Art historian and critic Michael Fried earned a BA in English from Princeton University and a PhD in fine arts from Harvard University. He has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2006 he won an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
His poems’ subjects include art, artists, writers, and autobiographical detail, such as the adoption of his daughter. Of Fried’s third book of poems, The Next Bend in the Road (2004), poet Edward Hirsch commented, “The theme of interconnectedness runs like an electric current through this book. . . . Life and art are everywhere intertwined. All encounters are personal.” He also noted the “essayistic quality” of a number of the poems.
Fried is the author of numerous influential books on art, among them Art and Objecthood: Essays and Reviews (1998); Absorption and Theatricality: Painting and Beholder in the Age of Diderot (1980, 1988), which won the Louis Gottschalk Prize; Realism, Writing, Disfiguration: On Thomas Eakins and Stephen Crane (1987); and Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before (2008).
Michael Fried is a professor in the Humanities Center and the Department of the History of Art at Johns Hopkins University.