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MoMA creates digital exhibition archive, allowing access to decades of images

Untitled-1

Painting in Paris, 19 January – 2 March, 1930

For the first time, the Museum of Modern Art has moved thousands of images from its exhibition archive online to moma.org.

Years of planning and digitising have made it possible to view hundreds of thousands of documents and exhibition photos from the museum’s defining first show in autumn 1929 featuring van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne.

The site allows users to effectively travel through time to any exhibition over the past nearly-90 years, through poignant wartime and mid-century exhibitions to more recent shows. It includes more than 320 exhibitions, with 33,000 exhibition installation photographs available to browse alongside 800 out-of-print catalogues, 1,000 exhibition checklists and documents from 3,500 shows. Not only can viewers see artworks and the layout of past exhibitions, but also witness the many physical changes to the gallery itself over the years.

Michelle Elligot, chief of MoMA’s archive, who headed up the project with director of digital content and strategy Fiona Romeo, told the New York Times that “this is like a dream come true for me because I’ve been playing around with this material for 20 years and I know the depth of what’s here.”