Dr. Madeline Yale Preston is a photography historian, independent curator, writer and arts advisor with more than 20 years’ experience in the field.
Madeline began her career in the photography field as gallery director and archivist for the Evans Gallery/Photographic Estate of Todd Webb, now the Todd Webb Archive. From 2006-10 she served as Houston Center for Photography's (HCP) Executive Director and Curator and later as its Adjunct Curator and Guest Curator. She has also served as Managing Editor for HCP's publication Spot for several issues. Madeline actively sits on HCP's Advisory Board. From 2019 to 2022 Madeline was part of the leadership team and served as a trustee for Hundred+ Heroines, a critically important UK-based charity with a mission to achieve global parity for women in photography. Madeline led the charity's nominations process for new heroines and served as secretary on the Criteria of Merit Panel.
Today, Madeline writes about photography and supports several emerging, mid-career and established artists, photographers and curators with their artistic and professional development. This includes aiding them in the maturation of their ideas and narratives; authoring and editing texts for publication, curation, promotion and funding; photo editing and sequencing; helping them build and structure their portfolios for exhibition, publication and portfolio reviews. She is a 2021-22 mentor in the Redeye Photography Network.
She has curated over 35 exhibitions on photography and related media in the US, UK and UAE and has authored numerous monographic and catalogue essays on artists and photographers. She contributes to publications on photography and art including PhotoResearcher, Spot, Contemporary Practices, Canvas, Tribe and Revista Carbono. She has lectured and led workshops on photography for Houston Center for Photography, FotoFest, Photofusion, the Menil Collection, Sotheby’s Institute of Art London, Coventry University, Norwich Univ. of the Arts, Rice University and University of Houston, among others. She has conducted portfolio reviews and/or juried for Photolucida and Photolucida Critical Mass (annually since 2009, reviewer for Photolucida in 2022), Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Aurora Photos, FotoFest, Minneapolis Photo Center, Society for Photographic Education, American University in Sharjah, University of Houston and Norwich Univ. of the Arts. She served on FotoFest's art board and the board of the Houston Museum District Association. As a consultant, Madeline has advised auction houses, museums, private collections, art fairs and galleries including Bonhams (as photography specialist), the V&A, Art Dubai the Sharjah Art Museum and the Noor Ali Rashid Archive on photography, curatorial projects, collections and archives. She has developed educational and public programming with numerous institutions including the Magnum Foundation, Reporters Without Borders, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Asia Society.
Madeline holds a PhD from UAL's Chelsea College of Art & Design (September 2021) where she was a member of the research collective TrAIN (Transnational Art, Identity and Nation). Her research focus was the developing transnational discourse on contemporary fine art photography centring the so-called Middle East within curatorial contexts. She has an MA in Photographic Studies (distinction) Norwich University of the Arts (2005), a certificate in art history (hons) from Sotheby’s Institute of Art London (2004) and BA (hons) from Skidmore (1998).
Madeline lives in London with her husband and twin children. Interested in making a more equitable world, since 2019 she has been a Trustee of Wentworth Africa Foundation, which supports access to education in Tanzania; she is particularly passionate about its Keep a Girl in School programme. Madeline is a proud born-and-bred Mainer.