In 2001, the Museum of Modern Art acquired more than 300 iconic photographs from Thomas Walther’s private collection. Spanning the first half of the 20th century, these works represent a period of unprecedented photographic creativity as new techniques and technologies became widely available. Object:Photo brings these photographs and the research of MoMA’s curatorial team to life in the form of four visualizations that allow users to explore both the collection and the artists represented in a variety of contexts.
“Mapping Photographs” plots the collection geographically and identifies points of interest such as exhibitions and schools, revealing hubs of activity. “Comparing Photographs” spotlights the various techniques and materials represented in the collection and allows users to compare individual timelines for each technique. Visitors uncover unexpected links between photographers through “Connecting Artists,” and “Mapping Artists’ Lives” displays biographies geographically, allowing users to see where particular individuals worked and may have crossed paths with others.
Supplemental pages detail extensive research the museum conducted on the photographs and their creators as well as exhibitions, publications, schools, and industry hubs from the period.