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Coursera: Seeing Through Photographs

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17 hour 17 hours
Course teacher: Sarah Meister

What are you going to get

Introduction to Seeing Through Photographs

One Subject, Many Perspectives

Documents and the Documentary

One and Another


Course description

In this course you will look closely at 100 photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, going behind the scenes of the Museum and into artist studios through original films and audio interviews.

The number 1 reason people take this program


Most heard feedback on this program

Understand artists’ processes and the choices that inform a photograph’s making, including experimentation and responses to technological innovation.

About the instructor

Sarah Meister

Sarah Meister became a Curator at The Museum of Modern Art in 2009, having joined the Department of Photography in 1997. Her recent exhibitions include From Bauhaus to Buenos Aires: Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola (2015; co-curator), Modern Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection, 1909–1949 (2014-15; co-curator), Nicholas Nixon: Forty Years of The Brown Sisters (2014); Walker Evans American Photographs, 75th anniversary (2013-14), Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light (2013) and Eugène Atget: “Documents pour artistes” (2012). Meister contributes to and edits a variety of Museum and external publications including most recently Photography at MoMA: 1960 to Now (2015) and two collaborations with Maira Kalman and Daniel Handler, Hurry Up and Wait (2015) and Girls Standing on Lawns (2014). Many of her favorite MoMA photographs are featured in this course including (but not limited to!) work by Diane Arbus, Iñaki Bonillas, Lee Friedlander, Katy Grannan, Zoe Leonard, Susan Meiselas, Vik Muniz, Nicholas Nixon, Martha Rosler, Cindy Sherman, Hank Willis Thomas, Carleton Watkins, and snapshots given by Peter J. Cohen. She holds an AB in Art History from Princeton University, with honors, and is a recipient of the Lee Tenenbaum Award for outstanding research and scholarship


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