January 14, 2015

MODERN PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE THOMAS WALTHER COLLECTION AT MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NEW YORK




MODERN PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE THOMAS WALTHER COLLECTION 1909 - 1949
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NEW YORK
December 13, 2014 - April 19, 2015




MODERN PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE THOMAS WALTHER COLLECTION 1909 - 1949
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NEW YORK
December 13, 2014 - April 19, 2015
The Edward Steichen Photography Galleries, third floor
Exhibition Coincides with the Culmination of the Thomas Walther Collection Project, a Four-Year Research Collaboration Between MoMA’s Curatorial and Conservation Staff
Explores photography between the First and Second World Wars, when creative possibilities were never richer or more varied, and when photographers approached figuration, abstraction, and architecture with unmatched imaginative fervor. This vital moment is dramatically captured in the photographs that constitute the Thomas Walther Collection, a remarkable group of works presented together for the first time through nearly 300 photographs. Made on the street and in the studio, intended for avant-garde exhibitions or the printed page, these objects provide unique insight into the radical intentions of their creators. Iconic works by such towering figures as Berenice Abbott, Karl Blossfeldt, Alvin Langdon Coburn, El Lissitzky, Lucia Moholy, László Moholy- Nagy, Aleksandr Rodchenko, and Paul Strand are featured alongside lesser-known treasures by more than 100 other practitioners. The exhibition is organized by Quentin Bajac, the Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography, and Sarah Hermanson Meister, Curator, Department of Photography, MoMA.
The exhibition coincides with Object:Photo. Modern Photographs: The Thomas
Walther Collection 1909–1949, 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. That project is composed of multiple parts including a website that features a suite of digital visualization research tools that allow visitors to explore the collection, a hard-bound paper catalogue of the entire Thomas Walther collection, and an interdisciplinary symposium focusing on ways in which the digital age is changing our engagement with historic photographs.
Modern Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection, 1909–1949, is organized
thematically into six sections, suggesting networks between artists, regions, and objects, and highlighting the figures whose work Walther collected in depth, including André Kertész, Germaine Krull, Franz Roh, Willi Ruge, Maurice Tabard, Umbo, and Edward Weston. Enriched by key works in other mediums from MoMA's collection, this exhibition presents the exhilarating story of a landmark chapter in photography’s history.

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1496






1- THE MODERN WORLD

Even before the introduction of the handheld Leica camera in 1925, photographers were avidly exploring fresh perspectives, shaped by the unique experience of capturing the world through a lens and ideally suited to express the tenor of modern life in the wake of World War I. Looking up and down, these photographers found unfamiliar points of view that suggested a new, dynamic visual language freed from convention. Improvements in the light sensitivity of photographic films and papers meant that photographers could capture motion as never before. At the same time, technological advances in printing resulted in an explosion of opportunities for photographers to present their work to ever-widening audiences. From inexpensive weekly magazines to extravagantly produced journals, periodicals exploited the potential of photographs and imaginative layouts, not text, to tell stories. Among the photographers on view in this section are Martin Munkácsi (American, born Hungary, 1896–1963), Leni Riefenstahl (German, 1902–2003), Aleksandr Rodchenko (Russian, 1891–1956), and Willi Ruge (German, 1882–1961).




WILLI RUGE ( GERMAN 1882–1961 )
WITH MY HEAD HANGING DOWN BEFORE THE PARACHUTE OPENED… 1931
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions Image: 14 × 20.3 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther




ALEKSANDR RODCHENKO ( RUSSIAN 1891–1956 )
DIVE 1934
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions Image: 29.7 x 23.8 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Shirley C. Burden, by Exchange




WILLI RUGE ( GERMAN 1882 - 1961 )
SECONDS BEFORE LANDING SECONDS BEFORE LANDING
From the Series – I Photograph Myself during a Parachute Jump 1931
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions Image: 20.4 × 14.1 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther




LENI RIEFENSTAHL ( GERMAN 1902–2003 )
UNTITLED 1936
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions Image: 23.4 x 29.5 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection funds, by Exchange
 



WANDA WULZ ( ITALIAN 1903 - 1984 )
EXERCISE 1932
Gelatin Silver Print - Print Date 1932- 1939
Dimensions Image: 29.2 × 21.9 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection Funds, by Exchange
© Fratelli Alinari Museum Collections-Studio Wulz Archive, Florence
 



ROBERT PETSCHOW ( GERMAN 1888 – 1945 )
LINES OF MODERN INDUSTRY: COOLING TOWER 1920 - 1929
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1920 - 1932
Dimensions Image: 8.5 × 11.5 cm - Sheet: 8.8 × 11.9 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Albert Renger-Patzsch, by Exchange




