Annalyn Swan

Annalyn Swan (born ca. 1951 in Biloxi, Mississippi) is an American writer and biographer who has written extensively about the arts. With her husband, art critic Mark Stevens she is the author of de Kooning: An American Master (2004), a biography of Dutch-American artist Willem de Kooning, which was awarded the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.[1] De Kooning also won the National Book Critics Circle prize for biography[2] and the Los Angeles Times biography award, and was named one of the 10 best books of 2005 by the New York Times.[3] In her review in the New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote: "The elusiveness of its subject makes the achievements of de Kooning: An American Master that much more dazzling."[4]

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University (Class of 1973), Swan was the first woman editor-in-chief of The Daily Princetonian.[5] She was named a Marshall Scholar[6] and earned her master's degree at King's College, Cambridge University. She began her writing career at Time, then joined Newsweek in 1980 as music critic, becoming the magazine's senior arts editor in 1983. In 1986-1990 she was editor-in-chief of Savvy,[7] a magazine for professional women.[8] She later taught at Princeton University, becoming a trustee.

Swan has written for numerous publications, including The New Republic and Vanity Fair,[9] and is the winner of an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award[10] and a Front Page Award for her music criticism. She is currently visiting professor at the Leon Levy Biography Center at the Graduate Center, the City University of New York.[11] Swan was named "Biloxian Made Good" in 2011.[12] She and Mark Stevens are at work on a biography of the British artist Francis Bacon. They have two children.


  • Mark Stevens; Willem De Kooning; Annalyn Swan (2004). De Kooning: An American Master. A.A. Knopf. ISBN 978-1-4000-4175-6.[13]
  • Peter W. Bernstein; Annalyn Swan (2 December 2008). All the Money in the World. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-26770-2.


  1. "2005 Pulitzer Prizes". Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  2. "All Past National Book Critics Circle Award Winners and Finalists". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  3. "The 10 Best Books of 2005". The New York Times. December 11, 2005. Retrieved October 22, 2018. A sweeping biography, impressively researched and absorbingly written, of the charismatic immigrant who stood at the vortex of mid-20th-century American art.
  4. Maslin, Janet (November 8, 2004). "Messy Life and Genius: The Portrait of an Artist". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-04. Retrieved 2014-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Class of 1973". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  7. "Savvy". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  8. Dougherty, Philip H. "ADVERTISING; Savvy Magazine to Get A New Thrust in April". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  9. Magazine, Vanity Fair. "Annalyn Swan". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  10. "14th Annual ASCAP Deems Taylor Award Recipients". ASCAP Foundation. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-27. Retrieved 2015-05-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. "Swan's incredible journey brings her back to Biloxi". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  13. Wilkin, Karen. "De Kooning declined". The New Criterion. Retrieved 3 September 2014. The most recent examination of these heady years is Mark Stevens's and Annalyn Swan's biography, De Kooning: An American Master, a thorough, well-written, and even-handed account that is at once an unvarnished portrait of an individual and an informative study of the New York art world that he helped to shape and that shaped him.
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