Ghost in the Machine

Adam &Eve

I made a long overdue trip to the Museum of Modern Art, my first time this year. I never get tired of looking at the museum’s permanent collection, particularly its photographs. There’s always something to find in Walker Evans, one of my idols, or well-recognized masters like Edward Weston. The quality of the printing is an education. I spent more time with the Irving Penn photographs today, since I need to shore up my portraiture abilities. One of the biggest surprises today was how captivated I was by the platinum prints of Peter Henry Emerson.

Emerson also drew upon the newly accepted scientific models of vision to propose that pictures should only be sharp in the critical point of our focus of interest, a technique now known as ‘differential focus‘. Although this is true of one or two of his pictures, in general they are sharp or relatively so overall.

Often, I spend most of my time on the third floor, which also includes the drawing and architecture exhbits, before I make the obligatory visit to the painting collection. It’s interesting to see which artists come into personal favor. Certain painters you always like, others rise and fall in estimation. The current multimedia exhibit tickled me, and caused me to break out my camera.


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