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By Culturekiosque Staff

NEW YORK, 1 MARCH 2016 — Although taking, sharing, and viewing photographs has become second nature for many of us, our regular engagement with images does not necessarily make us visually literate. The Musuem of Modern Art in New York seeks to address this urgent issue with its launch of Seeing Through Photographs, its first massive open online course for a general audience. Available since 10 February 2016 on Coursera, the online tutorial makes use of works from MoMA’s expansive collection as a point of departure. The course encourages participants to look critically at photographs through the diverse ideas, approaches, and technologies that inform their making. Seeing Through Photographs can be found at

Led by Sarah Meister, Curator, Department of Photography, the course introduces learners to firsthand perspectives and ideas from artists and scholars about what a photograph is and the many ways in which photography has been used throughout history and into the present day: as a means of personal artistic expression; a tool for science and exploration; a method for documenting people, places, and events; a way of telling stories and recording histories; and a mode of communication and critique in our increasingly visual culture.

The course explores the following themes:

  • Introduction to Seeing Through Photographs
  • One Subject, Many Perspectives
  • Documentary Photography
  • Pictures of People
  • Constructing Narratives and Challenging Histories
  • Ocean of Images: Photography and Contemporary Culture

Original course content includes dynamic conversations, artist studio visits,
and a close look at works from MoMA’s collection, and features:

  • Six short films featuring Katy Grannan, Marvin Heiferman,Vik Muniz, Nicholas Nixon, Hank Willis Thomas, and Sarah Meister
  • Four video conversations featuring New Photography 2015: Ocean of Images artists Ilit Azoulay, Lucas Blalock, David Horvitz, and Anouk Kruithof
  • 16 audio slideshows featuring interviews with artists Tina Barney, Iñaki Bonillas, Harrell Fletcher, Mike Mandel, Susan Meiselas, Nicholas Nixon, Walid Raad, Martha Rosler, Thomas Ruff, Carrie Mae Weems, and Akram Zaatari,and curators Sarah Meister, Roxana Marcoci, Quentin Bajac, and Eva Respini (Chief Curator, ICA  Boston)

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