Photography and Science: An Essential Unity

Photography and Science: An Essential Unity

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The MIT Museum has 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. Her work will be on display through December 2012.

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.

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