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Visualizations Provide a Deeper Look Into a Historical MoMA Photo Collection



The Thomas Walther Collection at the Museum of Modern Art is a set of 341 photographs by 150 artists captured from between 1909 and 1949 — a period in which photography “came of age.”

If you’d like to explore this collection of images on a deeper level, the museum has created a fantastic new tool for doing so that’s “unprecedented in its functionality”. It’s called “Object:Photo,” and is a special website loaded with information, images, and interactive visualizations.

The information on the page was gathered by a large number of experts (scholars, curators, scientists) who investigated the photographs from all kinds of angles — everything from physical properties of the images to relationships between the artists.

There are four powerful visualizations that visitors to the site can use. Mapping Photographs shows the geographic scope of images:


Comparing Photographs allows you to filter the images by their properties (e.g. techniques, materials, subjects, style):


Connecting Artists shows you the relationships and meeting points between the famous photographers (e.g. exhibitions, publications, schools):


Mapping Artists Lives shows you where the photographers lived and worked throughout their lives:


Of course, there’s also a standard gallery section where you can browse through the collection’s photographs:


If you found this website interesting, you may be pleased to know that the images and information have also been published as a hardcover photo book.

(H/T Hyperallergic)