Professor Rosalind Krauss Receives Honorary Degree from Harvard University

Rosalind Krauss

University Professor Rosalind Krauss received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Harvard University at their 360th Commencement on May 26, 2011.

The citation for her degree was read at the ceremony in Cambridge by University President Drew G. Faust:

In a long and remarkable career of many parts—art historian, critic, curator, and founder-editor of the journal October—Rosalind Krauss has played a defining role in our understanding of post-1960s avant-garde art in America. Her highly influential books and essays, marked by her partisan brilliance, have proposed a range of compelling concepts—indexicality, the expanded field, the formless, the post-medium condition—that have defined the order, and disorder, of contemporary art.

In a voice that is both passionate and precise, conceptual and tactile, Krauss reveals recurring structures of form and meaning that resound across various artistic practices—abstraction, photography, video and performance art—connecting them to each other and their historical context, without conflating their methods or meanings in grand generalizations of aesthetic value. Krauss writes, "What I must acknowledge is not some idea of the world's perspective but simply my own point of view. One's own perspective, like one's own age, is the only orientation one will ever have."

It is no exaggeration to say that Rosalind Krauss has been the preeminent American art historian to have taught generations of colleagues and students, across the arts and the humanities, to courageously espouse, what she once described as "the paraliterary space": "the space of debate, quotation, partisanship, betrayal, reconciliation..." We honor Rosalind Krauss for her indomitable spirit and her pioneering work.

For more on Professor Krauss and the 2011 Honorary Degree Recipients, visit Harvard Magazine.