— Sarah Meister



  Albanian, Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese 

About This Course

Taking, sharing, and viewing photographs has become second nature for many of us. Given our near-constant engagement with images this course will help you dig into the meaning of pictures and reconsider photography’s role in our visual culture. This course aims to address the gap between seeing and truly understanding photographs by introducing a diversity of ideas, approaches, and technologies that inform their making.

Acquired Knowledge

Understand artists’ processes and the choices that inform a photograph’s making, including experimentation and responses to technological innovation.
Learn how context influences the production, circulation, and reception of photographic images.
Understand the relationship between a photograph’s subject and meaning, and the differences between photographs as objects and photographic images.
Gain confidence in looking at and talking about photography, and find inspiration from photographs all around you.


Sarah Meister
MoMA curator, erstwhile photographer, admirer of old, authentic and curious things I have been captivated by photography since the sixth grade when I watched my first print emerge in the developing bath beneath a murky golden safelight. Over the years my interest in the medium has grown and changed in ways that loosely parallel the chemical development process itself—transforming anticipation into surprise and (often) satisfaction, rewarding patience and creativity in equal measure. I never imagined that my childhood hobby would become an academic interest studying art history at Princeton University, or that my internship in the Department of Photography at MoMA would (eventually) lead to becoming a full curator at the Museum in 2009. I have a soft spot for functional photographs (those not made as fine art), and am keen to combine serious scholarship with an embrace of the medium’s capacity to connect with broad audiences. I am grateful for the inspiration gleaned from unforgettable art, and insight generously given by individuals encountered in my travels across South America, all of which helps me reimagine photography’s history and its future.


Scroll to Top