The Shape of Things

Photographs from Robert B. Menschel


A collection of highlights from MoMA’s Robert B. Menschel photography collection, with extended texts on each by Quentin Bajac, the Chief Curator of Photography.


ISBN: 9781633450226 Category:

Quentin Bajac


This survey explores sixty remarkable photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, all acquired with the support of Robert B. Menschel and meticulously selected for the book by the Museum’s Chief Curator of Photography, Quentin Bajac. Ranging from the contemporary artist Andreas Gursky to William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the medium’s founding figures, these works collectively tell the story of photography from its beginnings, but upend and newly illuminate that story through their arrangement in reverse chronological order. Each image is the subject of a brief, elegant text. The book borrows its title from a work by Carrie Mae Weems, one of the many great photographs that Menschel has contributed to the collection.

Additional information

Weight 1088 g
Dimensions 23.8 x 27.9 cm
Publisher name The Museum of Modern Art
Publication date 1 February 2017
Number of pages 152
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Quentin Bajac
Dimensions 23.8 x 27.9 cm
Weight 1088 g


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Quentin Bajac is The Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sarah Hermanson Meister is Curator in the Department of Photography at MoMA.