Newhall, Beaumont

Newhall, Beaumont

(1908–93) photohistorian; born in Lynn, Mass. A Harvard-trained art historian, Newhall was librarian at the Museum of Modern Art (1935–42) where he wrote the catalogue for the exhibition, Photography 1893–1937, before becoming its first curator of photography in 1940. An officer for U.S. Air Force photographic intelligence in Egypt, North Africa, and Italy (1942–45), he began his teaching career at Black Mountain College (1946–48). In 1947 he received a Guggenheim grant which he used to write his classic text, History of Photography, first published in 1949. Curator of the International Museum of the George Eastman House (GEH) during its formative years, he became editor of Art in America (1957–65) and was director of GEH (1958–71). The preeminent teacher of photohistorians, he was a professor of art at New York State University in Buffalo (1968–71) and taught at the University of New Mexico from 1971. In 1984 he received a MacArthur Foundation grant.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.