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MoMA

AUTHOR: JENNIFER TOBIAS

Posts by Jennifer Tobias
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Have a Cow, Man

Recently I explored a collection of mail art held by the MoMA Library and put together a small show titled Analog Network: Mail Art, 1960–1999. It’s on view in the Education and Research Building through January 5. Read more

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September 20, 2012  |  Library and Archives
The Tyranny of the Alphabet Book

Mary Mills Lyall and Earl Hargvey Lyall. The Cubies’ ABC (New York: Putnam, 1913. Reprint, 2010)

A is for A show I just Assembled About Artists’ Alphabet books. Read more

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August 2, 2012  |  Behind the Scenes, Library and Archives
MoMA Library Explores Photography Manuals

Kids, animals, and pretty girls: amateur photography publications are full of them.

I recently discovered that it’s been that way since the earliest years of photography Read more

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Where Questions Go

Adam, Andre, Daquan, Dashawn, Duval, Jaquan, Joel, Lashawn, Pablo, Rashawn, Reggie, Rowlando, Timothy, Travis, and Tyre. Climbing the Gears of Life. 2009. Courtesy Bronx Residential Center and Artistic Noise

My colleague Lauren Adelman stopped by the reference desk a while back. “What do you have on murals?” she asked. I knew this would be interesting. Read more

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July 20, 2011  |  Film, Library and Archives
Film Special Collections, Now 100% More Findable!

"Those Pictures at the 'Movies' started all my troubles," from a postcard series published by the SAS Company, 1914. The Museum of Modern Art, Department of Film Special Collections

Okay, they were previously 0% findable. Still, by adding the MoMA Film Department Special Collections inventory to the MoMA website, film researchers can now discover over 100 primary-source collections on film-related figures and topics.  Read more

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April 28, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
Hidden Kitchens

Virgilio Forchiassin. Spazio Vivo (Living Space) Mobile Kitchen Unit. 1968

Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen addresses the role of the kitchen in 20th-century life. But what does modern design mean if you don’t have a kitchen? If you live, say, alone in a wagon in the Nevada desert? Or you reside in your taxicab, and you want Brazilian food that reminds you of home? Read more

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April 21, 2011  |  Library and Archives
Bookeye for a Fly-By
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The Gadgetry of the Commons

Grete Schütte-Lihotzky’s 1926–27 Frankfurt Kitchen incorporated socialist ideology into its efficient design. But it assumed a private kitchen. During a brief period shortly afterwards, idealistic Soviet architects took the idea one step further, experimenting with communal kitchens. Read more

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January 26, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions
So You Want to Design a Kitchen

From left: Radford’s Details of Building Construction, 1911; Frankfurt Kitchen, 1926-27; Architectural Graphic Standards, 1941; Architectural Graphic Standards, 1951

It’s 1926 and, like Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, you want to design a functional kitchen. If you’re in the U.S. or Great Britain, you might then turn to a standards manual. At the time, there was Radford’s Details of Building Construction (1911). Then, five years after Schütte-Lihotzky’s Frankfurt Kitchen, two underemployed architects created an expanded manual more suited to 20th-century life. Their Architectural Graphic Standards (1932) has been continuously revised ever since. Read more

The Ad Reinhardt You Never Knew

Ad Reinhardt. Walt Nettie Walt Nettie Walt Nettie Merry Xmas Happy New Year 55! Best Wishes. Postcard, 1954. Courtesy Anna Reinhardt.

At the MoMA Library we recently unearthed an intriguing box of ephemera by artist Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967). The material was gifted to the Library by Walter and Nettie Wittman, who were friends of the artist. The letters, photographs, tear sheets, and some original commercial illustrations form a vignette of the artist’s professional and personal life, glimpsed from the perspective of Mr. Wittman, a lawyer residing in New Jersey.

Reinhardt and Walter Wittman met as students at Columbia University. We get a taste of their initial friendship with a 1931 notebook page documenting Reinhardt’s translation efforts in freshman German class (“In paradise what have I to do win?”) Read more