Archives Home

Contact Us
Close window

Printable view


The Oral History Program

in The Museum of Modern Art Archives




The Museum of Modern Art
Museum Archives
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019-5497
moma.org/learn/resources/archives

© 2012 The Museum of Modern Art. All rights reserved.
The Museum of Modern Art, Publisher
Finding aid prepared by Molly Shea, under the direction of Michelle Elligott, 2012.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Alana Miller. Description is in English.

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.). Museum Archives
Title: The Oral History Program
Dates: 1987-
Abstract: Oral history interviews conducted with individuals related to The Museum of Modern Art

Arrangement

Series I: Artists
Series II: Trustees and Donors
Series III: Administrative and Curatorial Staff
Series IV: Museum Building and Expansion
Series V: MoMA PS1
Series VI: Art World
Series VII: Exhibition Documentaries
Series VIII: Restricted Interviews


Scope and Content

The purpose of the Oral History Program is to fill gaps in the written record on specific topics. Oral histories serve to enhance and complement the Museum Archives' holdings of documentary material with first-hand observation, recollections and reflections. Importantly, our Oral History Program is MoMA-centric. Increasingly, interviews with artists are being undertaken to discuss the role of the Museum in the life of the artist, as well as to interview the artist about works of art in the Museum Collection and to discuss the artist's process, use of materials, and the larger context within which a particular work of art was made.


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Transcripts of the oral history interviews are accessible for use in the Archives' reading room in Manhattan. Audio recordings of the interviews are restricted and not available. Digital video footage of artists who were interviewed as part of the Museum's 2011-2012 Artist Oral History Initiative is available for use in the Archives' reading room in Manhattan. The Museum Archives seeks to make the oral history interviews acessible to researchers to the fullest extent possible in accordance with signed agreements with the participants and established access policies. Please note that some oral histories have been conducted but have not at this time been cleared for public use and are listed in Series VII: Restricted Interviews.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Museum of Modern Art owns all legal rights to the interviews and any transcriptions and recordings of those interviews, including any copyrights.


Related Material

Other collections containing recorded interviews in The Museum of Modern Art Archives are the Sound Recordings of Museum-Related Events collection, the Video Recordings of Museum-Related Events collection, the David Hoffman MoMA History Interviews, and the Calvin Tomkins Papers.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Long version: Oral History Program, interview with [interviewee], [date], p. [page number]. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

Abbreviated version: OH Program, [interviewee], [date], p. [page number]. MoMA Archives, NY.

Historical Note

The Oral History Program was initiated by The Museum of Modern Art Archives. In 1990 the Archives received a grant of $52,600 from the NEH to initiate its Oral History Program and to produce 40 oral histories. [Note: three oral histories in the collection pre-date the formal establishment of the program, those of Eliza Bliss Parkinson Cobb, Sidney Janis, and Monroe Wheeler.] Donations from foundations and individuals, and Museum in-kind contributions were utilized to match the NEH grant. Additional funding was provided by a bequest to the Museum in 1992 from the Estate of Morris Leverton. Subsequently, the program has been underwritten by generous contributions from the Museum's Contemporary Arts Council, International Council, and Trustee Committee on Archives, Library and Research Support; from individual donors Leslie Garfield, Agnes Gund, Gilbert Silverman, and Joanne Stern; and from a generous grant from an anonymous donor.


Container List

 

Series I: Artists

Participants within this series are artists represented in the Museum's collection and/or have a relationship with the Museum. In some instances, these interviews contain focused dialogue about specific works in the collection. In addition, some artists are former Museum staff.

Title Date
Vito Acconci

Video Clip

Transcript (PDF)

Interview part of 2011-2012 Artist Oral History Initiative Video Project

2011
Vija Celmins

Video Clip

Transcript (PDF)

Interview part of 2011-2012 Artist Oral History Initiative Video Project

2011
Chuck Close

Transcript (PDF)

1996
Dan Graham

Interview part of 2011-2012 Artist Oral History Initiative Video Project

2011
Jasper Johns

Transcript (PDF)

1994
Jeff Koons

Transcript (PDF)

1999
Sol LeWitt

Transcript (PDF)

1994
Robert Mangold

Transcript (PDF)

1999
Allan McCollum

Transcript (PDF)

1999
Bruce Nauman

Video Clip

Transcript (PDF)

Interview part of 2011-2012 Artist Oral History Initiative Video Project

2011
Yvonne Rainer

Video Clip

Transcript (PDF)

Interview part of 2011-2012 Artist Oral History Initiative Video Project

2011
Robert Rauschenberg

Transcript (PDF)

2006
Ed Ruscha

Video Clip

Transcript (PDF)

Interview part of 2011-2012 Artist Oral History Initiative Video Project

2011
James Turrell

Transcript (PDF)

Interview part of the 2010 MoMA PS1 Oral History Initiative

2010

Return to the Top of Page
 

Series II: Trustees and Donors

Participants within this series are Museum Trustees and donors. Topics covered may include the Museum's Board, participation on committees, acquisitions, donations and their overall experience with the Museum at various points in its history.

