Anthony Vidler, one of our staunchest readers and discussion participants, died in New York on October 23 at the age of 82. He was a highly respected architectural historian, theorist, and academic. He died at his home in Manhattan and is survived by his wife of 39 years, Emily Apter, a professor of French and comparative literature at New York University. She said that he had been ill with B-Cell Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Tony was born in England, in Essex. He moved to the United States in the sixties after graduating from Cambridge and was soon teaching at Princeton’s School of Architecture. According to Architectural Record, he went on to become “a widely influential educator in the United States, owing to his many academic affiliations since his arrival on these shores”. You can read a full appreciation of Tony’s academic life in this obituary.
I first came into contact with Tony in May 2016 when he left his first comment on Macfilos, in response to an article by John Reynolds on the Leica M Edition 60:
As a newcomer to this site which I have been reading with interest for many months, and as a British resident of New York with a certain nostalgia for some of the photographs posted, this to say that I traded in my M240 yesterday for the newly arrived M262 (together with a couple of old lenses to make up the difference). I now have the nearest digital equivalent of my long departed M6TTL, traded in for the M240….Tony Vidler, New York
Over the intervening years, Tony has commented no fewer than 208 times on a wide range of articles. In 2018, taking part in an article on the future direction of Macfilos, Tony said that Macfilos was his regular lunchtime treat” “The pleasure of opening the Macfilos daily email with the gradually emerging diagonal shot of the Leica top plate cannot be replaced by any other — so stick with Leica — and a bit of Sony”.
In the past seven years, Tony and I have corresponded frequently and had often tried to meet during one of his visits to Europe, where he and his wife had a home in France. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out. Yet, although we never met personally, I feel that I did know Tony and I regarded him as a friend. I will miss our discussions on gear and what to buy next. He will be missed by our many readers.
I should like to thank another of our regular readers, Alan Chimacoff, for letting me know of Tony’s death and for allowing us to use the photograph in this article.