October 29, 2010  |  Five for Friday
Five for Friday – Tricks and Treats

Five for Friday, written by a variety of MoMA staff members, is our attempt to spotlight some of the compelling, charming, and downright curious works in the Museum’s rich collection.

Check out this selection of haunted tricks and treats, specially prepared for your Halloween-weekend pleasure. Read more

October 28, 2010  |  Conservation, Film
Rescuing Mangue-Bangue
Mangue Bangue director Neville D’Ameida photographed during a comic moment, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2008

Mangue-Bangue director Neville D’Ameida photographed during a comic moment, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2008

I take my work as a curator very seriously. I consider myself fortunate to put into practice on a daily basis the knowledge I gained as an undergraduate and graduate film and art history student. But honestly, we’re not saving lives here at MoMA or finding the means for alternate energy sources that will sustain our planet for millennia. My mother is proud of my professional achievements too, but she’ll never have the chance to say to her friends “my daughter, the Nobel Prize winner.” Even so, the work of a film curator is significant, enduring, and critical to the history of cinema. Read more

October 28, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
The Ordinary and the Monumental: Recent Photography Acquisitions at MoMA

Carleton Watkins. Late George Cling Peaches. 1887–88

I’ve recently had the good fortune to assume the role of cataloguer in MoMA’s Department of Photography. The greatest perk of my position is simply that I get to work with the photographs in the Museum’s collection on a daily basis. One of my first tasks in the department was to catalog a number of important works that recently entered the collection—some by purchase, some by gift. Among my favorites were three photographs by Carleton Watkins, including this awe-inspiring albumen silver print of a crate of peaches; works by Judith Joy Ross and Inge Morath; and a collection of snapshots that came in as the generous gift of New York collector Peter J. Cohen. Read more

October 27, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Viewpoints
In the Bathysphere

Paula Hayes. Slug and Egg (digital rendering of the installation Nocturne of the Limax maximus). 2010. Installation: cast acrylic, hand-blown glass, cnc-milled topographical wall and ceiling attachment, full-spectrum lighting, and tropical planting. Commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Courtesy of the Artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery. © Paula Hayes

A little over a year and a half ago, Ann Temkin, MoMA’s Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, asked me to consider an “intervention” in MoMA’s Fifty-third Street lobby. Of course I was very excited, knowing that no work of ambitious scale had been installed in this very populated, chaotically inhabited area of the Museum, with only a few indications of the etiquette of how to be in the space—information here, tickets there, some moving image screen projects that can be indicative of information regarding the interior exhibitions. Doors revolving, air and environmental aspects of the outdoors spilling in with the visitors. Perfect! Read more

October 26, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Autonomy as Engagement

Hashim Sarkis ALUD. Housing for the Fishermen of Tyre. Tyre, Lebanon. 1998–2008. Image by Joumana Jamhouri

MoMA’s exhibition Small Scale, Big Change exposes the fallacy of opposing architecture’s autonomy to its social engagement.

Over the past twelve years, our office has been working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in rural Lebanon, designing projects related to social and economic development. After the 1975-1990 wars, many relief-based NGOs have shifted their attention to development. Read more

October 26, 2010  |  An Auteurist History of Film
The Films of Robert Flaherty and John Grierson

Man of Aran. 1934. Great Britain. Directed by Robert Flaherty

Man of Aran. 1934. Great Britain. Directed by Robert Flaherty

These notes accompany the Robert Flaherty and John Grierson Program on October 27, 28, and 29 in Theater 3.

Robert Flaherty (1884–1951) is credited with being the father of the documentary. There had, of course, been “actuality” films from the very beginning of cinema; the Lumiere brothers sent film crews around the world to bring the wonders of the planet to audiences long before jets made it possible for large numbers of people to travel to exotic or remote locales. Read more

October 25, 2010  |  MoMA PS1
Art and Fashion Team Up for MOVE! at MoMA PS1

Artist Olaf Breuning and designer Cynthia Rowley have teamed up to create a new body of work. In Olaf’s case, it’s a series of photos, and for Cynthia, it’s a new collection. What you get to watch in this video is girls getting cans of paint dumped on them! And it happens forty-eight times.

If you’re curious to see more, join us at MoMA PS1 for MOVE! this Saturday, October 30, and Sunday, October 31, from noon to 6:00 p.m. This two-day art and fashion explosion will be taking over all three floors of MoMA PS1’s Long Island City hub. Read more

October 22, 2010  |  Do You Know Your MoMA?
Do You Know Your MoMA? 10/22/2010

How well do you know your MoMA? If you think you can identify the artist and title of each of these works—all currently on view in the Museum’s fourth floor Painting & Sculpture galleries—please submit your answers by leaving a comment on this post. We’ll provide the answers—along with some information about each work—in two weeks (on Friday, November 5), along with the next Do You Know Your MoMA? challenge.


October 20, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
Mystery Solved: Counter Space Film Stills Identified!

Many thanks to the Counter Space fans who contributed over the past few weeks to our Mystery Film Still Contest. We were thrilled by the speed and enthusiasm of your responses! Now we are happy to announce—and sincerely congratulate—the winner, Richard Finegan of Framingham, MA, who identified ALL of the film stills. Read more

October 19, 2010  |  An Auteurist History of Film
The Films of Jean Vigo

Zero for Conduct. 1933. France. Directed, produced, written, and edited by Jean Vigo

Zero for Conduct. 1933. France. Directed, produced, written, and edited by Jean Vigo

These notes accompany the Jean Vigo Program on October 20, 21, and 22 in Theater 3.

October 5, 1934, the day Jean Vigo succumbed to tuberculosis and leukemia at twenty-nine years and six-months of age, may have been the most tragic day in film history (perhaps rivaled only by March 11, 1931, the day F. W. Murnau died in an auto accident). Vigo was the son of a fugitive anarchist and the father of one child, three short films, and one feature. Read more