2- PURISM

The question of whether photography ought to be considered a fine art was hotly contested from its invention in 1839 into the 20th century. Beginning in the 1890s, in an attempt to distinguish their efforts from hoards of Kodak-wielding amateurs and masses of professionals, “artistic” photographers referred to themselves as Pictorialists. They embraced soft focus and painstakingly wrought prints so as to emulate contemporary prints and drawings, and chose subjects that underscored the ethereal effects of their methods. Before long, however, most avant-garde photographers had come to celebrate precise and distinctly photographic qualities as virtues. On both sides of the Atlantic, photographers were making this transition from Pictorialism to modernism, while occasionally blurring the distinction. Exhibition prints could be made with precious platinum or palladium, or matte surfaces that mimicked those materials. Perhaps nowhere is this variety more clearly evidenced than in the work of Edward Weston, whose suite of prints in this section suggests the range of appearances achievable with unadulterated contact prints from his large-format negatives. Other photographers on view include Karl Blossfeldt (German, 1865 - 1932), Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902–2002), Jaromír Funke (Czech, 1896 - 1945), Bernard Shea Horne (American, 1867 - 1933), and Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864 - 1946).




JAROSLAV ROSSLER ( CZECH 1902 – 1990 )
UNTITLED 1923 - 1925
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1923 - 1935
Dimensions Image: 22.1 × 21.8 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Horace W. Goldsmith Fund 
Through Robert B. Menschel
© 2014 Sylva Vitove-Rösslerova




BERNARD SHEA HORNE ( AMERICAN 1867 – 1933 )
UNTITLED 1916 - 1917
Platinum Print
Print Date 1916 - 1917
Dimensions Image: 20.3 × 15.5 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther




EDWARD WESTON ( AMERICAN 1886 – 1958 )
ATTIC 1921
Palladium Print
Dimensions: 18.9 × 23.9 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Grace M. Mayer Fund and gift of Mrs. Mary Donant and Carl Sandburg, by Exchange




BERNARD SHEA HORNE ( AMERICAN 1867 – 1933 )
UNTITLED 1916 - 1917
Platinum Print
Print Date 1916 - 1917
Dimensions Image: 20.5 × 15.5 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
Grace M. Mayer Fund and gift of Mrs. Mary Donant and Carl Sandburg, by Exchange




JAROMÍR FUNKE ( CZECH 1896–1945 )
PLATES 1923 - 1924
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions Image: 21.5 × 29.3 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Shirley C. Burden, by Exchange
 



EDWARD WESTON ( AMERICAN 1886 – 1958 )
STEEL: ARMCO, MIDDLETOWN, OHIO - 1922
Palladium Print - Print Date 1922
Dimensions Image: 23 × 17.4 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
 © 1981 Center for Creative Photography,
Arizona Board of Regents.
 



EDWARD WESTON ( AMERICAN 1886 – 1958 )
STEEL: ARMCO, MIDDLETOWN, OHIO - 1922
DESCRIPTION
In Edward Weston’s journals, which he began on his trip to Ohio and New York in fall 1922, the artist wrote of the exhilaration he felt while photographing the “great plant and giant stacks of the American Rolling Mill Company” in Middletown, Ohio. He then went to see the great photographer and tastemaker Alfred Stieglitz. Were he still publishing the magazine Camera Work, Stieglitz told him, he would have reproduced some of Weston’s recent images in it, including, in particular, one of his smokestacks. The photograph’s clarity and the photographer’s frank awe at the beauty of the brute industrial subject seemed clear signs of advanced modernist tendencies.
In moving away from the soft focus and geometric stylization of his recent images, such as Attic of 1921 (MoMA 1902.2001), Weston was discovering a more straightforward approach, one of considered confrontation with the facts of the larger world much like that of his close friend Johan Hagemeyer, who was photographing such modern subjects as smokestacks, telephone wires, and advertisements. Shortly before his trip east, Weston had met R. M. Schindler, the Austrian architect, and had been excited by his unapologetically spare, modern house and its implications for art and design. Weston was also reading avant-garde European art magazines full of images and essays extolling machines and construction. Stimulated by these currents, Weston saw that by the time he got to Ohio he was “ripe to change, was changing, yes changed.”
The visit to Armco was the critical pivot, the hinge between Weston’s Pictorialist past and his modernist future. It marked a clear leave-taking from his bohemian circle in Los Angeles and the first step toward the cosmopolitan connections he made in New York and in Mexico City, where he moved a few months later to live with the Italian actress and artist Tina Modotti. The Armco photographs went with him and became talismans of the sea change, emblematic works that decorated his studio in Mexico, along with a Japanese print and a print by Picasso. When he sent a representation of his best work to the Film und Foto exhibition in Stuttgart in 1929, one of the smokestacks was included.
In the midst of such transformation, Weston maintained tried-and-true darkroom procedures. He had used an enlarger in earlier years but had abandoned the technique because he felt that too much information was lost in the projection. Instead he increasingly favored contact printing. To make the smokestack print, Weston enlarged his 3 ¼ by 4 ¼ inch (8.3 by 10.8 centimeter) original negative onto an 8 by 10 inch (20.3 by 25.4 centimeter) interpositive transparency, which he contact printed to a second sheet of film in the usual way, creating the final 8 by 10 inch negative. Weston was frugal; he was known to economize by purchasing platinum and palladium paper by the roll from Willis and Clements in England and trimming it to size. He exposed a sheet of palladium paper to the sun through the negative and, after processing the print, finished it by applying aqueous retouching media to any flaws. The fragile balance of the photograph’s chemistry, however, is evinced in a bubble-shaped area of cooler tonality hovering over the central stacks. The print was in Modotti’s possession at the time of her death in Mexico City, in 1942.
—Lee Ann Daffner, Maria Morris Hambourg





