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Subject: MOMA project on modern photographs

MOMA project on modern photographs

From: Lee Ann Daffner <leeann_daffner<-a>
Date: Monday, December 15, 2014
MoMA announced completion of a four-year research and conservation
initiative for the Thomas Walther collection of modern photographs.
Projects include innovative interactive digital site, major
publication, symposium, and an exhibition of nearly 300 seminal

"Object:Photo--Modern Photographs 1909-1949" is the result of a
four-year collaborative project between the Museum's departments of
Photography and Conservation, with the participation of over two
dozen leading international photography scholars and conservators,
making it the most extensive effort to integrate conservation,
curatorial, and scholarly research efforts on photography to date.
The project is composed of multiple parts: a website


that features a suite of digital-visualization research tools that
allow visitors to explore the collection, make queries, and discover
connections themselves, supported by in-depth information on each
photograph and an anthology of essays by scholars on selected themes
and pictures; a hard-bound paper catalogue of the entire Thomas
Walther collection, with extensive scholarly contributions; an
interdisciplinary symposium focusing on ways in which the digital
age is changing our engagement with historic photographs; and a
related exhibition of works from the Thomas Walther Collection,
which is the first full presentation of this remarkable collection.

In 2001, MoMA acquired 341 photographs from Thomas Walther's private
collection, featuring iconic works by such seminal figures as
Berenice Abbott, Karl Blossfeldt, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Claude
Cahun, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Florence Henri, Andre Kertesz, Germaine
Krull, El Lissitzky, Lucia Strand, Maurice Tabard, Umbo, and Edward
Weston, along with lesser-known treasures by more than 100 others.

In 2010, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gave the Museum a grant to
encourage deep scholarly study of the Walther Collection and to
support publication of the results.  Led by the Museum's departments
of Photography and Conservation, the project elicited productive
collaborations among scholars, curators, conservators, and
scientists, who investigated all of the factors involved in the
making, appearance, condition, and history of each of the 341
photographs in the collection.  The broadening of narrow
specializations and the cross-fertilization between fields
heightened appreciation of the singularity of each object and of its
position within the history of its moment.  Creating new standards
for the consideration of photographs as original objects and of
photography as an art form of unusually rich historical dimensions,
the project affords both experts and those less familiar with its
history new avenues for the appreciation of the medium.

Lee Ann Daffner
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Conservator of Photographs
The Museum of Modern Art
11 W. 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
Fax: 212-333-1244

                  Conservation DistList Instance 28:29
                 Distributed: Monday, December 15, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-28-29-002
Received on Monday, 15 December, 2014

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