Malcolm Daniel – Profile

A widely published scholar and renowned photography curator, Malcolm Daniel is Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In that position, he oversees the museum's impressive collection of more than 20,000 works, including rich holdings in early French, British and American photography, Photo-Secession masterpieces and the personal archive of photographer Walker Evans.

A specialist in 19th century French and British photography, Daniel studied art history at Trinity College and Princeton University before joining The Met as a curatorial assistant in 1990. He learned from the best as he worked his way up the ranks, working side-by-side with the legendary Maria Morris Hambourg, founding curator of the museum's Department of Photographs. Hambourg chose to step down and become consulting curator, making Daniel Curator in Charge, she declared, "Daniel has a host of impressive accomplishments already behind him and nothing but terrific promise ahead. I don't doubt that he will exceed even my expectations, which are the highest."

That he has certainly done. Daniel has brought many important 19th century works to The Met, most notably masterpieces of early British photography from the Rubel Collection. Among the many important exhibits he has curated are The Photographs of Edouard Baldus: Landscapes and Monuments of France (1994); Eugène Cuvelier, Photographer in the Circle of Corot (1996-97); Edgar Degas, Photographer (1998-99); Photography: Process, Preservation, and Conversation (2001); Benjamin Brecknell Turner: Rural England through a Victorian Lens(2002); As It Happened: Photographs from The Gilman Paper Company Collection (2002); and The Dawn of Photography: French Daguerreotypes, 1839-1855 (2003-2004). He has also authored a number of exhibition catalogues, museum bulletins and journal articles.

Daniel also founded and continues to run The Alfred Stieglitz Society, a Friends auxiliary group that provides a rich program of activities and has been responsible for more than 20 major acquisitions spanning the history of photography.

Selected Books

Museum: Behind the Scenes at The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Danny Danziger (Hardcover - May 17, 2007)

Inside the Photograph by Peter C. Bunnell and Malcolm Daniel (Hardcover - Nov 15, 2006)

All the Mighty World: The Photographs of Roger Fenton, 1852-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art Series) by Gordon Baldwin, Malcolm Daniel, Sarah Greenough and Richard Pare (Hardcover - Oct 11, 2004)

Edgar Degas, Photographer by Malcolm Daniel (Paperback - 1999)

The Photographs of Edouard Baldus by Malcolm Daniel, an essay by Barry Bergdoll and Malcolm Daniel (Hardcover - Jan 1, 1994)

The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection by Malcolm Daniel, Pierre Apraxine and Maria Morris Hambourg (Hardcover - March 1993)

Menschel Hall

Menschel Hall Installation View
Joyce and Robert Menschel Hall for Modern Photography at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Opening September 25, 2007
Photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Exhibitions Organized by Malcolm Daniel


The Dawn of Photography, French Daguerrotypes 1839-1855 September 23, 2003 - January 4, 2004

The Pharaoh's Photographer: Harry Burton, Tutankhamun and The Metropolitan's Egyptian Expedition September 11, 2001 - March 3, 2002

Benjamin Brecknell Turner: Rural England through a Victorian Lens January 15 - April 21, 2002

As It Happened: Photographs from the Gilman Paper Company Collection May 7 - August 25, 2002

Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 September 25 - December 30, 2007

Photographs: A Decade of Collecting June 5 - September 2, 2001

"People of the Twentieth Century": August Sander's Photographic Portrait of Germany May 25 - September 19, 2004

Photography: Processes, Preservation and ConservationJanuary 30 - May 6, 2001

"La Divine Comtesse," Photographs of the Countess de Castiglione September 19 - December 31, 2000

The Photography of Charles Sheeler June 3 - August 17, 2003

Inventing a New Art: Early Photographs from The Rubel Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art June 1 - September 19, 1999

The Photographs of Edouard Baldus: Landscapes and Monuments of France 1994

Eugëne Cuvelier, Photographer in the Circle of Corot 1996-1997

Edgar Degas, Photographer 1998-1999


The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET) in New York

Facade Photo
Photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, founded in 1870, is one of the largest and finest art museums in the world. Each year, 5 million visitors pop into The Met, located in Central Park, where they can see more than 2 million works of art spanning 5,000 years of culture from around the globe.

In 1992, the museum launched its Department of Photographs, which houses 15,000 works that cover the history of photography. The core of the departments holdings include the Alfred Stieglitz Collection, comprising 600 works by the Photo-Secession; the Howard Gilman Paper Collection, 8,500 works including the best of 19th century photography; and the Ford Motor Company Collection, 500 works collected by John Waddell representing avant-garde European and American photography between the two World Wars. The museum also has rare album photographs by William Henry Fox Talbot and the personal archive of Walker Evans, among other treasures.