JAROSLAV RÖSSLER ( CZECH 1902–1990 )
UNTITLED 1924
Pigment Print
Dimensions Image: 23 × 23 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Horace W. Goldsmith Fund Through Robert B. Menschel





3- REINVENTING PHOTOGRAPHY

In 1925, László Moholy-Nagy articulated an idea that became central to the New Vision movement: although photography had been invented 100 years earlier, it was only now being discovered by the avant-garde circles for all its aesthetic possibilities. As products of technological culture, with short histories and no connection to the old fine-art disciplines—which many contemporary artists considered discredited—photography and cinema were seen as truly modern instruments that offered the greatest potential for transforming visual habits. From the photogram to solarization, from negative prints to double exposures, the New Vision photographers explored the medium in countless ways, rediscovering known techniques and inventing new ones. Echoing the cinematic experiments of the same period, this emerging photographic vocabulary was rapidly adopted by the advertising industry, which appreciated the visual efficiency of its bold simplicity. Florence Henri (Swiss, born America, 1893 - 1982), Edward Quigley (American, 1898 - 1977), Franz Roh (German, 1890 - 1965), Franciszka Themerson and Stefan Themerson (British, born Poland, 1907 - 1988 and 1910 - 1988), and František Vobecký (Czech, 1902 - 1991) are among the numerous photographers represented here.




EDMUND KESTING ( GERMAN 1892 – 1970 )
PHOTOGRAM LIGHTBULB 1927
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1927 - 1939
Dimensions Image: 29.6 × 39.7 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection funds, by Exchange
© 2014/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Germany




EL LISSITZKY ( RUSSIAN 1890 – 1941 )
KURT SCHWITTERS 1924
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 10.8 × 9.8 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Shirley C. Burden, by Exchange




ISTVAN KERNY ( HUNGARIAN 1879 – 1963 )
NEPTUNE 1916
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1916–35
Dimensions Image: 16 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Robert Capa, by Exchange




FRANCIS BRUGUIERE  ( AMERICAN 1879 – 1945 )
VIOLENT INTERVENTION 1925 - 1929
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1925 - 1929
Dimensions Image: 24 x 18.9 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection Funds, by Exchange
© 1991 Kenneth H. Bruguière and Kathleen Bruguière Anderson




ALVIN LANGDON COBURN ( AMERICAN 1882 – 1966 )
VORTOGRAPH 1916 - 1917
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 28.2 x 21.2 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Grace M. Mayer Fund




ADOLF NAVARA ( CZECH, ACTIVE C. 1930S)
UNTITLED C. 1930
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date c. 1930–35
Dimensions Image: 29.5 x 22.8 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection Funds, by Exchange




HANS RICHTER ( AMERICAN, BORN GERMANY 1888 – 1976 )
UNTITLED STILL FROM FILM STUDY ( 1928 ) 1927
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 7.3 x 9.8 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther




UNTITLED - FEBRUARY 1931
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1931–39
Dimensions Image: 33.5 x 23.4 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of James N. Rosenberg, by Exchange
 © 2014 Estate of Margaret Bourke-White/Licensed by VAGA, New York
 



HANNES MEYER ( SWISS 1889 – 1954 )
FILM 1926
Two Gelatin Silver Prints Mounted on White Cardboard
Print Date 1926
Dimensions Image: 21.2 × 3.4 cm - Mount: 29.6 × 21 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
© Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin




OSKAR NERLINGER ( GERMAN 1893 – 1969 )
MOTORCYCLE IN THE RACE 1925
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 22 × 17.4 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection Funds, by Exchange
 



STEFAN THEMERSON ( BRITISH, BORN POLAND 1910 – 1988 )
FRANCISZKA THEMERSON ( BRITISH, BORN POLAND 1907 – 1988 )
UNTITLED, FROM MOMENT MUSICAL 1933
Gelatin Silver Prints on White Cardboard
Print Date 1933 - 1935
Dimensions Mount: 37.8 × 39 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Abbott-Levy Collection funds, by exchange
© 2014 Themerson Estate




