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.