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Newhall, Nancy, 1908-1974



  • Existence: 1908 - 1974

Biographical Note

American photographer. Nancy Newhall, née Nancy Wynne, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts on May 9, 1908. As a photography critic, conservationist, and editor, she was an important contributor to the development of the photograph book as an art form. Newhall attended Smith College and was a member of the Art Students League of New York. Her career began when in 1943 she became acting curator of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, substituting for her husband, Beaumont Newhall, the photography historian and founder of the department, while he was in military service. A founding member of Aperture magazine, Newhall helped to conceptually shape the publication and was a frequent contributor. She collaborated with many of the photographic luminaries of the day—Ansel Adams, Edward and Brett Weston, Paul Strand, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Minor White—writing text to accompany their images for magazine articles and books. Newhall died following a rafting accident while vacationing with her husband in Grand Teton National Park on July 7, 1974.

Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

Friends of Photography collection

Identifier: AG 186
Scope and Contents The Friends of Photography records measure approximately 125 linear feet and date from 1964 to 2005, although the bulk of the material falls between 1985 and 2001 when the organization was based in San Francisco, California. Files from earlier years when the organization was located in Carmel, California were most likely lost during the group’s gradual move to San Francisco in the years following Ansel Adams death in 1984. Received in 2002 as a gift collection, records document the founding...
Dates: 1964-2005

Images and Words collection

Identifier: AG 121

Correspondence, photocopies of photographs with text, and photocopies of contact sheets documenting the 1967 workshop “Images and Words” taught by Ansel Adams, and Beaumont and Nancy Newhall at the University of California, Santa Cruz. These materials were assembled in 1990 by Elizabeth Wilcox, a participant in the workshop.

Dates: 1990-1991

Beaumont and Nancy Newhall collection

Identifier: AG 48
Abstract Correspondence, writings, and subject files, 1930-1983, of Beaumont Newhall (l908-1993), and Nancy Newhall (l908-1974), art historians, curators, teachers, and authors. Includes correspondence with noted photographers Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and others; published and unpublished manuscripts by Nancy Newhall concerning Ansel Adams, such as Death Valley (l953), The Eloquent Light (l963), and The Enduring Moment (ca.1971); writings by Beaumont Newhall including Photography: Essays and...
Dates: 1930-1983

Beaumont Newhall miscellaneous acquisitions collection

Identifier: AG 125

Miscellaneous materials documenting the life and career of Beaumont Newhall (1908-1993), photohistorian, photographer, writer, and curator.

Dates: 1930-1945