Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Launches Free Course on Looking at Photographs as Art

Not con­tent with ban­ning self­ie sticks, the Muse­um of Mod­ern Art (MoMA) is bring­ing visu­al lit­er­a­cy to the mass­es via its first for­ay into the world of MOOCs (aka “mas­sive open online cours­es”).

Cura­tor Sarah Meis­ter will be draw­ing on MoMA’s expan­sive pho­tog­ra­phy col­lec­tion for the free 6‑session, self-paced See­ing Through Pho­tographs class on Cours­era.

You won’t learn how to make duck lips in a mir­ror, but by the course’s end, you should be able to cast a crit­i­cal eye, with a new appre­ci­a­tion for the “diverse ideas, approach­es, and tech­nolo­gies” that inform a pho­tograph’s mak­ing.

The first week’s assign­ments include a video inter­view with Mar­vin Heifer­man, author of Pho­tog­ra­phy Changes Every­thing, below. Yes, there will be a quiz.

Expect assigned read­ings from John Szarkowski’s Intro­duc­tion to The Photographer’s Eye, and MoMA’s Chief Cura­tor of Pho­tog­ra­phy, Quentin Bajac.

There’s a lot of ground to cov­er, obvi­ous­ly. Meis­ter has lined up quite a hit parade: Ansel Adams, NASA’s moon pho­tog­ra­phy, Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Moth­er,” Susan Meise­las’ “Car­ni­val Strip­pers” project, Cindy Sherman’s “Unti­tled Film Stills,” and Nicholas Nixon’s 40-year doc­u­men­ta­tion of the Brown sis­ters.

Prove your knowl­edge at the end of the six weeks with a final 30-minute project in which you’ll select an image that would be a good addi­tion to one of the course’s themes, below:

See­ing Through Pho­tographs

One Sub­ject, Many Per­spec­tives

Doc­u­men­tary Pho­tog­ra­phy

Pic­tures of Peo­ple

Con­struct­ing Nar­ra­tives and Chal­leng­ing His­to­ries

Ocean of Images: Pho­tog­ra­phy and Con­tem­po­rary Cul­ture

Enroll in this fas­ci­nat­ing free course here.

via Petapix­el

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Take a Free Online Course on Mak­ing Ani­ma­tions from Pixar & Khan Acad­e­my

Take a Free Online Course on Mak­ing Com­ic Books, Com­pli­ments of the Cal­i­for­nia Col­lege of the Arts

MOOCs from Great Uni­ver­si­ties (Many With Cer­tifi­cates)

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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