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Berenice Abbott: Photography and Science: An Essential Unity


Berenice Abbott: Photography and Science: An Essential Unity

A Bouncing Ball in Diminishing Arcs, 1958-61, silver gelatin print, 54.3 x 47.5 cm, Collection of MIT Museum.

The MIT Museum opened the new Kurtz Gallery for Photography with an inaugural exhibition featuring over seventy images by Berenice Abbott taken while working at MIT.

Renowned for her early to mid-century photography in Paris and New York, Abbott also spent time at MIT during the late 1950's when she was hired to create new photographic images for the teaching of physics.

Berenice Abbott spent two years at MIT creating photographs that memorably document the principles of physical science - mechanics, electromagnetism, and waves. She often developed innovative techniques for capturing scientific phenomena, including one for very detailed, close-in photography that she called Super Sight.

Abbott was a collaborative artist who used the potent force of her imagination to illustrate, and to inspire scientists, whom she viewed as fellow creators, grounded in reality, but ready to make leaps of discovery.

The Kurtz Gallery for Photography

The Kurtz Gallery for Photography, established with generous funding from Ronald A. Kurtz, MIT Class of 1954, has been designed specifically for the exhibition of photography. The new gallery has made possible an ambitious program of changing exhibitions exploring subjects ranging from MIT's legacy in photographic instruction to current photographic practice.

Second Fridays at the MIT Museum
Friday May 11, 2012
Doors open at 5:00 p.m., activities at 5:30. Tour begins at 6:00 p.m.

Documenting Science: Berenice Abbott at MIT
Be among the first to explore the Museum's newest public space, the Kurtz Gallery for Photography. Walk and talk with exhibition curators Gary Van Zante and Julia Van Haaften, and MIT physics professor Krishna Rajagopal as they share their insights on the "essential unity" between physics and photography, and MIT's contributions to science education in the post-Sputnik era. Museum educators will be also available to assist you in creating your own versions of Abbott's iconic images.

TalkBack 360
Visualizing Science: Through the Lens

Tuesday May 22, 2012
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Join science photographer Felice Frankel, art historian Caroline Jones, and molecular biologist Christopher Turner for a lively discussion about the role of modern day photography in the scientific landscape. free admission


This exhibit is now closed.


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