Blake Gopnik leaving the Washington Post
Just heard from a source a couple of hours ago (who has a source, who has a friend who works at the WaPo)... but couldn't get to Blogger, that it was announced at around 5PM (at 5:02 pm actually, with an email with the odd subject of "milestones") that their chief art critic, Blake Gopnik is leaving the paper and "is now taking on a new opportunity in New York, the place he has long understood and explained but will now fully inhabit." From the WaPo memo:
Blake Gopnik has also informed us of his intention to try something new elsewhere. Blake has given ten years of his insight and his intellect to the readers of the Washington Post, and is now taking on a new opportunity in New York, the place he has long understood and explained but will now fully inhabit. We are sorry to lose his voice on the matters of aesthetics and politics that he has interpreted in Washington's fine arts centers, though he leaves us with one of his greatest journalistic moments, leading a team in Style who have reported on and challenged the Smithsonian's decision to remove a provocative work of art from a provocative exhibit. His columns decrying the removal of "A Fire in My Belly," the video piece by David Wojnarowicz, have earned national attention, and stand with the many adventurous uses of his platform, whether profiling Washington's homegrown enigmatic sculptor Jim Sanborn, championing the electric blue splash of Yves Klein, or challenging Facebook to give its 500 million users more of a visual eyeful. He has set the bar high for his successor and leaves Washington a different cultural place than when he arrived.O yeah... Robin Givhan is also leaving.
So the WaPo will be looking for a new chief art critic:
The Style section wishes the best to both of these exceptional colleagues as they leave the fourth floor. We will begin looking for new voices to join the collective of cultural critics who make Style a forum for breakthrough reporting and who will challenge the way we think, in the tradition that Robin, Blake and the entire team exemplify.Next I will tell you what happened the last time that this happened (when Blake was hired).