Skip to Content
Closed now, next open tomorrow. Closed now, next open tomorrow.


A work made of gelatin silver photogram.
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Image actions

  • A work made of gelatin silver photogram.


c. 1940


László Moholy-Nagy
American, born Hungary, 1895–1946

About this artwork

An artist who worked in many media, László Moholy-Nagy was hired to lead Chicago’s New Bauhaus, a school based on Bauhaus principles, in 1937. Photography was only one part of a curriculum that integrated art, industry, and society, but it was a key element; as Moholy wrote, “The illiterate of the future will be ignorant of the camera and the pen alike.” Central to his understanding of photography was the photogram, an image made by placing objects or casting shadows directly on photographic paper and exposing the arrangement to light. To Moholy, the photogram was the perfect teaching tool because it demonstrated the medium’s complete tonal range and revealed photography’s essence to be its sensitivity to light. This image, dedicated to George Barford, another instructor at the school, may have been a collaborative effort in the darkroom or a teaching example for the classroom.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


László Moholy-Nagy




United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1935–1945


Gelatin silver photogram


50.1 × 40.2 cm (19 3/4 × 15 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of George and Ruth Barford

Reference Number



© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions