The Center

Building 1

Building 2
The Museum of Modern Art's Department of Film and Video has one of the strongest international collections of film and video in the world—archive and study collections that together total more than 14,000 films and 1,000 videotapes.

In the mid-1980s it became evident that the size of this archive, and its particular conservation requirements, precluded storing it at the Museum, in midtown Manhattan. The newly appointed director of the Department of Film, Mary Lea Bandy, approached the chairman of the Trustee Committee on Film, Celeste Bartos, with the idea of creating an off-site facility to house the collection.

Ten years later, on June 20, 1996, the Museum opened The Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center, an $11.2-million state-of-the-art facility in Hamlin, Pennsylvania.

The Center, designed by Davis, Brody & Associates, comprises two buildings on a wooded 38-acre estate: a 7,900-square-foot facility for the Museum's holdings of 5,000 fragile nitrate films, dating from 1894 to 1951; and a much larger 28,000-square-foot main building that houses some 9,000 titles on acetate-based "safety stock."

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Photos copyright 1996 by Paul Warchol for The Museum of Modern Art