Western audience. Among his Pulitzer-winning pieces were ones written as a result of a trip to China prompted by the 2008 Summer Olympics, including an examination of the Chinese museum scene and an account of art at the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Biography: Holland Cotter". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Levitan, Rebecca J. (April 22, 2009). "Pulitzer Committee Honors Alumnus". Harvard Crimson. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Holland Cotter." The Complete Marquis Who's Who. Marquis Who's Who, 2010. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 20 Aug. 2011.
  4. ^ a b Jalon, Allan M. (2008). "Object Lessons: Holland Cotter on truth, beauty, and critical Zen". Columbia Journalism Review 47 (4): 67–9. 

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