Seeing Through Photographs, MoMA, Coursera

Online Courses, Photographic History, Photographic Theory, Photography Collections July 31, 2016

I recently completed an online photography course titled Seeing Through Photographs. This 6-week course is offered by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Coursera, and is instructed by Sarah Meister, the curator of the Department of Photography.

The course:

  • Looked closely at photographs from the museum’s collection and helped build skills in looking critically at photographs as images and objects that have agency.
  • Explored the diverse ways the medium has been used throughout its history to construct narratives, as a means of artistic expression, as a tool for science, as an instrument of documentation and as a mode of communication and critique.
  • Offered a variety of perspectives on what a photograph is and investigated photography’s role in our increasingly visual culture.

André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri. Chevalier Hidalgo. 1860. Albumen silver prints. Museum of Modern Art. Purchase.

Unknown photographer. The Story of my life and friends as told by snapshots from fourteen on. 1916-23. Album of 680 gelatin silver prints. Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Peter J. Cohen.

NASA. View of Astronaut Footprint in Lunar Soil. July 20, 1969. Gelatin silver print. Museum of Modern Art. The New York Times Collection.

You can enroll on the course for free and choose whether you would like to purchase a Certificate in the end. I highly recommend it.


*Featured photograph: Curator Sarah Meister in photography storage, from the course Seeing Through Photographs. © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art.


Hi, I'm Danae! I'm a photographer and I hold a MA in Photographic History. Besides my passion for photography, I enjoy traveling, walking, meditating, and I am an avid supporter of low-waste living.

Comment 1

  1. Chris says on July 21, 2016

    I also took this course and found it very informative. 👍🏻

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