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Linda Nochlin

Philip Pearlstein, Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer, 1968, oil on canvas, 72 × 60".

THE DEATH OF LINDA NOCHLIN, a living legend of art history and a model of intellectual courage and critical thinking across disciplines, is hard to accept, especially for those of us who knew and loved her. To come to terms with her loss, I have sketched a portrait of sorts. I do not need to visualize her—the many Lindas I have known over time are still vivid in my mind, including the version in Philip Pearlstein’s early double portrait of her (posing pensively, with a tinge of late-1960s ennui) and her late husband Dick Pommer, a painting that, hanging as it does in Linda’s living room, was the indelible backdrop to all my recent visits with her. My portrait of Linda is, rather, a list of traits I associate with her as a scholar, mentor, and friend. I offer it as an inspiration—for myself and for others—in these disheartening times.

Intellectual provocation. Few

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