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Laurin Raiken (1942-2023)

Gallatin Founding Professor Emeritus

B.A. Psychology, Brandeis University, 1965
M.A. Sociology, Adelphi University, 1972

A cultural historian and sociologist of art, Laurin Raiken was a founding faculty member of the Gallatin School and was the founder of the Gallatin Arts and Society Program and the Gallatin Arts Programs. His teaching and research interests included the anthropology, sociology and political economy of the arts, cultural policy, arts and social change, the Jewish mystical tradition and art, Native American life, and American society and economy in transition.

An activist and community organizer in the art world, Professor Raiken was a founder of the anti-racist, anti violence New York Free Theater and served as board chairman of the Foundation for the Community of Artists, an artists’ service organization. As executive of the Foundation for the Community of Artists (FCA), Professor Raiken helped to create the largest national visual artists health insurance plan in the United States. He worked in various public and private positions in arts and cultural policy and, as a co-chair of Citizens for Artist Housing, helped to draft the legislation that legalized loft living for artists in SoHo and NoHo. Professor Raiken served as a consultant to the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, as an education/cultural adviser to the Interfaith Center of New York, and as a senior editor for Art and Artists. Professor Raiken served as a Gallatin liaison for the Gallatin Newington-Cropsey Foundation Fellowship Program and was Senior Fellow at the foundation’s Academy of Art. He was President of the Leo Bronstein Trust and literary executor of the late Leo Bronstein’s works.

A founder of the ongoing NYU Community Service Program, he was a faculty consultant to NYU’s Faculty Resource Network (FRN) for Native American Higher Education. With Debra Szybinski, the Director of FRN, Professor Raiken helped to bring about the first institutional connection in the history of NYU with a Native American College, United Tribes Technical College in North Dakota.

Professor Raiken was the youngest member of the faculty to have received the NYU Great Teacher Award up and, in 1992, was named by Vanderbilt University a University Educator of the Year.

Teaching and Research Interests

comparative social and cultural history; sociology of the arts; analysis of American social  political  and economic institutions; political economy of art  artists  and cultural institutions; arts professions and artists’ careers; arts services; arts management and cultural policy; Native American culture; comparative religion  

Laurin Raiken (1942-2023)