Title Date
Lily Auchincloss

Transcript (PDF)

1993
Walter Bareiss

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Celeste G. Bartos

Transcript (PDF)

1993
Elizabeth Bliss Parkinson Cobb

Transcript (PDF)

1988
Elaine Dannheisser

Transcript (PDF)

1996
Mrs. Agustín E. (Malú) Edwards

Transcript (PDF)

1998
Duke Franz of Bavaria

Transcript (PDF)

1998
Barbara Jakobson

Transcript (PDF)

1997
Philip Johnson

Transcript (PDF)

1990, 1991, 1995
June Larkin

Transcript (PDF)

2004
Margaret McDermott

Transcript (PDF)

1998
John Rewald

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Mrs. Bertram (Louise Reinhardt) Smith

Transcript (PDF)

1992
Joanne Stern

Transcript (PDF)

1993
Mrs. Donald B. (Beth) Straus

Transcript (PDF)

1993
Jeanne C. Thayer

Transcript (PDF)

1994
Edward M.M. Warburg

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Richard Zeisler

Transcript (PDF)

1998

Return to the Top of Page
 

Series III: Administrative and Curatorial Staff

Participants within this series are former Museum staff members reflecting upon their professional experience at the Museum. Topics include, but are not limited to, exhibition history, acquisitions, the Museum's expansion projects, recollections of artists and other staff, and descriptions of various Museum programs.

Title Date
Emilio Ambasz

Transcript (PDF)

1993, 1994
Françoise Boas

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Eileen Bowser

Transcript (PDF)

2000
Olive Bragazzi

Transcript (PDF)

1998
William Burback

Transcript (PDF)

1999
Riva Castleman

Transcript (PDF)

1995, 1996
Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum

Transcript (PDF)

2000
Mildred Constantine

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Helen M. Franc

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Wilder Green

Transcript (PDF)

1991
John B. Hightower

Transcript (PDF)

1996
Philip Johnson

Transcript (PDF)

1990, 1991, 1995
Betsy B. Jones

Transcript (PDF)

1994
Victor Jules-Louis

Transcript (PDF)

1998
Antoinette King

Transcript (PDF)

1997
Richard H. Koch

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Luisa Kreisberg

Transcript (PDF)

2003
Sandra Lang Landsman

Transcript (PDF)

1999
Alicia Legg

Transcript (PDF)

1991
William S. Lieberman

Transcript (PDF)

1993
Grace M. Mayer

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Sara Mazo

Transcript (PDF)

1993
Porter McCray

Transcript (PDF)

1991, 1993
Pearl L. Moeller

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Richard E. Oldenburg

Transcript (PDF)

1999
Richard Palmer

Transcript (PDF)

2003
Frances Pernas

Transcript (PDF)

1994
Waldo Rasmussen

Transcript (PDF)

1994
Eloise Ricciardelli

Transcript (PDF)

1994
Gilbert S. Robinson

Transcript (PDF)

2012
Rona Roob

Transcript (PDF)

2002
William S. Rubin

Transcript (PDF)

1993, 1994
Peter Selz

Transcript (PDF)

1994
Elizabeth Shaw

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Robert Storr

Transcript (PDF)

2004
Ione Ulrich Sutton

Transcript (PDF)

1993
John Szarkowski

Transcript (PDF)

1993
Richard Tooke

Transcript (PDF)

1998
Kirk Varnedoe

Transcript (PDF)

2001, 2002
Jean Volkmer

Transcript (PDF)

1991
Monroe Wheeler

Transcript (PDF)

1987
Stuart Wrede

Advance permission from Stuart Wrede required to access interview

1997

Return to the Top of Page
 

Series IV: Art World

Participants within this series are art dealers, historians, and collectors who have had a relationship with the Museum. Conversation topics typically cover research for books authored, works acquired by the Museum, MoMA exhibitions, and relationships with artists whom the Museum has represented in its collection.

