MacArthur Fellows Program

Beaumont Newhall

Historian of Photography | Class of November 1984

Historian of Photography
Albuquerque, New Mexico
76 at time of award
February 26, 1993
Published November 1, 1984

About Beaumont's Work

Beaumont Newhall was an art historian whose primary interest was photography.

As a historian and lecturer, Newhall traced the history of photography from its inception in 1839 to modern times.  He founded the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and served as its first curator.  Subsequently, he became the director of the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.  His numerous books include The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present Day (1949), The Daguerreotype in America (1961), Frederick H. Evans (1964), Latent Image (1967), Airborne Image (1969), In Plain Sight (1983), Supreme Instants: The Photographs of Edward Weston (1986), and Focus: Memoirs of Life in Photography (1993).  He also edited Photography, Essays and Images: Illustrated Readings in the History of Photography (1980) and co-edited Masters of Photography (1981) and Edward Weston Omnibus: A Critical Anthology (1984), among other works.


Newhall was a professor of art history at the University of New Mexico.  He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1947.  He produced over 600 books, articles and museum catalogs.

Newhall received a B.A. (1930) and an M.A. (1931) from Harvard University. 

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of Beaumont Newhall
August 15, 1993
“Depth of Field”
The New York Times
Beaumont Newhall , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
February 27, 1993
"Beaumont Newhall, a Historian Of Photography, Is Dead at 84"
The New York Times
Beaumont Newhall , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
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