• MoMA, Floor 5, 501 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

“What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open,” said the French poet Charles Baudelaire in 1869. During the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution caused large urban centers to grow as never before. Artists were fascinated by tall steel buildings, dense traffic, and bustling crowds, where the city street transformed into a theater stage of anonymous actors.

Although this gallery includes paintings, engravings, and posters, it is mainly organized around works in lens-based mediums from MoMA’s collection. Works made in Paris, New York, San Francisco, Guangzhou, London, and Wuppertal show how the newly invented technologies of photography and cinema were well-suited to creating a spontaneous, dynamic representation of the modern city.

Organized by Oluremi Onabanjo, Associate Curator, and Clément Chéroux, former Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography, with Kaitlin Booher, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, Antoinette Roberts, Curatorial Assistant, and Dana Ostrander, former Curatorial Assistant, Department of Photography.

35 works online

Artists

Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

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).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].