Exhibition Installation Photograph Collection
(The Museum of Modern Art Archives)


The Museum of Modern Art and ARTstor have collaborated on a project to digitize approximately 16,700 photographs from the Museum Archives' comprehensive collection of exhibition installation photographs. This material documents every major exhibition held at the museum, from the inaugural exhibition in 1929 up to 2000.

According to Milan Hughston, Chief of Library and Museum Archives, "The Museum's 75th Anniversary in 2004 gave us a chance to highlight this collection in a special publication, Art in Our Time, edited by Museum Archivist Michelle Elligott and Harriet Bee. Those images were only a small sampling of a vast body of important material, and we are grateful to ARTstor for recognizing the value of digitizing the entire collection for distribution." In addition to Art in Our Time, these archival photographs provided the basis for Mary Anne Staniszewski's pioneering The Power of Display: a History of Exhibition Installations at the Museum of Modern Art (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998).

This material documents every major exhibition held at the museum, beginning with the inaugural exhibition of 1929 up to the present.

The Museum of Modern Art archives was established in 1989 to preserve and make accessible documents relating to the museum's art-historical and cultural role in the 20th and 21st centuries. Within the Museum Archives, the Photographic Archive documents the visual history of the museum, including images of past exhibitions and special events, the buildings and grounds, and artists and personalities associated with the museum.

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Collection information

Total size of collection* 16,700
Percentage of completion 100%
Search term "moma archives"
Collection URL http://library.artstor.org/library/collection/moma_exhibitions

* Image totals should be regarded as an approximation until a given collection is 100% complete. Users should also bear in mind that the number of images available to them may vary from country to country, reflecting ARTstor’s approach to addressing an international copyright landscape that itself varies from country to country.

Last updated: October 8, 2009

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