Unknown photographer. Coronado Beach, California. c. 1930
Unknown photographer

Coronado Beach, California

c. 1930
Not on view
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
4 3/16 x 2 3/8" (10.7 x 6 cm)
Credit
Lois and Bruce Zenkel Fund
Object number
200.1991
Department
Photography

Notice in this picture the way that the heel of the woman's right shoe meets the shadow of the toe of her left shoe, which itself barely touches the left edge of the image. It is a beautiful pictorial design, as satisfying to contemplate as it would have been difficult to predict. Recognizing and enjoying it does not keep us, the viewers, from sharing in the fun of the couple on Coronado Beach, or from wondering what became of them and their friend with the camera, who appears as a shadow in the foreground. Indeed, the special pleasure of the picture is that it gives us both things at once: the exuberant couple, who were there on the beach, and the design, which came into existence only when the photograph was made.

The picture is a snapshot, and it is unlikely that the untutored photographer who made it sought, or expected, the remarkable result or would have been able to repeat it. Nevertheless, exquisite accidents of this sort have played an important role in the evolution of the art of photography, by teaching ambitious photographers to appreciate and anticipate them.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 136

Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource

Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource