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|Title:||Richard Griffith Papers|
|Quantity:||One 5" document box
One 2.5" document box
Richard Griffith (1912-1969) was an art critic, film historian, and a member of the staff of The Museum of Modern Art 1940-1942 and 1949-1965.
Griffith was assistant to the Curator of the Film Library from 1940 to 1942, and assistant to the Director from 1949 to 1951. He succeeded Iris Barry as Curator of the Museum's Film Library in 1951, and resigned from the Museum because of ill health in 1965. At the Museum Griffith presented major film cycles, including one on Marlene Dietrich, and established the Film Preservation Fund, through which hundreds of classic motion pictures were saved. He died in an automobile accident near his home in Winchester, Virginia, on October 17, 1969.
Griffith attended Haverford College (A.B. 1935), and received a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship in 1937, through which he researched film history at The Museum of Modern Art. He managed the Little Theater of the Science and Education Building at the New York World's Fair in 1940.
As film editor at the photographic center of the Army Signal Corps during World War II, Griffith worked on Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series of Army orientation films. From 1946 to 1949 Griffith was executive director of the National Board of Reviews of Motion Pictures.
Griffith was author of The Movie Stars, The World of Robert Flaherty (1953), and Anatomy of a Motion Picture (1959), co-author with Paul Rotha of both The Film Till Now: A Survey of World Cinema (1950) and Documentary Films (1952), and co-author with Arthur Mayer of The Movies (1957). He was editor of the American edition of Grierson on Documentary (1947), and also wrote articles on films for national publications.
This material was originally contained in 2 15 × 10½ × 6" black cardboard storage boxes with reinforced metal corners. The box labels read: "CONFIDENTIAL; RICHARD GRIFFITH PERSONAL FILES - MOMA; SENT FROM MOMA FILM DEPT." Folders listed with quotation marks and brackets come from previous processor (see inventory by Eileen Bowser, February 1977, folder 1).
The Record Group includes college English class notes, correspondence about and sketches for "the game," reading lists, short stories and plays by Griffith, a manuscript for a book about major American film comedians, book notes for Death by Seance? (a murder/mystery novel), list of stars for Griffith's The Stars, lists for Rotha on Film and National Board Reviews (two proposed publications), draft for Griffith's Fred Zinneman, notes for Griffith's Marlene Dietrich: image and legend, "My Typewriter" (short humor piece), Griffith's lecture notes for 5 programs from "Series Five: The Film of Fact and Opinion," reports, "Newsreel Notes," first draft for Griffith's The Technique of the Film: A Film to Describe the Scope, Techniques and Kinds of Motion Picture, and correspondence. Items date from ca. 1931 through 1965. Correspondents include Paul Rotha and Iris Barry.
The papers are available for research purposes and contain no restricted materials.
The Richard Griffith Papers are the physical property of The Museum of Modern Art. Literary rights, including copyright belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with The Museum of Modern Art. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archivist.
These papers, found in the desk of Richard Griffith, were transferred to the Library on December 13, 1962. In February, 1977, Eileen Bowser processed the material and prepared an inventory (see folder 1). They were transferred to the Museum Archives in October, 1990. Additional Richard Griffith Papers can be found in the Film Study Center.
Richard Griffith Papers, [series.folder]. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.
Explanation of Abbreviations
ALS is an Autographed Letter Signed.
TLS is a Typed Letter Signed.
TL stands for Typed Letter.
MoMA is The Museum of Modern Art.
n.d. stands for no date.
re: stands for regarding.
|1||Background and Provenance of Papers
|2||College Notes and Sketches for "the game"
|3||Plays by Griffith and Correspondence about "the game"
|4||Book Manuscript about American Film Comedians
Incl. manuscript for a picture book about major American film comedians (?)
|5||Book Notes for Death by Seance? and List for The Stars
|6||Book Notes, Drafts, Lists, and Notes about Films
|7||Short Stories by Griffith
"Sooner or Later"
|8||"Griffith Lecture Notes"
|9||A Report on the Outlook for the Profitable Production of Documentary Films for the Non-Theatrical Market
By Mary Losey, for the Sugar Research Foundation
|10||The Non-Theatrical Film in the United States: A Survey
And August 1, 1943
|12||The Technique of the Film: A Film to Describe the Scope, Techniques and Kinds of Motion Picture
|13||Paul Rotha Correspondence
"Rotha to RG"
|14||Iris Barry Correspondence
"Barry to RG"
"Misc. Letters to RG"