May 31, 2012  |  Artists, Events & Programs
An Invitation to See

MoMA educator Larissa Bailiff leads an Art inSight program. Photo: Kirsten Schroeder

At MoMA we strive to enable all visitors to find meaning and pleasure in modern and contemporary art. This includes people who are blind or have low vision, who are able to enjoy the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions via touch and visual description through Touch Tours, via MoMA Audio: Visual Descriptions, and in our monthly Art inSight program.

In the free Art inSight program—which takes place on Tuesdays when the Museum is closed to the public, so as to avoid the crowds—specially trained MoMA educators share detailed visual descriptions of works of art. By providing vivid descriptions of key visual elements, the educator aims to paint a picture in the mind’s eye, engaging a viewer who is blind or has low vision. These visual elements include the standard wall-label information, a general overview of the work itself (including size subject, form, and color), and details about the artist’s technique. After program participants are given the chance to ask questions to further refine their visual understanding of the work, the educator shares art-historical information about the work and facilitates a dialogue among the group, eliciting their thoughts and reactions.

Cindy Sherman. Untitled #479. 1975. Twenty-three hand-colored gelatin silver prints, 20 1/2 x 33 1/2" (52.1 x 85.1 cm) overall. Dorothy and Peter Waldt. © 2012 Cindy Sherman

Last month Art inSight focused on MoMA’s Cindy Sherman retrospective. Once in the exhibition, the group took seats in front of Sherman’s Untitled #479 (1975) (above). MoMA educator Joan Pachner described Sherman in her guise, and one participant commented that the subject of transforming identity was “easy to relate to.” Another person with a guide dog said that each picture is like a short story. When Joan asked the group why they thought Sherman chooses not to title her works, someone said it was because “she wants us to use our imaginations.” When viewing the Untitled Film Stills, the group spoke of the experience of living in New York, where each neighborhood has a distinct feel, story, and identity.

Joan gave the participants time to get up close to the works to use any residual vision they might have to look more closely. In the gallery with Sherman’s “centerfolds” series, after looking at the photo of a sad girl on the couch staring at the phone, someone asked, “Why doesn’t she pick up the phone and just call HIM?” Everyone laughed.

The group was running out of time, so we had to wrap up. In front of the elevators, a woman thanked Joan, telling her, “With your guidance, I have a new appreciation for the show.” If the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art is central to MoMA’s mission, then the goal of this program is to enhance and enrich that experience for a wider audience. One need not have eyesight to see. For proof, spend a few minutes with this video (with or without audio description).

If you or anyone you know might be interested in joining us for the Art inSight program, visit our website or contact us at

May 29, 2012  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess

I Confess. 1952. USA. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

These notes accompany the screenings of Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess on May 30 and 31 and June 1 in Theater 3.

Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980) has thus far been represented in our series by Blackmail (1929) and Notorious Read more

May 25, 2012  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I–XVIII

In the video interview above, American photographer Taryn Simon talks about her powerful four-year project A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I–XVIII (2008–11), currently on view at The Museum of Modern Art. Read more

May 24, 2012  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Prayer Companion: Keeping Prayer Pertinent in the Digital Age

Market Buzz: Digesting Euro Turmoil……….Monsters laughed during gang rape……….Regime bulldozers pave space for Euro vision……….I feel everything will be okay……….EU to cash in on Libya………..Somali radio reporter murdered………..Dancers urge action on anorexia……….. Read more

MoMA and MoMA PS1 Present: The Cross-Museum Collective

The Cross-Museum Collective hanging out in their natural environment—the galleries at MoMA PS1

This spring, MoMA and MoMA PS1 joined forces to create a cross-museum educational program for teen alumni of previous MoMA courses. Called the Cross-Museum Collective, Read more

May 22, 2012  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Federico Fellini’s I Vitelloni (The Young and the Passionate)

I Vitelloni (The Young and the Passionate). 1953. Italy. Directed by Federico Fellini

These notes accompany the screenings of Federico Fellini’s I Vitelloni (The Young and the Passionate) on May 23, 24, and 25 in Theater 3.

For many Americans, Federico Fellini (1920–1993) is the very definition of foreign filmmaker. Read more

May 21, 2012  |  Intern Chronicles, Viewpoints
A Seamless Whole: New Conceptions of Time and Space in Japan

“The world is one, a seamless whole, for those who can see it; for those who can learn to observe, to regard, to understand.”—Donald Richie

The hallway leading into Kurenboh, a "meditation gallery" attached to the Chohouin Buddhist Temple of Kuramae, Tokyo

As I emerged from Kurenboh, a gallery tucked away in the Kuramae area of Tokyo, the words of Donald Richie, former Curator of Film at MoMA (1969–72), resonated in my mind. Read more

May 18, 2012  |  Behind the Scenes, Film
Casablanca: A Case Study in the Best Surviving Original Film Material

Poster for Casablanca. 1943. USA. Directed by Michael Curtiz

There is no more beloved American film than Casablanca (1943). In 1989 Casablanca was selected for inclusion on the National Film Registry, a designation reserved for films considered to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Read more

May 16, 2012  |  Tech
What Do You Want from

A view of the home page

I just came back from Museums and the Web 2012, an annual conference about the intersection of museums and technology. Museum staff from around the world presented case studies on innovative technology projects in their institutions. Read more

May 15, 2012  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon

High Noon. 1952. USA. Directed by Fred Zinnemann

These notes accompany the screenings of Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon on May 16, 17, and 18 in Theater 3.

Fred Zinnemann (1907–1997) fits comfortably into a group with such directors as Rouben Mamoulian (Applause), Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front) Read more