FRANZ ROH ( GERMAN 1890 – 1965 )
UNTITLED 1928 - 1933
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1928 - 1935
Dimensions Image: 10.1 × 23.3 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
© Estate Franz Roh, Munich
 



MODERN PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE THOMAS WALTHER COLLECTION 1909 - 1949
THE COLLECTION
In the 1920s and ’30s photography underwent a period of exploration, experimentation, technical innovation, and graphic discovery so dramatic that it generated repeated claims that the true age of discovery was not when photography was invented but when it came of age, in this era, as a dynamic, infinitely flexible, and easily transmissible medium. The Thomas Walther Collection concentrates on that second moment of growth. The Walther Collection’s 341 photographs by almost 150 artists, most of them European, together convey a period of collective innovation that is now celebrated as one of the major episodes of modern art.
THE PROJECT
Our research is based on the premise that photographs of this period were not born as disembodied images; they are physical things—discrete objects made by certain individuals at particular moments using specific techniques and materials. Shaped by its origin and creation, the photographic print harbors clues to its maker and making, to the causes it may have served, and to the treatment it has received, and these bits of information, gathered through close examination of the print, offer fresh perspectives on the history of the era. “Object:Photo”—the title of this study—reflects this approach.
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. The results of the project are presented in multiple parts: on the website, in a hard-bound paper catalogue of the entire Thomas Walther Collection (also titled Object:Photo), and through an interdisciplinary symposium focusing on the ways in which the digital age is changing our engagement with historic photographs.

http://www.moma.org/interactives/objectphoto/the_project.html#intro




THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NEW YORK




THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NEW YORK
Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world.
Through the leadership of its Trustees and staff, The Museum of Modern Art manifests this commitment by establishing, preserving, and documenting a collection of the highest order that reflects the vitality, complexity and unfolding patterns of modern and contemporary art; by presenting exhibitions and educational programs of unparalleled significance; by sustaining a library, archives, and conservation laboratory that are recognized as international centers of research; and by supporting scholarship and publications of preeminent intellectual merit.
Central to The Museum of Modern Art’s mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences that it serves. You may read more about MoMA’s entire information to click below link.
http://press.moma.org/about/






THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NEW YORK
DIRECTOR DR. GLENN D. LOWRY












THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NEW YORK
DIRECTOR DR. GLENN D. LOWRY




THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NEW YORK




MODERN PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE THOMAS WALTHER COLLECTION 1909 - 1949
HISTORICAL CONTEXT
The Walther Collection is particularly suited to such a study because its photographs are so various in technique, geography, genre, and materials as to make it a mine of diverse data. The revolutions in technology that made the photography of this period so flexible and responsive to the impulse of the operator threw open the field to all comers. The introduction of the handheld Leica in 1925 (a small camera using strips of 35mm motion-picture film), of enlargers to make positive prints from the Leica’s little negatives, and of easy-to-use photographic papers—each of these was respectively a watershed event. Immediately sensing the potential of these tools, artists began to explore the medium; without any specialized training, painters such as László Moholy-Nagy and Aleksandr Rodchenko could become photographers and teachers almost overnight. Excitedly and with an open sense of possibility, they freely experimented in the darkroom and in the studio, producing negative prints, collages and photomontages, photograms, solarizations, and combinations of these. Legions of serious amateurs also began to photograph, and manufacturers produced more types of cameras with different dimensions and capacities: besides the Leica, there was the Ermanox, which could function in low light, motion-picture cameras that could follow and stop action, and many varieties of medium- and larger-format cameras that could be adapted for easy transport. The industry responded to the expanding range of users and equipment with a bonanza of photographic papers in an assortment of textures, colors, and sizes. Multiple purposes also generated many kinds of prints: best for reproduction in books or newspapers were slick, ferrotyped glossies, unmounted and small enough to mail, while photographs for exhibition were generally larger and mounted to stiff boards. Made by practitioners ranging from amateurs to professional portraitists, journalists, illustrators, designers, critics, and artists of all stripes, the pictures in the Walther Collection are a true representation of the kaleidoscopic multiplicity of photography in this period of diversification.
CONSERVATION SCIENCE
The conservation objectives were manifold: to determine the manner of the photographs’ construction—the material constituents of both the image and its paper— and to test a new methodology, previously applied only to smaller sets of pictures. To this end the conservation team gathered literature, magazines, advertisements, and broadsides of the period—tracking the appearance and history of once familiar products and techniques, so many now given up to history—and launched into a suite of technical analyses for each photograph in the collection. Chris McGlinchey, the Museum’s Sally and Michael Gordon Conservation Scientist, who had pioneered the use of handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) devices on photographs in 2001, set to work, and Ana Martins, Associate Conservation Scientist, statistically evaluated the immense data sets that the research had produced. Surface texture, a special line of investigation for Paul Messier, independent conservator, and Jim Coddington, the Museum’s Chief Conservator, drew on a body of research in imaging systems built up by, among others, the Cultural Heritage Imaging group in San Francisco, using techniques of polynomial mapping and reflectance transformation imaging. Messier’s modifications of these methods enabled the study, documentation, and sharing of the surfaces of photographs by the same artists in other museum collections. The success of documenting photographs from different collections with these kinds of reproducible results not only raised the bar for standards of collaboration but made possible future comparisons that adhere to these published methods and procedures. MoMA was thus positioned not only to synthesize and mine the largest body of raw data on a group of photographs ever gathered, but to extend that effort beyond its own walls.
http://www.moma.org/interactives/objectphoto/the_project.html#intro
You may visit a comprehensive web page that prepare for the exhibition of Modern Photographs From the Thomas Walther Collection at Moma to read all the essays, artist’s information and to see all the photographs with there knowledge to click below special link.

