Sebastian Smee


Art critic

Education: University of Sydney, BA, with first class honors, Fine Arts

Sebastian Smee is a Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic at The Washington Post and the author of "The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals and Breakthroughs in Modern Art." He worked at the Boston Globe from 2008 to 2016, teaches at Wellesley College, and has previously worked in London and Sydney for the Daily Telegraph (U.K.), the Guardian, the Spectator, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian and the Monthly.
Latest from Sebastian Smee

An electrifying exhibit shows Richard Avedon at his most ambitious

The famed fashion photographer Richard Avedon turned to mural-sized group portraits in 1969.

March 25, 2023

An artist’s fantasy or the real world?

This 19th-century Japanese screen of the Floating World, at Harvard Art Museums, depicts Tokyo’s notorious pleasure district, but it’s likely all imagined.

March 22, 2023

His MLK sculpture was the Capitol’s first. This painting is personal.

John Wilson’s portrait of his brother has unnerving immediacy and presence.

March 15, 2023

Sydney finally gets the destination museum it deserves

The most important new building in Sydney since the Opera House offers lessons for art museums everywhere

March 14, 2023

Mary Cassatt was brilliant even before she became an Impressionist

The 19th-century painter Mary Cassatt was in Spain when she painted her early gem "On the Balcony,” now in Philadelphia.

March 8, 2023

When Velázquez painted marginalized people, it liberated his genius

The status and meaning of this painting of a court jester has been argued over for centuries.

February 22, 2023

AI is no threat to traditional artists. But it is thrilling.

We can think of the generated art as something to be curious about.

February 15, 2023

Matisse’s — and maybe the 20th century’s — great masterpiece

Painted as war raged, “The Piano Lesson” is both sensuous and severe.

February 14, 2023

This painting is a rest stop for the weary, and a breath of fresh air

A still life by Jean-Siméon Chardin at the Frick is a portal to inner life.

February 8, 2023

Scarred by defeat, they gave birth to a golden age of Danish art

Denmark’s great artists present a case study in responses to national trauma

February 3, 2023