Title Date
Irving Blum

Transcript (PDF)

2011
Leo Castelli

Transcript (PDF)

1991, 1992
S. Lane Faison

Transcript (PDF)

2001
Grace Glueck

Transcript (PDF)

1997
Anne d'Harnoncourt

Transcript (PDF)

2003, 2004
Ben Heller

Transcript (PDF)

2001
Sidney Janis

Transcript (PDF)

1967
Dorothy Lichtenstein

Transcript (PDF)

1998
Lucy Lippard

Transcript (PDF)

1999
Ileana Sonnabend

Transcript (PDF)

1997

Return to the Top of Page
 

Series V: Museum Building and Expansion

Participants within this series are architects, developers and lawyers involved in the Museum's major 1984 expansion campaign designed by architect Cesar Pelli. Other topics may include the Trust for Cultural Resources, the Museum's Sculpture Garden, fundraising, and zoning legislation.

Title Date
Donald H. Elliott

Transcript (PDF)

1994
Philip Johnson

Transcript (PDF)

1990, 1991, 1995
Richard Koch 1991
Cesar Pelli

Transcript (PDF)

1994
Richard Weinstein

Transcript (PDF)

1991

Return to the Top of Page
 

Series VI: MoMA PS1

Participants within this series have an important connection to MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center. In 2000, MoMA became affiliated with PS1, and the two institutions fully merged in 2010, thus extending the reach of both institutions. Topics in this series may include MoMA PS1's founding, commissioned artwork, MoMA PS1's studio program, exhibition history, fundraising, and its merger with MoMA.

Title Date
John Comfort

Transcript (PDF)

2011
Tom Finkelpearl

Transcript (PDF)

2010
James Turrell

Transcript (PDF)

2010

Return to the Top of Page
 

Series VII: Exhibition Documentaries

From 2003 to 2009, the Museum undertook a series of oral history-inspired interviews related to special MoMA exhibitions. These exhibition documentaries featured curators and artists discussing the exhibition in situ. The series of exhibition documentaries was initiated in 2003 under the guidance of Mary Lea Bandy, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, and CK Studios produced the videos. DVD copies of the interviews are available in the MoMA Archives, and the HDCam masters are held by the Museum's Department of Film.

Title Date
Matisse Picasso [MoMA Exh. #1906, February 13, 2003 - May 19, 2003]

Participants include Chief Curator at Large John Elderfield and Department of Painting and Sculpture Chief Curator Kirk Varnedoe.

See also Video Recordings of Museum-Related Events, 2008-213.

2003
Friedlander [MoMA Exh. #1943, June 5, 2005-August 29, 2005]

Participants include artist Lee Friedlander and Department of Photography Chief Curator Peter Galassi.

See also Video Recordings of Museum-Related Events, 2008-46.

2003
Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865-1885 [MoMA Exh. #1944, June 26, 2005-September 12, 2005]

Participants include Department of Painting and Sculpture Curator Joachim Pissarro and Chief Curator John Elderfield.

See also Video Recordings of Museum-Related Events, 2008-47.

2005
Elizabeth Murray [MoMA Exh. #1955, October 28, 2005-January 9, 2006]

Participants include artist Elizabeth Murray and Department of Painting and Sculpture Curator Robert Storr.

See also Video Recordings of Museum-Related Events, 2008-48 and 2008-48D.

2005
Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years [MoMA Exh. #2007, June 3, 2007-September 24, 2007]

Participants include artist Richard Serra and Dia Foundation Curator Lynne Cooke.

See also Video Recordings of Museum-Related Events, 2008-49.

2007

Return to the Top of Page
 

Series VIII: Restricted Interviews

Interviews within this series are unavailable for public access at this time.

 

Artists

Title Date
Richard Hamilton 2009
Ellsworth Kelly

2012 interview part of 2011-2012 Artist Oral History Initiative Video Project

1991, 1999, 2012
Jim Rosenquist

Interview part of 2011-2012 Artist Oral History Initiative Video Project

2012
Robert Ryman 1993
Yoko Ono

Interview part of 2011-2012 Artist Oral History Initiative Project

Transcript of audio recording only

2011
 

Trustees and Donors

Title Date
Agnes Gund 2009,2012
Donald B. Marron 1994, 1996
David Rockefeller 1991, 2001
 

Administrative and Curatorial Staff

Title Date
Carolyn Lanchner 2003
Deborah Wye 2011
Kynaston McShine 2010, 2011
Bernice Rose 2002
 

Art World

Title Date
Paula Cooper 1996
 

Exhibition Documentaries

Title Date
Martin Puryear [MoMA Exh. #2021. November 4, 2007-January 14, 2008]

Participants include artist Martin Puryear and Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture John Elderfield.

See also Video Recordings of Museum-Related Events, 2010-18 and 2010-18D.

2007

Return to the Top of Page