http://www.moma.org/interactives/objectphoto/#home






THE ARTIST’S LIFE
Photography is particularly well suited to capturing the distinctive nuances of the human face, and photographers delighted in and pushed the boundaries of portraiture throughout the 20th century. The Thomas Walther Collection features a great number of portraits of artists and self-portraits as varied as the individuals portrayed. Additionally, the collection conveys a free-spirited sense of community and daily life, highlighted here with photographs made by André Kertész and by students and faculty at the Bauhaus. When the Hungarian-born Kertész moved to Paris in 1925, he couldn’t afford to purchase photographic paper, so he would print on less expensive postcard stock. These prints, whose small scale requires that the viewer engage with them intimately, function as miniature windows into the lives of Kertész’s bohemian circle of friends. The group of photographs made at the Bauhaus in the mid-1920s, before the medium was formally integrated into the school’s curriculum, similarly expresses friendships and everyday life captured and printed

in an informal manner. Portraits by Claude Cahun (French, 1894 - 1954), Lotte Jacobi (American, born Germany, 1896 - 1990), Lucia Moholy (British, born Czechoslovakia, 1894 - 1989), Man Ray (American, 1890 - 1976), August Sander (German, 1876 - 1964) and Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879 - 1973) are among the highlights of this gallery.




ANDRE KERTESZ ( AMERICAN, BORN HUNGARY  1894 – 1985 )
MONDRIAN'S GLASSES AND PIPE 1926
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1926–c. 1928
Dimensions Image: 7.9 × 9.3 cm - Sheet: 8.5 × 13.6 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Grace M. Mayer Fund
© Estate of André Kertész




GEORG MUCHE ( GERMAN 1895 – 1987 )
REFLECTION: THE WEAVING WORKSHOP IN THE BALL 1921
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1921–25
Dimensions Image: 15.9 × 11.9 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
© Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin




EL LISSITZKY ( RUSSIAN 1890 – 1941 )
SELF-PORTRAIT - 1924
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1924
Dimensions Image: 13.9 × 8.9 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Shirley C. Burden, by exchange
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
 



GERMAINE KRULL ( DUTCH, BORN GERMANY 1897 – 1985 )
JEAN COCTEAU 1929
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 22.3 × 16.5 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther




GUSTAV KLUTSIS ( LATVIAN 1895 – 1938 )
UNTITLED  1926
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 8.9 × 6.5 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection Funds, by Exchange




IWAO YAMAWAKI ( JAPANESE 1898 – 1987 )
UNTITLED 1931
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 22 x 16.5 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection Funds, by Exchange
 



WALTER A. PETERHANS ( AMERICAN, BORN GERMANY 1897 – 1960 )
ANDOR WEININGER, BERLIN 1930
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1955–86
Dimensions Image: 21.7 × 15.6 cm - Sheet: 22.5 × 16.4 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
© Estate Walter Peterhans, Museum Folkwang, Essen
  



GERTRUD ARNDT ( GERMAN 1903 – 2000 )
AT THE MASTERS’ HOUSES 1929 - 1930
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.8 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther




LORE FEININGER ( GERMAN 1901 – 1991 )
ERICH SALOMON 1929
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.5 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
 Gift of Thomas Walther




ANDRE KERTESZ ( AMERICAN, BORN HUNGARY  1894 – 1985 )
LÉGER STUDIO - 1927
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1927 - 1929
Dimensions Image: 10.3 × 7.9 cm - Sheet: 10.5 × 8.1 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
© Estate of André Kertész




ANDRE KERTESZ ( AMERICAN, BORN HUNGARY  1894 – 1985 )
GÉZA BLATTNER 1925
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1925–35
Dimensions Image: 7.7 × 8.2 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
© Estate of André Kertész
 



