PRINT April 1967

The Value of Didactic Art

Barbara Rose

This week, executive editor Lloyd Wise looks back at April 1967’s “The Value of Didactic Art,” one of the many benchmark essays written for Artforum in its early years by the critic, curator, and art historian Barbara Rose (1936–2020). Rose is celebrated and remembered by her friend and colleague Margit Rowell in our April issue.

To read Barbara Rose is to partake in her “immense excitement and pleasure,” writes Rowell. Nowhere is this in better evidence than in Rose’s 1967 essay “The Value of Didactic Art,” in which the critic unspools, with wit and meticulously reasoned brilliance, a nascent