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MoMA Releases 87 Years' Worth of Their Exhibition Photos for Free Online

Ever since they opened in 1929, the Museum of Modern Art has been photographically documenting their exhibitions. After the displays were all set up, staff photographers would capture the scene. Well, this month the MoMA announced that they've spent years digitizing all of that stuff, and they're now posting it all online for free!

"Bauhaus: 1919–1928" - December 7, 1938–January 30, 1939

The shots are not close-ups of the work—and heck, you've already seen those images in your Art History or History of Design classes—but instead convey what the overall exhibitions looked like.

"Bauhaus: 1919–1928" - December 7, 1938–January 30, 1939
"Modern Architecture: International Exhibition" - February 9–March 23, 1932

Even better, they've scanned the exhibition guides that were printed up for their members. Some of these things are hundreds of pages long, providing a sort of freely-downloadable textbook on that particular subject.

"Machine Art" - March 5–April 29, 1934
"Machine Art" - March 5–April 29, 1934

At this point there's a whopping 3,537 exhibitions on their website, and they're still updating it.

"Architecture and Design: Inaugural Installation" - November 20, 2004–November 7, 2005

It's a lot to go through, but we're going to do some digging to find the best of the best in the coming weeks. If you yourself dive in and find one you think would be of interest to the Core77 reader, be sure to let us know in the comments!

"8 automobiles: an exhibition concerned with the esthetics of motorcar design," autumn 1951

Check it out here.

"20th Century Design from the Museum Collection" - December 17, 1958–February 23, 1959

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Harvard Publishes Massive, Free Bauhaus Archive Online!

When the Nazis took power in the 1930s, Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius wisely, and daringly, escaped to America. Gropius, along with protégé Marcel Breuer, then landed teaching gigs at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Harvard subsequently amassed, with Gropius' help, a massive collection of "more than 30,000 [Bauhaus-related] objects, from paintings, textiles, and photographs to periodicals and class notes." And now, thrillingly, they have placed the entire collection online for free public viewing.

Marcel Breuer, Chaise Longue [Isokon Long Chair], 1936
Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Coffee and Tea Service: 5-Piece Set, Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Hanna Lindemann, 1924-1925
Peter Weller, Study in Malthess Apartment, Berlin [designer: Gustav Hassenpflug], 1937
László Moholy-Nagy, Light Prop for an Electric Stage (Light-Space Modulator), 1930

Some of the images are of the iconic pieces you've come to expect when "Bauhaus" is uttered, like Breuer's B3, and come with accompanying educational text:

Marcel Breuer, Club Chair (B3), c. 1931
Supposedly inspired by the lightweight and strong bent steel tubing of the bicycle he pedaled around the city of Dessau, Bauhaus student-turned-master Marcel Breuer decided to experiment with the material for furniture. Working with a plumber to bend the tubing into shape for prototypes, Breuer's efforts would result in the iconic 1925 Club Chair (B3), manufactured by Thonet, and still in production today. In the 1920s, the name "club chair" might have connoted a heavy, overstuffed chair in a smoke-filled room, set upon heavy rugs and against thick curtains. Yet Breuer's club chair is physically and visually light, radically reduced to the line of chromed steel tubing and the planes of the textile webbing, clearly separating the hard and soft materials' respective functions as structure and support.

Other images are more surprising. Who knew, for example, that Breuer was also contracted to design dorm furniture for Bryn Mawr?

Marcel Breuer, Dormitory Furniture for Rhoads Hall, Bryn Mawr College: Desk, 1938
Marcel Breuer, Dormitory Furniture for Rhoads Hall, Bryn Mawr College: Chair, 1938

It goes without saying that 30,000+ images is going to take a long time to get through, but we think it's well worth your time to start browsing. If you find any other surprises in the stack, please be sure to let us know in the comments!

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