Sebastian Smee
On April 18, 2011, Globe art critic Sebastian Smee won a 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

Nominated stories

Frame by Frame

From chaos, a suspended beauty

In the three-plus years since its painstaking installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Cornelia Parker’s “Hanging Fire (Suspected Arson)’’ has become one of the most popular pieces of contemporary art on view in this city. (June 8, 2010)
Frame by Frame

Finding the wit in 'Shopping for Furs'

Some jokes are purely pictorial. They don’t require cartoon captions. Explaining them in words would be like dousing a dancing flame. This picture is just such a joke. It’s also some kind of masterpiece. (June 22, 2010)
Frame by Frame

Engulfed in skies and seas

Spatter, splash, swivel, and swoop. Willem de Kooning’s “Untitled’’ is a painting I go to bed dreaming about. Full of air and light, it changes speed before your eyes. Its colors — yolky yellows and pale lemon against poached-salmon pink and a sun-kissed deep-sea blue — give it a lyricism unmatched in American art (except, of course, by other de Koonings). (Oct. 26, 2010)

Sights to savor: In Melendez's hands, food comes brilliantly to life

Luis Meléndez was an incredible painter. It takes about two seconds to register that. It’s only when you spend a bit of time with his mesmerizing still lifes that your admiration for his virtuosity starts to float away and mutate into a very different, dangerously unstable feeling. (Feb. 5, 2010)

Exhibit puts the heroic Matisse on display

For much of the past century, two distinct versions of Henri Matisse have vied for the attention of the public, resulting in two different views of his art. (June 6, 2010)

A revelatory show explores the career-long influence of Degas on Picasso

Good exhibitions reveal to us things we didn’t already know. This show’s thesis — that Picasso was looking closely at Degas at regular intervals throughout his long career — has never seriously been proposed before. (June 18, 2010)
Critic's Notebook

New look rewrites museum founder's vision for her guests

She was strong-willed, independent, and forward-thinking. We all know that. But it’s easy to forget that, by and large, Isabella Stewart Gardner had a hostile relationship with modernity. (Jan. 21, 2010)

PEM exhibit opens door to an emperor's treasures

Everything was arranged according to principles based in Chinese philosophy, poetry, and aesthetic traditions. And yet much about the end result revealed qualities very particular to the emperor’s own character and his time. (Sept. 17, 2010)

A body of work that maximizes provocation: Benglis exhibition puts fearlessness on display at RISD

A terrific survey of her work at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art suggests that Lynda Benglis has, in fact, been one of the most compelling, fearless, jubilant, and underrated American artists of the past 40 years. (Oct. 10, 2010)

New exhibit places Hopper in the context of 'His Time'

Edward Hopper’s imagery is so deeply ingrained in the American imagination that the impulse to associate it with hackneyed states of alienation is by now difficult to undo. And yet, just as Ingmar Bergman was more than a tormented Swede shaking his fist at God — he was also a filmmaker of surpassing gentleness and sensual, mischievous humor — Hopper was much more than a poet of depression and loneliness. You simply have to look at his work to realize how various his moods are and how capacious, how richly ambivalent his images. (Oct. 31, 2010)

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Recent Globe Pulitzers

Mark Feeney
2008 | Mark Feeney | Criticism

Visual culture criticism

Mark Feeney, an arts writer and photography reviewer for The Boston Globe, won a Pulitzer for 10 essays on visual culture that ranged from photography to painting and film.
Signing statements
2007 | Charlie Savage | National Reporting

Signing statements

Charlie Savage of the Globe's Washington bureau won the award for his work on President Bush's use of signing statements.
The stem cell debate
2005 | Gareth Cook | Explanatory Reporting

The stem cell debate

Gareth Cook won the Pulitzer for his coverage of the scientific and ethical dimensions of stem cell research.
Abuse in the Catholic church
2003 | Globe Spotlight Team | Public Service

Abuse in the Catholic church

Eight Globe reporters were honored for exposing the history of child abuse in the Catholic church.