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Photo by Mark Gjukich

Take Your Pick: Collecting Found Photographs

Come help build our collection of “ordinary” American 20th-century photographs.

Take Your Pick invites you—the Museum’s visitors—to select photographs for our permanent collection. What belongs in a permanent collection, and why? Who and what should be represented, and how should we decide? This exhibition considers these questions in regard to 1,000 amateur photographs on loan from the private collection of Peter J. Cohen, who has gathered more than 60,000 snapshots while exploring flea markets in the United States and Europe over two decades. The images he has collected depict all aspects of daily life and reveal the dynamic histories of amateur photography. Such pictures have particular significance in the current digital age, when it is much less common to make physical copies of personal photographs. They constitute important artifacts of twentieth-century visual culture and precedents for the photographs we still make today. You are invited to make your voice heard in the selection process by voting for the photographs that resonate most with you!

Vote for your favorite pictures: Saturday, September 21, 2019 – Sunday, January 12, 2020
Final selections on view: Tuesday, January 14 – Sunday, February 23, 2020