The Ultimate Process of Seeing Through Photographs Effortlessly

In this course, seeing through photographs effortlessly you will look closely at 100 photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, going behind the scenes of the Museum and into artist studios through original films and audio interviews.

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, Seeing Through Photographs Effortlessly aims to address the gap between seeing and truly understanding photographs by introducing a diversity of ideas, approaches, and technologies that inform their making.

You will hear a variety of perspectives on the ways photography has been used throughout its 180-year history: as a means of artistic expression, a tool for science and exploration, an instrument of documentation, a way to tell stories and record histories, and a mode of communication and critique. Short texts and readings from MoMA publications provide enhanced context for the works in the course.

By enrolling in this course, you’ll join a community of international learners in discussion forums, receive invitations to live and virtual events from our lead instructor Sarah Meister, and gain exclusive access to MoMA resources.

We’ve been listening to your feedback! In September 2020, we launched new content in Seeing Through Photographs, including audio interviews with additional contemporary artists from around the world, videos of Sarah introducing key ideas, and almost doubling the number of photographs from the collection. We’ve also added opportunities for you to share and receive feedback on your photographs in the discussion forums.

What You Will Learn

  • 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.

Skills You Will Gain

  • Photography
  • Art in Seeing Through Photographs Effortlessly
  • History
  • Museums
  • Art History in Seeing Through Photographs Effortlessly


1 hour to complete
Introduction to Seeing Through Photographs
3 videos (Total 8 min), 5 readings

3 hours to complete
One Subject, Many Perspectives
8 videos (Total 24 min), 8 readings, 1 quiz

3 hours to complete
Documents and the Documentary
7 videos (Total 25 min), 8 readings, 1 quiz

3 hours to complete
Seeing Through Photographs Effortlessly: One and Another
6 videos (Total 27 min), 8 readings, 1 quiz

3 hours to complete
Constructing Narratives, Challenging Histories
8 videos (Total 33 min), 7 readings, 1 quiz

3 hours to complete
Seeing Through Photographs Effortlessly: Pictures of People
7 videos (Total 25 min), 8 readings, 1 quiz

3 hours to complete
Ocean of Images
10 videos (Total 37 min), 7 readings, 2 quizzes

Free Course on Seeing Through Photographs Effortless

Originally posted 2022-02-22 23:03:20.


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Future Syllabus