5- BETWEEN SURREALISM & MAGIC REALISM

In the mid-1920s, European artistic movements ranging from Surrealism to New Objectivity moved away from a realist approach by highlighting the strange in the familiar or trying to reconcile dreams and reality. Echoes of these concerns, centered on the human figure, can be found in this gallery. Some photographers used anti-naturalistic methods—capturing hyperreal, close-up details; playing with scale; and rendering the body as landscape—to challenge the viewer’s perception. Others, in line with Sigmund Freud’s definition of “the uncanny” as an effect that results from the blurring of distinctions between the real and the fantastic, offered visual plays on life and the lifeless, the animate and the inanimate, confronting the human body with surrogates in the form of dolls, mannequins, and masks. Photographers influenced by Surrealism, such as Maurice Tabard, subjected the human figure to distortions and transformations by experimenting with photographic techniques either while capturing the image or while developing it in the darkroom. Additional photographers on view include Aenne Biermann (German, 1898 -  1933), Jacques-André Boiffard (French, 1902 - 1961), Max Burchartz (German, 1887 - 1961), Helmar Lerski (Swiss, 1871 - 1956), and Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Polish, 1885 - 1939).




ANDRE KERTESZ ( AMERICAN, BORN HUNGARY  1894 – 1985 )
DISTORTION #126 - 1933
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1933 - 1939
Dimensions Image: 20.3 × 34 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
 © Estate of André Kertész




HERBERT BAYER ( AMERICAN, BORN AUSTRIA 1900 - 1985)
HUMANLY IMPOSSIBLE 1932
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 38.9 × 29.3 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Acquired Through the Generosity of Howard Stein




MAX BURCHARTZ ( GERMAN 1887 – 1961 )
EYE 1928
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 30.2 x 40 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Acquired Through the Generosity of Peter Norton
 



MAURICE TABARD ( FRENCH 1897 – 1984 )
SOLARIZED FILM 1936
Gelatin Silver Print - Print Date 1936 - 1955
Dimensions Image: 24.1 x 12 cm - Mount: 24 × 18 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Robert Shapazian, by Exchange




MAURICE TABARD ( FRENCH 1897 – 1984 )
UNTITLED 1928
( HAND ON WALL WITH SHADOW )
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 17.7 x 22.9 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther




RAOUL HAUSMANN
UNTITLED - FEBRUARY 1931
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1931-1933
Dimensions Image: 13.7 × 11.3 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
 © 2014 Raoul Hausmann/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris




RAOUL HAUSMANN
UNTITLED - FEBRUARY 1931
DESCRIPTION
As a key member of the Berlin-based Dadaists, between 1918 and 1922 Raoul Hausmann exhibited assemblage sculptures, collages, and photomontages made with magazines and newspaper clippings. Being a Dadaist, he dissociated himself from photography— considered a positivist medium—in a 1921 unpublished manifesto titled “Wir sind nicht die Photographen” (We are not the photographers), but by the late twenties he had taken up photography in earnest, making straightforward images of landscapes and plants before turning to more experimental works on light and optics.
Hausmann made this untitled image in February 1931, during his intensive years of experimental photography and prior to his departure from Berlin in 1933. The model is his second wife, Hedwig Mankiewitz-Hausmann, who is pictured in other of his photographs from early that year. This print is among Hausmann’s more modest small formats from the early 1930s. He enlarged the image onto double weight paper with a semireflective surface and later trimmed the print; Hausmann printed on a range of paper types but favored German Agfa-Brovira papers. On the verso, the presence of adhesive residues along the top and a faint dark spot at the top center, possibly due to adhesive residue, indicates that this print was previously attached to a support, perhaps as part of a photomontage or other presentation.
Hausmann took at least two other images of this model and mirror, most likely at the same time. He used one in an untitled photomontage exhibited in Fotomontage,a show organized by his friend César Domela-Nieuwenhuis and mounted in April–May 1931 at the Staatliche Kunstbibliothek in Berlin. Hausmann published this image in the Cologne-based review A bis Z, in May 1931. In 1946 he included another version in two other photomontages: L’Acteur (now in the collection of Institut Valencià d’Art Modern) and an untitled work in which he kept only a part of the enlarged eye. In all the images, the reflection in the shaving mirror magnifies the organ of vision, the eye, in line with many avant-garde photographic works of that period. The round mirror becomes a metaphor for the camera’s mechanical lens, which enables the operator to see the world literally larger than life. In another untitled work (MoMA 1689.2001), Hausmann used a lens instead of a mirror to achieve a similar magnification.
—Quentin Bajac, Hanako Murata





JOHAN NIEGEMAN (DUTCH 1902 – 1977 )
UNTITLED 1926 - 1929
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 7.5 × 10.5 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther




UMBO ( OTTO UMBEHR ) ( GERMAN 1902 – 1980 )
WARRIORLIKE FACE 1926 - 1927
Gelatin Silver Print - Print Date 1926–27
Dimensions Image: 17.3 × 12.2 cm - Sheet: 17.7 × 12.9 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
© 2014 Umbo/Gallery Kicken Berlin/Phyllis Umbehr/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn




