Nancy Newhall (1903-1974)
Nancy Newhall was a writer, critic, curator, and photographer who worked closely with many famous photographers of the 20th century, including Ansel Adams, Paul Strand, and Edward Weston. She curated fifteen major exhibitions and published over eighty articles, books and catalogues. In 2008-09, she was the subject of a retrospective exhibition “A Literacy of Images: Nancy Newhall and the Art of Photography” at the Museum of Photographic Art in San Diego. The professional partnership between Nancy Newhall and her husband Beaumont Newhall, who as a photography historian and founding curator of the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, was legendary. Nancy assumed Beaumont’s curatorial responsibilities at MoMA during his military service in World War II. Of Newhall’s numerous publications, which included her editing of Edward Weston’s Daybooks and Masters of Photography with Beaumont Newhall, perhaps her most influential ones were her collaborations with Ansel Adams. She wrote the texts for many of Ansel Adams’s books of photography. Especially notable was their collaboration on This Is the American Earth, published in 1960.