Educated at Williams College, Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, and New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, Professor Youritzin was a Ford Foundation Fellow at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and taught at Vanderbilt and Tulane universities before joining the OU faculty in 1972. Before his 2016 retirement from OU he regularly taught, among other courses, Understanding Art, 19th-Century Art, Cézanne to 1950, and Museum Studies (he holds the NYU/Metropolitan Museum of Art Certificate in Museum Training). He has continued to teach part-time and plans to focus primarily on conducting courses for adult students in OU's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Author of Photographs by Charles Henri Ford (2006), Pavel Tchelitchew (2002), Five Contemporary Russian Artists (1992), Oklahoma Treasures (1986), and other exhibition catalogues, he is also co-author (with MMA Research Associate Stephen Rubin) of American Watercolors from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Abrams, 1991; a Book-of-the-Month-Club Selection) and principal co-author (with NGA Curator of Old Master Drawings, Margaret M. Grasselli) of Vernet to Villon: Nineteenth-Century French Master Drawings from the National Gallery of Art (2012). His scholarly and critical articles have appeared in such internationally important publications as ARTnews, ARTS, Art Journal, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, and the Sunday Los Angeles Times. He has not only lectured at museums, universities, and other institutions across the United States—ranging from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Studio School, Art Students League of New York, to the Dallas Museum of Art and The Pentagon—but has also lectured in England, France, the Caribbean, and South Africa. He was a month-long guest of the South African Department of Education (1986), has presented many television programs on art history and art criticism, and was a lecturer for Cunard Lines. He has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Program for Art on Film (MMA/Getty Trust). Along with serving on many museum committees and boards, he has curated/co-curated over twenty-five art exhibitions, including for The Metropolitan Museum of Art and, for the University of Oklahoma's Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, exclusive shows from Washington's National Gallery of Art and New York's Museum of Modern Art (which lent drawings and paintings by Pavel Tchelitchew, among them his iconic Hide-and-Seek). In 2015 for the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art at St. Gregory's University (Shawnee, OK) he curated, " Art from the U.S. Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard: A Tribute to America's Combat Artists and Fighting Forces." From 1996 - 1999 he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Mabee-Gerrer Museum. In 2015 he created and presented two critical/historical programs (7 hours total in length) on classical music on Stanford University's radio station KZSU-FM (broadcast internationally). Author of interviews and articles for the online journal of the national Koussevitzky Recordings Society, Youritzin has served as its Vice President since 1992.
As an artist and prize-winning photographer, Youritzin has exhibited paintings in the juried 27th Annual Louisiana State Art Exhibition for Professional Artists (State Capitol, Baton Rouge, 1971) and in museum and other venues. His photographs have appeared in the Italian ELLE magazine (January 2005) and in books in English, Spanish, and Japanese. His photography has been acquired by numerous museums and public institutions, among them: The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg; the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris); the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (France); City of Nice Public Library (France); The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford); the New York Public Library, Main Branch (Wallach Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs); Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library; the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh); The Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin; The Museum of New Mexico (Santa Fe); The National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution; The National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution; The United States Air Force Collection, The Pentagon; The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art; The Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa); The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma (Norman); The Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City); and The State Art Collection of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City).
He received the Oklahoma Governor's Arts and Education Award (1992), an Honorable Citation from the Oklahoma House of Representatives (1993), and, at OU, the Baldwin Award (1987) and twice the University of Oklahoma Student Association's Award as the Outstanding Faculty Member in the College of Fine Arts (1989, 1994). In 1997 the University awarded him its highest teaching honor, a David Ross Boyd Professorship, and in 2002 he received the Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts Award. He also received a 2001-2002 Most Inspiring Faculty Award from OU's scholar-athletes and the 2002 Outstanding Faculty Award from the College of Fine Arts. Youritzin is listed in Marquis Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World.