Installation view of The Printed Picture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar

In October 2008, MoMA published The Printed Picture by Richard Benson, which traces the changing technology of making and distributing pictures from the Renaissance to the present. From woodblocks and engravings to photographs and photo-reproductions of all kinds to today’s digital innovations, the publication surveys the full range of techniques for producing images in multiple copies. This exhibition includes more than one hundred works discussed in the book, supplemented by dozens of outstanding works in a variety of mediums from the Museum’s collection. Augmenting the display are stunning details of dozens of pictures magnified fifty times to reveal the structure of the image. Concise accounts of particular processes reveal how the process by which a picture is made can shape its meaning. The broad scope of the exhibition evokes the enormous social impact of multiple images.

Organized by Peter Galassi, Chief Curator, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art, and Richard Benson.

The book is made possible by The John Szarkowski Publications Fund.

Installation views

We used machine learning to identify some of the artworks pictured.

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at digital@moma.org.

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.