BIO

Thanks for visiting my site.

I write about art and culture for publications in North America and Britain, mainly. I’m a Contributing Editor for Archaeology, a correspondent for ARTnews, and a frequent contributor to The Times Literary Supplement. My work has appeared also in National Geographic, Mother Jones, The New York Times, The Guardian and Scientific American, among other places. Though a U.S. citizen, I’ve done most of my work outside the United States and live currently in London.

I was born in Boston, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts in 1984 in history, and earned a Masters in International Public Policy from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. I was a reporter and editor for Reuters from 1986 to 2002, based in (in chronological order) Argentina, Brazil, Peru, New York, Chile and Washington, DC. While based in Chile, I travelled to Palmer scientific base in Antarctica as a U.S. National Science Foundation visiting journalist in 1996, leading to a six-part series on Antarctic ecology and exploration.

In 2002, I won an Alicia Patterson Fellowship to write on the global trade in looted antiquities, leading to a book, Stealing History: Tomb Raiders, Smugglers, and the Looting of the Ancient World, which was published by St. Martin’s Press in December 2004 and went paperback in 2006. The book used the history of pillage in Peru as a case study to explore how the illicit antiquities trade had degraded the world’s historical record. The book won positive reviews in popular and scholarly publications and was made into a History Channel segment. Parts of Stealing History appeared before publication in ARTnews, Mother Jones and Archaeology and later in translation in the Colombian magazine Gatopardo.

I taught journalism at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and at several newspapers in that country as a Knight International Press Fellow in 2005. I was a visiting researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Latin American Studies and, until late 2008, Communications Director at the Washington Office on Latin America. Lately I’ve been working on a study of culture in El Salvador during the Cold War, focused on the life of the great poet Roque Dalton, whom I first read as an undergraduate and have never been able to shake. Part of this study appeared in Latin American Research Review in 2011 and in the Salvadoran journal Realidad in 2013.

As an independent writer, I’ve written hundreds of articles, reviews and essays from about 25 countries. Recent work includes London contemporary art reviews, reports on archaeological digs from Nigeria to Mexico to Spain, and essays on major non-fiction books. I’ write texts for art exhibits, most recently for painter Rodolfo Oviedo Vega’s solo show at the Instituto Cervantes in Dublin in 2014. In 2006, I wrote the introductory essay for Mario Silva’s photography book Lords, Pyramids and Replicas, on public art and architecture on Peru’s north coast. And I’m a poet; here’s one.

Photo: Darrow Montgomery