The Shape of Things: Photographs from Robert B. Menschel

The Shape of Things: Photographs from Robert B. Menschel


The Shape of Things: Photographs from Robert B. Menschel presents an engaging survey of The Museum of Modern Art’s multifaceted collection of photography. Borrowing its title from the eponymous work by Carrie Mae Weems, the exhibition is drawn entirely from works acquired over the past 40 years with the support of Robert B. Menschel, telling the story of photography from its beginnings.

Covering more than 150 years of photography—from an 1843 view of Paris by William Henry Fox Talbot, the English father of photography, to An-My Lê’s depictions of US military exercises in preparation for war in Iraq and Afghanistan—the exhibition underscores an equal attention to the past and the present, and a strong belief that they complement each other; and that each generation reinvents photography. Since Menschel joined the Committee on Photography at MoMA in 1977, over 500 works have entered the collection through his support, including 162 photographs he recently donated from his personal collection.

The Shape of Things
Photographs from Robert B. Menschel
October 29, 2016 – May 7, 2017

Museum of Modern Art
11 W 53rd St New York, NY 10019
www.moma.org

Louis-Auguste Bisson (French, 1814–1876) and Auguste Rosalie Bisson (French, 1826–1900). Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris (Detail of Facade). c. 1853. Albumen silver print from a glass negative, 14 7/16 × 17 13/16″ (36.6 × 45.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Robert B. Menschel

Louis-Auguste Bisson (French, 1814–1876) and Auguste Rosalie Bisson (French, 1826–1900). Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris (Detail of Facade). c. 1853. Albumen silver print from a glass negative, 14 7/16 × 17 13/16″ (36.6 × 45.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Robert B. Menschel

Bernd Becher (German, 1931–2007), Hilla Becher (German, 1934–2015). Cooling Towers. 1973. Gelatin silver prints, each 15 3/4 × 11 13/16″ (40 × 30 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel. © 2016 Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd Becher (German, 1931–2007), Hilla Becher (German, 1934–2015). Cooling Towers. 1973. Gelatin silver prints, each 15 3/4 × 11 13/16″ (40 × 30 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel. © 2016 Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher

Charles Harry Jones (British, 1866–1959). Onions. c. 1900. Gelatin silver printing-out-paper print, 5 7/8 × 8 1/4″ (15 × 21 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel

Charles Harry Jones (British, 1866–1959). Onions. c. 1900. Gelatin silver printing-out-paper print, 5 7/8 × 8 1/4″ (15 × 21 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel

Harry Callahan (American, 1912–1999). Eleanor and Barbara, Chicago. 1953. Gelatin silver print, 7 11/16 × 9 11/16″ (19.5 × 24.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Robert and Joyce

Harry Callahan (American, 1912–1999). Eleanor and Barbara, Chicago. 1953. Gelatin silver print, 7 11/16 × 9 11/16″ (19.5 × 24.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Robert and Joyce

Frederick Sommer (American, born Italy. 1905–1999). I Adore You. 1947. Gelatin silver print, 7 9/16 × 9 1/2″ (19.2 × 24.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel

Frederick Sommer (American, born Italy. 1905–1999). I Adore You. 1947. Gelatin silver print, 7 9/16 × 9 1/2″ (19.2 × 24.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864–1946). The Terminal. 1893. Photogravure, 10 × 13 3/16″ (25.4 × 33.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel. © 2016 Estate of Alfred Stieglitz/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864–1946). The Terminal. 1893. Photogravure, 10 × 13 3/16″ (25.4 × 33.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel. © 2016 Estate of Alfred Stieglitz/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Weegee (American, born Austria. 1899–1968). The Gay Deceiver. c. 1939. Gelatin silver print, 13 × 10 1/4″ (33 × 26 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee (American, born Austria. 1899–1968). The Gay Deceiver. c. 1939. Gelatin silver print, 13 × 10 1/4″ (33 × 26 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Joan Fontcuberta (Spanish, born 1955). Mullerpolis Plunfis. 1984. Gelatin silver print, 10 7/16 × 8 9/16″ (26.5 × 21.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Robert and Joyce Menschel Fund. © 2016 Joan Fontcuberta

Joan Fontcuberta (Spanish, born 1955). Mullerpolis Plunfis. 1984. Gelatin silver print, 10 7/16 × 8 9/16″ (26.5 × 21.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Robert and Joyce Menschel Fund. © 2016 Joan Fontcuberta

An-My Lê (American, born Vietnam 1960). 29 Palms: Infantry Platoon (Machine Gunners). 2003–04. Gelatin silver print, 26 1/2 × 38 1/16″ (67.3 × 96.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Robert B. Menschel Fund. © 2016 An-My Lê

An-My Lê (American, born Vietnam 1960). 29 Palms: Infantry Platoon (Machine Gunners). 2003–04. Gelatin silver print, 26 1/2 × 38 1/16″ (67.3 × 96.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Robert B. Menschel Fund. © 2016 An-My Lê

Val Telberg (American, born Russia. 1910–1995). Exhibition of the Witch. c. 1948. Gelatin silver print, 10 15/16 × 13 3/4″ (27.8 × 35 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel. © 2016 Estate of Val Telberg

Val Telberg (American, born Russia. 1910–1995). Exhibition of the Witch. c. 1948. Gelatin silver print, 10 15/16 × 13 3/4″ (27.8 × 35 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Robert B. Menschel. © 2016 Estate of Val Telberg


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