Posts by Jennifer Tobias
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
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
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
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
Okay, animation isn’t the primary function of the MoMA Library’s new face-up book scanner/copier. But it gives an idea of how it works and image quality. If you think about it, turning books upside-down to copy pages is counterintuitive—and really bad for preserving books. The “Bookeye” is designed to make quality images while minimizing stress on bound materials. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but even tech-shy researchers are using it. Read more
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
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
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