Posts by Jennifer Tobias
Modernism in the Air

Fairchild Aerial Surveys. Fairchild Plant, N.Y. 1949. New York State Archive

Aerial Imagery in Print, 1860 to Today, the current MoMA Library exhibition, examines the use of traditional publishing in cultivating a discourse around aerial imagery.

A section of the show focuses on 20th-century popularization of aerial photography, including its development as a tool for land use by architects, developers, governments, and the agriculture industry. Looking at some of these uses more closely reveals a persuasive element, especially regarding subtle debate about modernist approaches to architecture and planning. Read more

February 18, 2015  |  Events & Programs
This Page Has Some Issues
John Latham. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1971. 16mm film (black and white, silent), 6:33 min. The Museum of New York. Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro Fund and Committee on Media Funds. © 2015 John Latham

John Latham. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1971. 16mm film (black and white, silent), 6:33 min. The Museum of New York. Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro Fund and Committee on Media Funds. © 2015 John Latham

In a London gallery, a volume of an encyclopedia lies open. Someone snaps a shutter, exposing the spread to a single frame of film. Someone turns the page and the process is repeated, page by page, volume by volume, over the course of the exhibition. One imagines looking on as the tissuey, Bible-like paper pages are turned, wanting to join in and snap a few frames. The result is John Latham’s 1971 film Encyclopaedia Britannica. Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 21, 2011  |  Library and Archives
Bookeye for a Fly-By
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