Peru; Nasca-Wari (?)
Anonymous Loan, 1981
Since summer 2007 the Goldwater Library has hosted a flickr pool of photographs taken in the AAOA galleries: individual objects, the installation, and even some tourist shots. (Read our blog post about the rollout here.) While the library occasionally salts the pool with photographs shot by our staff -- behind-the-scenes photographs of the installation of the El Anatsui piece, for example --, by far the lion's share of the photographs are taken by visitors to the museum.
Periodically in this space we will post one of these photographs, sometimes without comment, as a 'staff pick'.
The pool is a sampling of how our visitors 'see' the objects, and what they find compelling enough to photograph. Many of our 'signature' pieces appear several times, each from a different photographer and each at slightly different angle. It is also instructive to see what less familiar objects nevertheless succeed in capturing the visitor's attention.
The images run the gamut from fuzzy cellphone capture to creatively Photoshopped adaptation; the commentary, from shamefully misidentified to scholarly exegesis.
To get these photographs the library staff regularly browses flickr for photographs tagged with the museum's name. We invite the flickr member to add each photograph we discover to our pool. The response to our invitations has been swift, extensive, and heartening. We now have over
500 600 contributions. The reopening of the Pacific galleries brought a particular surge of photography.
Your responses and suggestions for the flickr pool are always welcome.