HARRY LACHMAN ( AMERICAN 1886 – 1975 )
UNTITLED STILL FROM THE MAGICIAN ( 1926 ) 1925
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 22.7 x 28.8 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther




6- DYNAMICS OF THE CITY
In his 1928 manifesto “The Paths of Contemporary Photography,” Aleksandr Rodchenko advocated for a new photographic vocabulary that would be more in step with the pace of modern urban life and the changes in perception it implied. Rodchenko was not alone in this quest: most of the avant-garde photographers of the 1920s and 1930s were city dwellers, striving to translate the novel and shocking experience of everyday life into photographic images. Equipped with newly invented handheld cameras, they used unusual vantage points and took photos as they moved, struggling to re-create the constant flux of images that confronted the pedestrian. Reflections in windows and vitrines, blurry images of quick motions, double exposures, and fragmentary views portray the visual cacophony of the metropolis. The work of Berenice Abbott (American, 1898 -  1991), Alvin Langdon Coburn (American, 1882 - 1966), Germanie Krull (Dutch, born Germany, 1897 - 1985), Alexander Hackenschmied (Czech, 1907 - 2004), Umbo (German, 1902 - 1980), and
Imre Kinszki (Hungarian, 1901 - 1945) is featured in this final gallery.

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1496




ANDRE KERTESZ ( AMERICAN, BORN HUNGARY  1894 – 1985 )
GRANDS BOULEVARDS 1926
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1926 - 1935
Dimensions Image: 7.8 x 10.9 cm - Sheet: 8.4 × 12.9 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
 © Estate of André Kertész




ANTON BRUEHL ( AMERICAN, BORN AUSTRALIA 1900 – 1982 )
UNTITLED 1929
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1929–55
Dimensions Image: 25.3 × 20.2 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
© 2014 Anton Bruehl Estate




CHARLES SHEELER( AMERICAN 1883 – 1965 )
FORD PLANT, RIVER ROUGE, BLAST FURNACE AND DUST CATCHER 1927
Gelatin Silver Print - Print Date 1927 - 1944
Dimensions Image: 24.1 × 19.2 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Horace W. Goldsmith Fund through Robert B. Menschel and gift of Lincoln Kirstein, by Exchange
© 2014 The Lane Collection




CESAR DOMELA – NIEUWENHUIS ( DUTCH 1900 – 1992 )
HAMBURG, GERMANY'S GATEWAY TO THE WORLD 1930
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1930–32
Dimensions Image: 40.3 × 41.9 cm - Mount: 48.5 × 49.9 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection funds, by exchange
© 2014 César Domela/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.




WALKER EVANS ( AMERICAN 1903 – 1975 )
VOTIVE CANDLES, NEW YORK CITY 1929 - 1930
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 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




FLORENCE HENRI ( SWISS, BORN AMERICA 1893 – 1982 )
UNTITLED 1928 - 1930
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 9.1 × 12 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Eulabee Dix, by Exchange




J. JAY HIRZ ( AMERICAN )
BROOKLYN BRIDGE IN RAINY WEATHER 1927
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 24.2 × 19.5 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther




LEE MILLER ( AMERICAN 1907 – 1977 )
UNTITLED 1929 - 1932
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1929–39
Dimensions Image: 21.3 × 24.8 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. The Family of Man Fund
© 2014 Lee Miller Archives, England




MARJORIE CONTENT ( AMERICAN 1895 – 1984 )
STEAMSHIP PIPES, PARIS
Winter 1931
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1931–65
Dimensions Image: 9.7 × 6.8 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Andreas Feininger, by exchange
© Estate of Marjorie Content




JAROSLAV ROSSLER ( CZECH 1902 – 1990 )
UNTITLED 1924
Gelatin Silver Print With Pencil and Black Ink
Dimensions Image: 24.1 x 22.8 cm
Medium Gelatin Silver Print With Pencil and Black Ink
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Robert B. Menschel Fund, by exchange
© 2014 Sylva Vitove-Rösslerova




UMBO ( OTTO UMBEHR ) ( GERMAN 1902 – 1980 )
MYSTERY OF THE STREET 1928
Gelatin Silver Print - Print Date 1928- 1932
Dimensions Image: 29 x 23.5 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Shirley C. Burden, by Exchange
© 2014 Sylva Vitove-Rösslerova




