The Object:Photo website is an interactive complement to the Thomas Walther Collection exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
In 2001, the Museum of Modern Art acquired more than 300 iconic photographs from Thomas Walther’s private collection. Spanning the first half of the 20th century, these works represent a period of unprecedented photographic creativity as new techniques and technologies became widely available. Object:Photo brings these photographs and the research of MoMA’s curatorial team to life in the form of four visualizations that allow users to explore both the collection and the artists represented in a variety of contexts.
“Mapping Photographs” plots the collection geographically and identifies points of interest such as exhibitions and schools, revealing hubs of activity. “Comparing Photographs” spotlights the various techniques and materials represented in the collection and allows users to compare individual timelines for each technique. Visitors uncover unexpected links between photographers through “Connecting Artists,” and “Mapping Artists’ Lives” displays biographies geographically, allowing users to see where particular individuals worked and may have crossed paths with others.
Supplemental pages detail extensive research the museum conducted on the photographs and their creators as well as exhibitions, publications, schools, and industry hubs from the period.
Press & AwardsCommunicator Awards, Gold Award of Excellence, Websites: Art, May 2016“Object:Photo, The Thomas Walther Collection,” CAA Reviews, March 2016
In an era when we are used to having images at our fingertips, “Object:Photo” both satisfies our need to have it all and allows us to make meaning of as much of it as we would like on our own time.Pixel Awards, Nominee, Arts & Culture, February 2016HOW International Design Awards, Merit, Infographics, November 2015W³ Awards, Silver, Websites: Art, September 2015Interactive Media Awards, Best in Class, Arts/Culture, August 2015Interactive Media Awards, Best in Class, Photography, August 2015Creativity Media & Interactive Design Awards, Platinum/Best in Category, Infographic – Campaign or Series, May 2015Communication Arts WEBpick of the Week, March 2015“Object: Photo, Modern Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection, 1909-1949 @MoMA,” Collector Daily, March 2015
The new idea here is that the collection is seen not as a standard cataloged list of pictures, but as a network of information that can be sliced and diced in nearly infinite ways to gather insights.“Object:Photo, Online,” Illuminations, February 2015Awwwards, Honorable Mention, January 2015“Black and White and Accessible All Over,” The New York Times, January 2015“Visualizations Provide a Deeper Look Into a Historical MoMA Photo Collection,” PetaPixel, December 2014“Mapping the Material and Social Histories of Photographs,” Hyperallergic, December 2014
The Object:Photo site is a marvel of interactive graphics and seems like a truly new way to understand a collection of art objects. The site’s design is clear and user-friendly, necessities for sorting through a massive amount of information that, even at first glance, is clearly meant as a research archive as much as an interactive tool for interested browsers.“MOMA Launches Object:Photo, Interactive Photography Conservation Website,” American Photo, December 2014Part of SapientRazorfish /© 2017 Second Story, Inc.