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WHAT WAS PHOTOGRAPHY LIKE IN THE 1920s?

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March 18, 2015 –  New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday

The Thomas Walther Collection at MoMA New York

From the MOMA website,

“The creative possibilities explored through photography were never richer or more varied than in the years between the First and Second World Wars, when photographers approached figuration, abstraction, and architecture with unmatched imaginative fervor. This vital moment is dramatically captured in the more than 300 photographs that constitute the Thomas Walther Collection at The Museum of Modern Art.”

Jonas Cuénin, in the March 17, 2015 issue of L’Oeil de la Photographie, (The Eye of Photography) wrote about the exhibition at MOMA featuring the Photography from the 1920s, quoting from the Director’s Forward   by  Glenn D. Lowry, Director, The Museum of Modern Art

“The 1920s were a prosperous era when photography seemed ubiquitous, defying the restrictions of the past, including photography’s justification as an art in itself.

That decade also saw the arrival of new hardware, like compact, portable 35mm cameras with fast shutter speeds, and figures like László Moholy-Nagy were reinventing the photogram at the Bauhaus school, preaching that every aspiring artist should be “literate” in photography, much as every student today needs computer skills.

Berlin and Paris became magnets for photojournalists and editors eager to rethink what could be done with images and text on the blank pages of books and magazines.”

FINE ART IN THE NEW MEDIA

The The Thomas Walther Collection exhibition promises to be one of the high points in a museum showing of photograph. This blog concentrates on Fine Art in the New Media, and the use of technology to fulfill the mission to make Art available to everyone, wherever they may be. In this respect, the interactive web site by MOMA is one of the high points in a museum’s use of New Technology to further the mission of making Art accessible to everyone.

First just clicking on the link above will bring you immediately into the stunning photography of the 1920s.

Second, the contents of the exhibition is viewed with a simple but elegant user interface organized into xx sections, VisualizationsTechniques, where the visitor can click on tabs such as Distractions, for an essay on “The Age of Distraction: Photography and Film,” or on Gallery to see some 341 pictures from the exhibition, in great resolution, and with the ability to click to enlarge each one. This is exemplary because the Gallery is not a small sample of the images in the exhibition, but it contains a substantial number (341) of the images in the museum exhibition, available to all, to be viewed for a long a period of time as the viewer wants, from anywhere in the world. Photographs organized by Artist is also just a click away. You can also see the image organized by Schools and Circles of Influence. Here’s an essay, for example on The Poetics of Eye and Lens, with stunning images of this Theme.

Third, well, there is lots more, but a note on the Catalogue will illustrate the point about the Museum’s use of New Media and New Technology, where you can download a free sample of a full 35 pages of the catalogue.

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OBJECT:PHOTO. Modern Photographs: The Thomas Walther Collection 1909-1949
Mitra Abbaspour, Lee Ann Daffner, Maria Morris Hambourg

BONUS

Click on an image below to view  it in a New Tab

 

  • Willi Ruge (German, 1882-1961). Seconds before Landing from the series I Photograph Myself during a Parachute Jump. 1931. Gelatin silver print. 8 1/16 × 5 9/16″ (20.4 × 14.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
  • Gertrud Arndt (German, 1903–2000). At the Masters’ Houses. 1929–30. Gelatin silver print. 8 7/8 x 6 1/4″ (22.6 x 15.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
  • Herbert Bayer (American, born Austria. 1900–1985). Humanly Impossible. 1932. Gelatin silver print. 15 5/16 x 11 9/16″ (38.9 x 29.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Acquired through the generosity of Howard Stein © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
  • Max Burchartz (German, 1887–1961). Lotte (Eye). 1928. Gelatin silver print. 11 7/8 x 15 3/4″ (30.2 x 40 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Acquired through the generosity of Peter Norton © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
  • Alvin Langdon Coburn (American, 1882–1966). The Octopus. 1909. Gelatin silver print. 22 1/8 x 16 3/4″ (56.2 x 42.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
  • Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975). Votive Candles, New York City. 1929–30. Gelatin silver print. 8 1/2 x 6 15/16″ (21.6 x 17.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Willard Van Dyke and Mr. and Mrs. Alfred H. Barr, Jr., by exchange © 2014 Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • André Kertész (American, born Hungary. 1894–1985). Mondrian’s Glasses and Pipe. 1926. Gelatin silver print. 3 1/8 x 3 11/16″ (7.9 x 9.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Grace M. Mayer Fund © 2014 Estate of André Kertész
  • Edmund Kesting (German, 1892–1970). Glance to the Sun. 1928. Gelatin silver print. 13 1/16 x 14 1/2″ (33.2 x 36.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther © 2014 / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
  • Lucia Moholy (American, born Hungary. 1895–1946). Florence Henri. 1927. Gelatin silver print. 14 5/8 x 11″ (37.2 x 27.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
  • Aleksandr Rodchenko (Russian, 1891–1956). Girl with a Leica. 1932–33. Gelatin silver print. 11 13/16 x 8″ (30 x 20.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Shirley C. Burden, by exchange
  • Osamu Shiihara (Japanese, 1905–1974). Construction of Hand. 1932–41. Gelatin silver print. 11 7/8 x 8 7/8″ (30.2 x 22.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther © 2014 Estate of Osamu Shiihara, care of Tomatsu Shiihara, Japan
  • Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (Polish, 1885–1939). Anna Oderfeld, Zakopane. 1911–12. Gelatin silver print. 6 11/16 x 4 3/4″ (17 x 12.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Mrs. Willard Helburn, by exchange.
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