The New York Times

Photo Sharing, Before Instagram

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

SAN FRANCISCO — The image of a bright-eyed cat with many online lives peers out from a hole in the wall as you enter the new exhibition “Snap+Share” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

You might wonder if the museum has designed a show for the sake of Instagram or Facebook likes. The cat-in-hole is a recognizable internet meme, while the show’s title is itself a clear play on Snapchat, the messaging and photo-sharing app. And the museum, a short walk from Twitter headquarters, is actively competing with other cultural institutions to reach the local technology community, for both funding and audience.

But the exhibition offers more than opportunities for selfies (there are two or three). Clément Chéroux, the museum’s senior photography curator (who said

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