Sunday, October 7, 2007

Herbert Muschamp Dies.

Photo:Robert Maxwell for The New York Times
Herbert Muschamp in October 2006 in New York.

Herbert Muschamp, architecture critic for the New York Times, died October 3, at the age of 59 of lung cancer. He was an erudite man and an inspired writer and thinker. Here is the obituary providing some insight into Muschamp and quotes from his writing. I found his comments, included in the obituary, on his visit to the concentration camp in Dachau, uniquely evocative and moving. Here, also, is an Op Ed piece by Verlyn Klinkenborg offering appreciation for Muschamp. A quote from the Klinkenborg Op Ed:

"A lot of people argued with Herbert about his take on the world, and their argument with him often boiled down to the proposition that taste is not morality. I suspect that if you were talking about an ideal world, Herbert might agree. But in his own life, he saw that there was an Orwellian connection between taste and morality — that bad faith nearly always means bad buildings and that bad faith in our society is endemic."

For people who care about design, it was so helpful to have someone writing about it who was committed to it and actually addressed the value and the ethics of design without a slant toward political correctness. You might disagree with Muschamp, but you couldn't, ever, doubt his good faith. Just that, helps.

No comments: