Alfred Barr Jr.

Alfred H. Barr Jr.

Alfred H. Barr, Jr. c. 1930. Unknown photographer. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York. Photograph courtesy The Museum of Modern Art, Department of Imaging Services.

Alfred H. Barr, Jr. became MoMA’s founding director at a time when the study and exhibition of modern art was still rare. Before arriving at the Museum, he had completed his doctoral studies at Harvard and taught art history at numerous universities. Responsible for building the Museum’s collection of masterworks by 19th and 20th-century artists, Barr also organized innovative temporary exhibitions. His plans for the start-up Museum were big from the start: in Barr’s words, he hoped it would be "the greatest museum of modern art in the world."