Alfred Frankenstein

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This Alfred Frankenstein is not the same Alfred Frankenstein who wrote the official state song of California, I Love You, California.

Alfred Victor Frankenstein (October 5, 1906 – June 22, 1981) was an art and music critic, author and professional musician.

He was the long-time art and music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. Noted for championing American art, (see, Actual Art) his most famous book is After The Hunt, a volume that examined the trompe-l'œil movement in late 19th century and early 20th-century American art, focussing on the painters William Harnett and John Frederick Peto. Among his colleagues, he was noted for his wit and his lack of tolerance for pretension.

Prior to becoming a journalist and critic, he played clarinet in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He was married to the concert violinist Sylvia Lent.

He also was professor of Art History at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1970s and a professor of Art History at Mills College in Oakland in the 1960s and 1970s.


  • Frankenstein, Alfred Victor. After the hunt; William Harnett and other American still life painters, 1870-1900 [by] Alfred Frankenstein. Rev. ed. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1969. xix, 200 p. illus., col. front. 29 cm.
  • Karel Appel / edited and with introductory and critical essays by Alfred Frankenstein. New York : H. N. Abrams, 1980. 191 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 28 x 30 cm. ISBN 0-8109-0364-4
  • Painter of rural America: William Sidney Mount, 1807-1868. By Alfred Frankenstein. Introd. by Jane des Grange. [Washington, Printed by H.K. Press, c1968] 70 p. illus. (part col.), ports. (part col.) 27 cm.