Digital Exhibitions

These digital exhibitions showcase photographs from the MoCP collection that have been selected by students, educators, curators, and international artists.

State of the World's Mothers

These images are drawn from the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s permanent collection to connect with themes explored in the exhibition Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood. In her essay for Home Truths, curator Susan Bright states that the exhibition “aims to challenge long-held stereotypes and sentimental views of motherhood.”

In that spirit, this selection of pictures juxtaposes iconic images and photographic tropes of maternity with unembellished, and at times jarring, portrayals of motherhood and familial relationships. Like the exhibition, this set expresses a range of emotions and observations associated with parenting, while also considering ways visual culture influences the experience of being both a mother and a child.

The Travelling Photographer, curated by Victoria Sambunaris

There is a sense of euphoria when first leaving New York and hitting the road. After crossing the Mississippi River going west, everything slows down. The wheels begin to churn and the bottled up thoughts begin to flow. The inner turmoil that seemed enormous appears trivial. Wide vistas pass along the windshield and the mind becomes transfixed. Passing in and out of towns, the townsfolk are curious about the sole traveler. Fleeting encounters of whole lives lived are pondered while driving on.

This is the allure of life on the road as a traveling photographer.

The hardest part is leaving what is comfortable, meeting the unfamiliar, and getting out of the car to take a picture. The capture of a singular moment—as in these photographs—is addictive. It keeps a photographer coming back and moving on.

The two bodies of work here—one of places, the other of people—might well be manifestations of the traveling photographer. I chose photographs from the collection that I identified with: views that I might have seen, people that I might have met, but didn’t. I wish I had.

The places reflect the physical experience of traversing the road: the anonymous towns, the snaking roads, the distant trains, the incessant sky, the grandeur of the open landscape. The people comprise intimate moments and transitory views of lives lived in the worlds that make up who we are in this place, at this time: the enraptured dancer, the jumping cowboy, the painted lady, the fellow traveler, the countless glances.

Each moment in each photograph has its own tale to tell and represents someone’s world—to know, to remember, and, in this digital exhibition, to make your own.

Museum of Contemporary Photography

at Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

(312) 663-5554


  • Monday: 10:00 am — 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00 am — 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am — 5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am — 8:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am — 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am — 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 12:00—5:00 pm

The MoCP is CLOSED when Columbia College Chicago is closed, including all major holidays. The MoCP is also closed between exhibitions for installation. Be sure to check our homepage before your visit.

Interior of MoCP

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