LA Times’ Christopher Knight Awarded Rabkin Prize Lifetime Achievement Award

by Christopher Blay February 18, 2020

Christopher Knight is the winner of the Rabkin Prize’s Lifetime Achievement Award, 2020.

The Rabkin Prize Lifetime Achievement Award has been given to Christopher Knight, art critic of the Los Angeles Times.  This is the second Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Rabkin Foundation (last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to New York Times art critic Roberta Smith); it awards $50,000 to Knight. His writing and commentary has focused on contemporary art and artists, art history, architecture, museum practices and ethics, and other aspects of cultural life in Southern California.

(Along with seven others across the U.S., Glasstire’s Editor-in-Chief Christina Rees received the $50,000 Rabkin Foundation’s Prize for Arts Journalism in 2017, which was the inaugural year of the Rabkin Foundation awarding arts writers.)

Knight began as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner in 1980, and in 1989 assumed the position of art critic for the Los Angeles Times. His 40 years of experience and devotion to his audience has won him critical acclaim. Knight is a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism (1991, 2001 and 2007) and a recipient of the Frank Jewett Mather Award for distinction in art criticism from the College Art Association of America. He was last year’s National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winner for art and design criticism, and has appeared  on 60 Minutes (CBS); News Hour (PBS); CNN; and Morning Edition (NPR), among other programs.

Before becoming a full-time critic and writer, Knight worked as an art historian, and was a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego from 1976 to 1979. He was also a consultant to the Lannan Foundation, and the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in Los Angeles. Knight earned a master’s degree in Art History from the State University of New York in 1976.

For more, please visit the Rabkin Foundation website here.


The Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Maine, gives annual prizes to eight visual art journalists from across the country. This is the second time the foundation has given a Lifetime Achievement Award. The first recipient was Roberta Smith, of The New York Times in 2019. Leo Rabkin was an artist who worked and exhibited in New York City for sixty years. His wife, Dorothea, joined with Leo to create a landmark collection of American folk and outsider art. They lived in New York City and had a wide circle of friends including artists, writers and curators. It was Leo’s wish that the foundation assist art journalists who play a vital role in the art community nationwide.


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