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Encyclopedia > Nancy Newhall

Nancy Wynne Newhall (May 9, 1908July 7, 1974) was an American photography critic. She is best known for writing the text to accompany photographs by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, but was also a widely published writer on photography, conservation, and American culture. May 9 is the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (130th in leap years). ... 1908 (MCMVIII) is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... July 7 is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 177 days remaining. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) is a common year starting on Tuesday (click on link for calendar). ... Photography is the process of making pictures by means of the action of light. ... The Tetons - Snake River (1942) by Ansel Adams Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer born in San Francisco. ... Edward Weston (March 24, 1886 - January 1, 1958) was an American photographer, and co-founder of Group f/64. ... The Conservation movement seeks to protect plant and animal species as well as the habitats they live in from harmful human influences. ... This article very generally discusses the customs and culture of the United States; for the culture of the United States, see arts and entertainment in the United States. ...


Newhall was born Nancy Wynne in Lynn, Massachusetts, and attended Smith College in that state. She married Beaumont Newhall, the curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and substituted for him in that role during his military service in World War II. During the 1940s she wrote essays on popular art and culture for small magazines and journals, in which she called for a society more attuned to art, and particularly to visual art. She was always more interested in a popular audience than an academic one; in a 1940 essay, she explores the possibilities of the new medium of television for popularizing the visual arts, suggesting techniques for teaching art and photography on camera: Lynn is a city located in Essex County, Massachusetts. ... Smith College, located in Northampton, Massachusetts, is the largest and most lesbian womens college in the United States. ... View across garden, in new MoMA building by Yoshio Taniguchi (MoMA) is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. ... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ... Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Commanders {{{commander1}}} {{{commander2}}} Strength {{{strength1}}} {{{strength2}}} Casualties 17 million military deaths 7 million military deaths {{{notes}}} World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a mid-20th century conflict that engulfed much of the globe and is accepted as the largest and...

. . . the cameras should approach an object as an actual spectator does, and, like him, be influenced by empathy. Long shots become closeups, the flow of compositional directions, and, with due care for the results on the screen, studies of detail and texture under dramatic lighting, are all ways of lending motion to motionless things. ("Television" 38)

In another, she argues for the centrality of photography for understanding and teaching American history ("Research"). She became close to photographer Edward Weston during this period, championing his early work and regarding his controversial 1940s work, which juxtaposed still lifes and nudes of considerable beauty and delicacy with wartime items such as gas masks, with some anxiety (Sternberger 56). Edward Weston (March 24, 1886 - January 1, 1958) was an American photographer, and co-founder of Group f/64. ...


In 1945, Newhall wrote the text for a book of photographs by Paul Strand. The work would begin a new phase for her career, in which she became a vocal proponent and a central pioneer of the genre of oversized photography collections. The best known and most influential of these is This Is the American Earth, a collaboration with Ansel Adams, published in 1960. Like Adams, Newhall was involved with the Sierra Club, and wrote often about issues of conservation. She was sometimes accused of political heavi-handedness on that subject—one uncharitable review of American Earth calls her prose "so full of Message that there is no room for poetry" (Deevey)—but her explication of the political context and motivation of Adams's work has been important for the Sierra Club and the conservation movement in general. Paul Strand (October 16, 1890 – March 31, 1976) was an American photographer and filmmaker who, along with fellow Modernist photographers like Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston, helped establish photography as an art form in the 20th century. ... The Tetons - Snake River (1942) by Ansel Adams Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer born in San Francisco. ... The Sierra Club is an American environmental organization founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist John Muir, who became its first president. ... The Conservation movement seeks to protect plant and animal species as well as the habitats they live in from harmful human influences. ...


Major Books

  • Photographs, 1915-1945: Paul Strand. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1945.
  • The Photographs of Edward Weston. MOMA, 1946.
  • Time in New England: Photographs by Paul Strand. New York: Aperture, 1950. Reprinted New York: Harper and Row, 1980.
  • A Contribution to the Heritage of Every American: The Conservation Activities of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. New York: Knopf, 1957.
  • (with Beaumont Newhall) Masters of Photography. New York: Braziller, 1958.
  • (with Ansel Adams)This Is the American Earth . San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1960.
  • Alvin Langon Colburn: A Portfolio of Sixteen Photographs. Rochester: George Eastman House, 1963.
  • Ansel Adams. Sierra Club, 1964. Reprinted (with photographs) as Ansel Adams: The Eloquent Light. New York: Aperture, 1980.
  • (with Beaumont Newhall) T. H. O’Sullivan: Photographer. Eastman, 1966.
  • (with Ansel Adams)Fiat Lux: The University of California. New York: McGraw Hill, 1967.
  • P. H. Emerson: The Fight for Photography as a Fine Art. Aperture, 1975.

References

  • Deevey, Edward S. Review of This is the American Earth. Science, Vol. 132, No. 3441 (1960), 1759.
  • Newhall, Nancy. "The Need for Research in Photography." College Art Journal, Vol. 4, No. 4 (1945), 203-206.
  • —. "Television and the Arts." Parnassus, Vol. 12, No. 1 (1940), 37-38.
  • Sternberger, Paul. "Reflections on Edward Weston's 'Civilian Defense.'" American Art, Vol. 17, No. 1 (2003), 48-67.

 
 

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