Tim Burton and the Lurid Beauty of Monsters

Dec 2, 2009–Apr 26, 2010


The Omega Man. 1971. USA. