Long-Time ABN Columnist Emmett Murphy Passes Away
Schwartz, Jo Yanow, Art Business News
NEW YORK--Emmett Murphy, contributing editor to Art Business News for 19 years, died in New York City on Feb. 16. Murphy wrote "Art Hotline" and "Murmurs," two of the magazine's most popular columns. With his keen observations, in news articles and features, he covered auctions, galleries, films on art, art cons and thefts--the great moments and the small ones in the ever-changing scene. His wide-ranging interests and deep sense of humor were reflected in writing that was erudite and sophisticated. This style was once described by a reader "as seemingly effortless and as handsome as Nat King Cole's singing." An example can be found in any issue, as in this past December's "Art Hotline" where he informed readers about Durer woodcuts alongside a snippet about vandals cutting off the head of a Snoopy statue in Minnesota. "How low can you sink, sir?" he asked the sinners.
A writer in every milieu and medium, his 1961 documentary, Project Hope on the teaching hospital's maiden voyage to Indonesia, won an Academy Award. His feature films included Walk East on Beacon. He scripted hundreds of documentaries and informational films for government agencies and corporations that took him around the world several times (he proudly held a lifetime membership in the Bangkok Sports Club).
His book credits included Great Bordellos of the World, a pithy, illustrated history on the world's oldest profession. …