Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Meet Stephen C. Pinson, Assistant Director, Arts, Prints, and Photographs, and Robert B. Menschel Curator of Photography


The Robert B. Menschel Curator of Photography at The New York Public Library since 2005, Stephen Pinson received his PhD in Art History from Harvard University. He has written widely on both prints and photography, with a particular emphasis on the history of photography and the pioneering Louis Daguerre, the 19th-century painter, decorator, printmaker, inventor, and one of the world’s first photographers. His publications include Making the Scene: The Midtown Y Photography Gallery, 1972–1996, the companion volume to the Library’s 2007 exhibition, and the forthcoming Speculating Daguerre (University of Chicago Press). Most recently, Pinson contributed the essay to the publication accompanying the exhibition Detroit: Carbro Prints, 1958, presenting the new photographic series by the contemporary collaborative artists McDermott & McGough. Pinson's latest NYPL exhibition is Eminent Domain.

What are your favorite books?

Recent favorite: David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004)
Other favorites: Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon (1977), Mark Doty’s My Alexandria: Poems (1993), and Dale Peck’s The Law of Enclosures (1996)

What are your favorite movies?

Recent favorite: Ryan Fleck’s Half Nelson (2006)
Other favorites: Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup (1966), Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire (1987), and Terence Davies’s The House of Mirth (2000)

What are your favorite CDs?

Recent favorite: Nicole Atkins’s Neptune City (2007)
Other favorites: Don McLean’s American Pie (1971), 10,000 Maniacs’ In My Tribe (1987), and Everything But the Girl’s Amplified Heart (1994)

Why do you love The New York Public Library?

Because hands down, it has one of the greatest collections of photography in the world.