Oh Snap! Times Photographer Staged MoMA Exhibition Shoot, with MoMA Employees

10/08/2010 12:04 PM |

MoMA fake photos from Times by Fred R. Conrad
  • “These Rothkos are sooo fucking interesting,” says MoMA employee posing for New York TImes photographer Fred R. Conrad.

Yesterday New York Times editors appended a note to Roberta Smith’s typically insightful and cautiously positive September 30 review of MoMA’s new brand-boosting exhibition Abstract Expressionist New York explaining that the photographer who shot images for the article and an online slide show, had MoMA employees pose in the photos looking really interested. The full note, and another amusingly staged shot, after the jump.

New York TImes photographer Fred R. Conrad
  • That’s just a really beautifully staged shot right there, New York TImes photographer Fred R. Conrad.

Editors’ Note: October 7, 2010

The second, fifth and ninth slides in this slide show appeared to show museum visitors viewing the exhibit.

In fact, the people shown were museum staff members, who were asked by museum officials to be present in the galleries to provide scale and context for the photographs. The photographer acknowledged using the same procedure in other cases when an exhibition was not yet opened to the public.

Such staging of news pictures violates The Times’s standardsand (sic) the photographs should not have been published. (While pictures may show previews or similar situations before an exhibition opens, readers should not be given a misleading impressionabout the circumstances.)

MoMA: suddenly a lot more like American Apparel than we would have ever imagined. That said, the idea of using MoMA staff to appear in installation photos of a MoMA exhibition that posits the MoMA collection as being uniquely rich and canonical kind of just re-emphasizes everything Smith says in her review. Fake Photo WIN! (ArtInfo)