The Printed Picture is a website based on the publication and exhibition of the same name at MoMA that focused on the history of the printing of pictures, from prehistoric cave markings to cutting-edge digital printing technologies. The website was created utilizing the content both from the book, authored by Richard Benson, and videos drawn from Benson's private lectures conducted in the exhibition galleries at MoMA. The site was developed by Read and Note. Read and Note technology was used for its ability to extract, integrate, and manage the different mediums in the development of the site.
Benson, a renowned printer, accomplished photographer, and former Dean of The Yale University School of Art, is the author of Richard Benson: North South East West, a new volume of photography published by MoMA. His lectures, featured in their entirety on the site, are informal and educational. Video clips are organized by subject and supplemented with additional images and details of pictures, allowing visitors to draw their own path through its contents.
The ability to make and distribute identical copies of a single picture has played a vital role in human society and culture. The Printed Picture is a highly original and accessible history of the endlessly evolving technology of multiple images-from the woodblock of Renaissance Europe to today's fast-paced digital innovations. Benson combines a lifetime of practical experience-on the press, in the darkroom, at the workbench-to make complex subjects accessible to a mainstream audience.
Published by the Museum in 2008, the book that the website is based on is richly illustrated with material that the Benson had collected over the past four decades and donated to MoMA as the basis for a study collection of printing and photographic processes. Benson and Peter Galassi, former Chief Curator of Photography at MoMA, organized an exhibition based on the book that was on view at the Museum from October 2008 through July 2009.