Front / Recto

  • Title Lines of Modern Industry: Cooling Tower (Linien der modernen Industrie: Kühlturmanlage)
  • Negative Date 1920–29
  • Print Date 1920–32
  • Medium Gelatin silver print
  • Dimensions Image 3 3/8 × 4 1/2" (8.5 × 11.5 cm)
    Sheet 3 7/16 × 4 11/16" (8.8 × 11.9 cm)
  • Place Taken Berlin
  • Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Albert Renger-Patzsch, by exchange
  • MoMA Accession Number 1812.2001

Back / Verso

  • Mount Type No mount
  • Marks and Inscriptions Inscribed in pencil on sheet verso, top: Linien der modernen Industrie: Kühlturmanlage. Stamped in red ink on sheet verso, center: Original-Aufnahme/von/R. Petschow/Berlin-Steglitz/Stadtpark 3/Alle Rechte vorbehalten. Inscribed in red pencil on sheet verso, bottom-right corner: x.
  • Provenance The artist, possibly Berlin; possibly by inheritance to the artist's estate [1]. Helmut Gernsheim [2]; to Galerie Berinson, Berlin, 1994 [3]; purchased by Thomas Walther, New York; purchased by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2001.
    [1] Egidio Marzona, conversation with Simon Bieling, Berlin, August 2005; and Hendrik Berinson, e-mail to Maria Morris Hambourg, April 15, 2013. Berinson has said that there is no Petschow estate and no family as far as he knows.
    [2] MacGill/Walther 2001(3), p. 17; and Berinson, conversation with Bieling, Galerie Berinson, Berlin, February 18, 2005.
    [3] MacGill/Walther 2001(3), p. 17


  • Surface Sheen Semireflective
  • Techniques Contact print
  • PTM
    View of the recto of the artwork made using reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) software, which exaggerates subtle surface details and renders the features of the artwork plainly visible. Department of Conservation, MoMA
  • Micro-raking
    Raking-light close-up image, as shot. Area of detail is 6.7 x 6.7 mm. Department of Conservation, MoMA
    Raking-light close-up image, processed. Processing included removal of color, equalization of the histogram, and sharpening, all designed to enhance visual comparison. Department of Conservation, MoMA

Paper Material

  • Format Metric
  • Weight Single weight
  • Thickness (mm) 0.19
  • UV Fluorescence Recto negative
    Verso negative
  • Fiber Analysis Softwood bleached sulfite 42%
    Hardwood bleached sulfite 2%
    Rag 52%
    Bast 5%
    Softwood bleached sulfite
  • Material Techniques Developing-out paper
  • XRF

    This work was determined to be a gelatin silver print via X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry.

    The following elements have been positively identified in the work, through XRF readings taken from its recto and verso (or from the mount, where the verso was not accessible):

    • Recto: P, S, Ca, Zn, Sr, Ag, Ba
    • Verso: Al, Si, S, K, Ca, Fe, Zn, Sr, Ba

    The graphs below show XRF spectra for three areas on the print: two of the recto—from areas of maximum and minimum image density (Dmax and Dmin)—and one of the verso or mount. The background spectrum represents the contribution of the XRF instrument itself. The first graph shows elements identified through the presence of their characteristic peaks in the lower energy range (0 to 8 keV). The second graph shows elements identified through the presence of their characteristic peaks in the higher energy range (8 to 40 keV).

    Areas examined: Recto (Dmax: black; Dmin: green), Verso or Mount (blue), Background (red)
    Elements identified: Al, Si, P, S, K, Ca, Ag, Ba
    Areas examined: Recto (Dmax: black; Dmin: green), Verso or Mount (blue), Background (red)
    Elements identified: Fe, Zn, Sr, Ag

In Context

Related Images

Spread from László Moholy-Nagy. Von Material zu Architektur (From material to architecture). Bauhausbücher 14. Munich: A. Langen Verlag, 1929. Left: Generator in Construction (Generator in konstruktion). Right: Robert Petschow. Zschornewitz-Golpa, Cooling Towers of the Large Power Plant (Zschornewitz-Golpa, Kühltürme des Grosskraftwerks). © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Historical Publications

  • Moholy-Nagy, László. Von Material zu Architektur, Bauhausbücher 14, pl. 198 (as Zschornewitz-Golpa Kühltürme des Großkraftwerks). Munich: A. Langen Verlag, 1929.

Historical Exhibitions

  • Städtische Ausstellungshallen, Stuttgart. Internationale Ausstellung des Deutschen Werkbunds Film und Foto (Fifo) (no. 819, as Günther Petschow, Linien der modernen Industrie [Die gähnended Reihen einer modernen Kühlturmanlage]). Organized by Deutscher Werkbund. May 18–July 7, 1929. (traveling exhibition)

Related People

Related Links

For best results, please enable JavaScript.