The New Yorker’s Peter Schjeldahl to become first art critic featured in Contemporary Conversations Series

For Immediate Release

February 2, 2018

Ottawa – The Embassy of the United States in Ottawa, in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada (NGC), is pleased to welcome renowned American art critic Peter Schjeldahl for the second lecture in the third edition of the Contemporary Conversations series on February 8, 2018.

Schjeldahl is the first art critic to participate in the Contemporary Conversations (#artconvoAIE) series, which brings internationally recognized American artists to the Gallery for public lectures about works that link the Canadian and American cultural experience. He will take the stage with Marc Mayer, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada, for a discussion about art, the art world, and the role of the critic.

Schjeldahl is an eminent art critic at The New Yorker magazine, which he joined 1998. During his long and celebrated career, his writing has also appeared in ARTnews, The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Vogue, and Vanity Fair.

“I am delighted to partner with the National Gallery of Canada to welcome Peter Schjeldahl as the first art critic to participate in the Contemporary Conversations series,” said U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft. “As the scope of the series expands, so does the opportunity to explore issues that engage and affect people across our border and around the world.”


“I am looking forward to my conversation with Peter Schjeldahl,” said Marc Mayer, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada. “The role of the art critic today is vital, especially since there are fewer and fewer of them, just as the volume and range of art multiply.”

There is no charge for admission to the event with Peter Schjeldahl on February 8.  Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the program will begin at 6 p.m. Seats in the Auditorium will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Empty seats will be filled 10 minutes prior to the start of the event. There will also be a live broadcast of the event in the adjacent Lecture Hall. The conversation will be in English. Simultaneous French interpretation is available if a request is made to

To find out more, visit the Gallery’s Web site.


About Peter Schjeldahl.

Peter Schjeldahl has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998 and is the magazine’s art critic. He came to The New Yorker from The Village Voice, where he was the art critic from 1990 to 1998. Previously, he had written frequently for the New York Times’s Arts and Leisure section. His writing has also appeared in Artforum, Art in America, the New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. Schjeldahl has received the Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing from the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute; the Frank Jewett Mather Award from the College Art Association, for excellence in art criticism; the Howard Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, for “recent prose that merits recognition for the quality of its style;” and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is the author of four books of criticism, including “The Hydrogen Jukebox: Selected Writings,” which was published in 1991. And “Let’s See: Writings on Art from The New Yorker,” published in 2008.

Biography courtesy of Peter Schjeldahl.

About the National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @NatGalleryCan, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram