Russell Lynes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Russell Lynes (Joseph Russell Lynes, Jr.; December 2, 1910 – September 14, 1991) was an American art historian, photographer, author and managing editor of Harper's Magazine.

Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Lynes was the younger son of Adelaide (Sparkman) and Joseph Russell Lynes.[1] His older brother was the photographer George Platt Lynes.

He graduated from Yale in 1932 and two years later married Mildred Akin, who was a Vassar graduate, the step-daughter of artist Henry Ives Cobb, Jr. and a granddaughter of George W. Wickersham, U.S. Attorney General under William Howard Taft.[1] Lynes started as a clerk at Harper & Brothers, the publishing house, from 1932 to 1936 and was director of publications at Vassar in 1936 and 1937. He then took a job at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, where he was assistant principal from 1937 to 1940, then principal until 1944. He then joined Harper's Magazine as an assistant editor and became managing editor in 1947, a position he would hold for the next twenty years.[1]

He died in New York City at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.


  • Highbrow, Lowbrow, Middlebrow (1949)
  • Snobs (1950)
  • Guests (1951)
  • The Tastemakers (1954)
  • A Surfeit of Honey (1957)[2]
  • Cadwallader: A Diversion (1959)
  • The Domesticated Americans (1963)
  • Confessions of a Dilettante (1966)
  • The Art-Makers of Nineteenth Century America (1970)
  • Good Old Modern; an intimate portrait of the Museum of Modern Art (1973)[3]
  • More than meets the eye: The history and collections of Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Design (1981)
  • The Art Makers: An Informal History of Painting, Sculpture & Architecture in Nineteenth Century America (1983)
  • The Lively Audience: A Social History of the Visual and Performing Arts inAmerica, 1890-1950. (1985)
  • Life in the Slow Lane (1991)


  1. ^ a b c Russell Lynes, 80, an Editor and Arbiter of Taste by Richard Severo, September 16, 1991, New York Times online retrieved February 18, 2008 obituary
  2. ^ "WE ADORE self-appointed scolds who tell us what shallow characters we are. Here is Mr. Lynes casting us as History's Spoiled Children. We have it too good, he says." Commentary Magazine
  3. ^ New Criterion discussion of some of the issues that are fully discussed in Good Old Modern

External links[edit]