UMBO ( OTTO UMBEHR ) ( GERMAN 1902 – 1980 )
MYSTERY OF THE STREET 1928
DESCRIPTION
Trained at the Bauhaus under Johannes Itten, a master of expressivity, Berlin-based photographer Umbo (born Otto Umbehr) believed that intuition was the source of creativity. To this belief, he added Constructivist structural strategies absorbed from Theo Van Doesburg, El Lissitzky, and others in Berlin in the early twenties. Their influence is evident in this picture’s diagonal, abstract construction and its spatial disorientation. It is also classic Umbo, encapsulating his intuitive vision of the world as a resource of poetic, often funny, ironic, or dark bulletins from the social unconscious.
After he left the Bauhaus, Umbo worked as assistant to Walther Ruttmann on his film Berlin, Symphony of a Great City 1926. In 1928, photographing from his window either very early or very late in the day and either waiting for his “actors” to achieve a balanced composition or, perhaps, positioning them as a movie director would, Umbo exposed three negatives. He had an old 5 by 7 inch (12.7 by 17.8 centimeter) stand camera and a 9 by 12 centimeter (3 9/16 by 4 ¾ inch) Deckrullo Contessa-Nettle camera, but which he used for these overhead views is not known, as he lost all his prints and most negatives in the 1943 bombing of Berlin. The resulting images present a world in which the shadows take the active role. Umbo made the insubstantial rule the corporeal and the dark dominate the light through a simple but inspired inversion: he mounted the pictures upside down (note the signature in ink in the lower right).
In 1928–29, Umbo was a founding photographer at Dephot (Deutscher Photodienst), a seminal photography agency in Berlin dedicated to creating socially relevant and visually fascinating photoessays, an idea originated by Erich Solomon. Simon Guttmann, who directed the business, hired creative nonconformists, foremost among them the bohemian Umbo, who slept in the darkroom; Umbo in turn drew the brothers Lore Feininger and Lyonel Feininger to the agency, which soon also boasted Robert Capa and Felix H. Man. Dephot hired Dott, the best printer in Berlin, and it was he who made the large exhibition prints, such as this one, ordered by New York gallerist Julien Levy when he visited the agency in 1931. Umbo showed thirty-nine works, perhaps also printed by Dott, in the 1929 exhibition Film und Foto, and he put Guttmann in touch with the Berlin organizer of the show; accordingly, Dephot was the source for some images in the accompanying book, Es kommt der neue Fotograf! (Here comes the new photographer!). Levy introduced Umbo’s photographs to New York in Surréalisme (January 1932) and showcased them again at the Julien Levy Gallery, together with images by Herbert Bayer, Jacques-André Boiffard, Roger Parry, and Maurice Tabard, in his 1932 exhibition Modern European Photography.
—Maria Morris Hambourg, Hanako Murata





RAOUL HAUSMANN ( GERMAN, BORN AUSTRIA 1886 – 1971 )
UNTITLED C. 1930
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1960 - 70
Dimensions Image: 18.2 × 22.6 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Horace W. Goldsmith Fund through Robert B.
© 2014 Raoul Hausmann/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris




PAUL CITROEN ( DUTCH, BORN GERMANY 1896 – 1983 )
METROPOLIS 1923
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 20.3 × 15.3 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther
© 2014 Paul Citroen/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/Pictoright, Amsterdam




IMRE KINSZKI ( HUNGARIAN 1901 – 1945 )
UNTITLED C. 1930
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 8.5 x 11.6 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Thomas Walther




ALEKSANDR RODCHENKO ( RUSSIAN 1891 – 1956 )
DEMONSTRATION 1932
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 29.6 × 22.8 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Shirley C. Burden, by Exchange




FRED KORTH (AMERICAN, BORN GERMANY 1902 – 1983 )
UNTITLED  C. 1928
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 5.5 × 7.8 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of Robert and Joyce Menschel, by Exchange
 



DZIGA VERTOV ( RUSSIAN, 1895 – 1954 )
UNTITLED 1927 - 1928
Gelatin Silver Print - Print Date 1927 - 1932
Dimensions Image: 13.4 × 8.9 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection Funds, by Exchange
 



LASZLO MOHOLY - NAGY ( AMERICAN, BORN HUNGARY. 1895 – 1946 )
BERLIN, RADIO TOWER 1928
Gelatin Silver Print
Print Date 1928–36
Dimensions Image: 38.1 × 27.8 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn




SASHA STONE ( AMERICAN, BORN RUSSIA 1895 – 1940 )
THE EINSTEIN TOWER IN POTSDAM (THE COELOSTAT IN THE UPPER DOME 
THAT CATCHES AND PROJECTS THE LIGHT OF THE STARS INTO THE LABORATORY) 1928
Gelatin Silver Print - Print Date 1928 - 1935
Dimensions Image: 23.1 × 17.4 cm
Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection.
Abbott-Levy Collection Funds, by Exchange
 



GERMAINE KRULL ( DUTCH, BORN GERMANY 1897–1985)
UNTITLED 1926 - 1928
Gelatin Silver Print
Dimensions: 16.9 x 22.9 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Walther Collection.
Gift of David H. McAlpin, by Exchange




MODERN PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE THOMAS WALTHER COLLECTION 1909 - 1949
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NEW YORK
December 13, 2014 - April 19, 2015