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JedPerl1Viewing art “involves very close looking, but also being open to a variety of ideas,” author and art critic Jed Perl told students. Mr. Perl was on campus as the Melissa Dilworth Gold Visiting Artist. On Tuesday night, Mr. Perl spoke to faculty, parents and alumni at Milton’s “Evening with the Arts,” an event dedicated to Kay Herzog, former English department chair and a champion of the arts at Milton.

During the Visual Arts Assembly, Mr. Perl showed students various works by artists such as Picasso, Corot and Mondrian. He discussed the process of “looking at something with your eyes and then figuring out what you are looking at. There is a back and forth between looking at it and making sense of it.”

Mr. Perl said that when people consume art, there is “a tendency to think we are looking for one correct answer, a single key to unlock the puzzle, but that’s not how intellectual curiosity works. There are no simple answers.”

Mr. Perl is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books. He was the art critic for The New Republic for 20 years and contributing editor to Vogue for a decade. His books include Magicians and Charlatans, Antoine’s Alphabet, and New Art City.

The Melissa Dilworth Gold ’61 Visiting Artist Fund commemorates Melissa’s life and interests by bringing nationally recognized artists to campus each year so that students may benefit from dynamic interaction with inspirational and accomplished professionals.