Virtual Views

Film Vault Summer Camp

Explore the exhibition


Joan of Arc [Screen Test. Katharine Hepburn]. 1934. USA. Produced by Pioneer Pictures

During the month of August, we’ll be streaming treasures from MoMA’s film archive and sharing fascinating cinema history—with a new selection of films released each Thursday. We’ve chosen films that everyone—from famous filmmakers and actors, curators and eminent scholars, to high school students just discovering cinema studies—asks to see again and again. You’re gonna get a little Warhol, a lotta Dada, and more about the landmark early Biograph studio than you knew you wanted to know.

Access to the film collection is fundamental to our mission. The Department of Film was founded in 1935 as the Film Library, following a mandate to not only save and display films to research and study, but to share them outside the Museum as well. The Film Library facilitated research by (and benefited from the contributions of) some of the OG film historians, including the great German scholar of modernism Siegfried Kracauer, who wrote his Film 101 classic, From Caligari to Hitler, using Film Library resources. Department head Willard Van Dyke established the Film Study Center in 1968, and today the Celeste Bartos International Film Study Center hosts nearly 200 appointments annually and answers hundreds of reference questions. Its services are open to everyone, free of charge. As long as you are researching cinema, you can arrange a visit.

Unfortunately, we cannot host on-site appointments during a pandemic, so instead we’re offering you this glimpse into the vaults—as well as a live Q&A with chief film curator Rajendra Roy and filmmaker Todd Haynes—as part of our Virtual Views series. Additionally, several of the works in Film Vault Summer Camp would be on view if the Museum were open, so in a sense we’re also bringing a corner of our recently expanded gallery spaces into your living room (or your phone).

  • This installation is part of Virtual Views.

    Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

    Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, and The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.


    If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

    All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

    If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


    This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].