Thomas E. Crow is an American art historian and art critic who is best known for his influential writing on the role of art in modern society and culture.
Crow was born in Chicago in 1948, and moved to San Diego, California in 1961. He received a B.A. from Pomona College in 1969, and his M.A. in 1975 and Ph.D. in 1978, both from the University of California, Los Angeles.
In his early career, Crow focused on eighteenth-century French art. His work from this period includes his books Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth Century Paris and Emulation: Making Artists for Revolutionary France. More recently, his work has involved modern and contemporary American art. This recent work includes The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent and Modern Art in the Common Culture.
Crow has held teaching positions at the California Institute of the Arts, the University of Chicago, Princeton University, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the University of Sussex, Yale University and the University of Southern California. He served as director of the Getty Research Institute from 2000 to 2007, and started a new position as the Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts in September 2007.