The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that Malcolm Daniel, Acting Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs for the past seven months, would assume the post of Curator in Charge, effective immediately. The appointment – ratified February 10 by the Executive Committee of the Museum's Board of Trustees – will allow Maria Morris Hambourg, founding curator of the department and its head for the past 12 years, to assume the post of Consulting Curator. In this new role, Ms. Hambourg will continue to work closely with the department on special projects, exhibitions, and acquisitions, free of day-to-day administrative duties.
"With these appointments, we assure a continuity of excellence and expertise in the Department of Photographs," said Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan Museum. "Maria Hambourg has set a high bar in brilliantly creating and managing this department at the Metropolitan. Through these formative years, the gifted Malcolm Daniel has served ably as her key associate curator, and the Museum is confident he will build on the Department's success and continue its exemplary work. The Museum is extremely pleased to both recognize Malcolm Daniel's work and continue Maria Hambourg's association with the department."
Ms. Hambourg, who joined the Metropolitan Museum in 1985, has been Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs since its inception in 1992. She curated such acclaimed exhibitions as The New Vision: Photography Between the World Wars, Ford Motor Company Collection (1989); The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection(1993); Nadar (1994-95); Hiroshi Sugimoto (1995-96); Paul Strand, Circa 1916 (1998); Earthly Bodies: Irving Penn's Nudes, 1949-50 (2002); and Richard Avedon: Portraits (2002-2003). Ms. Hambourg has brought international attention to the Metropolitan's collection of photographs, enriched its holdings in both 19th- and 20th-century works, and moved the Museum into a prominent role in the realm of contemporary photo-based art. In building the department, Ms. Hambourg has also attracted a strong and supportive Visiting Committee of eminent collectors and scholars who help guide curatorial decisions.
Mr. Daniel, who received his B.A. in Art History and Studio Art from Trinity College in 1978, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1987 and 1991, respectively, joined the Metropolitan Museum in 1990 as a Curatorial Assistant. A specialist in 19th-century French and British photography, he became an Assistant Curator in 1993, Associate Curator in 1997, and Associate Curator and Administrator in 1999, before assuming the part of Acting Curator in Charge in July 2003. Among the exhibitions he has curated at the Metropolitan 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); Benjamin Brecknell Turner: Rural England through a Victorian Lens (2002); and The Dawn of Photography: French Daguerreotypes, 1839-1855 (2003-2004). Mr. Daniel has been responsible for bringing numerous important 19th-century acquisitions to the Metropolitan, most notably masterpieces of early British photography from the Rubel Collection, acquired in 1997 and exhibited in the 1999 exhibition, Inventing a New Art: Early Photographs from the Rubel Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He founded and continues to run The Alfred Stieglitz Society, a Friends group now in its fifth year that enjoys a rich program of activities and that has been responsible for more than 20 major acquisitions spanning the history of the medium.
A widely published scholar, he is the author of several exhibition catalogues, Museum Bulletins, and journal articles, and has taught at Columbia University. Before he began his career at the Metropolitan, Daniel was a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and worked at The Baltimore Museum of Art. He has also had Princeton University Fellowships, an Andrew Mellon Fellowship, and a Samuel Kress Fellowship.
Commented Ms. Hambourg: "I am deeply satisfied with these new arrangements: Malcolm is the conspicuous scholar and curator in this field today. He has a host of impressive accomplishments already behind him and nothing but terrific promise ahead. I don't doubt he'll continue in the directions we have already explored and that he will exceed even my expectations, which are the highest. Considering the terrific staff of the department as complements to his talents, this is an appointment without peer."
The next exhibition to be presented under the auspices of the Department of Photographs will be "People of the Twentieth Century": August Sander's Photographic Portrait of Germany (May 25 – September 19, 2004).
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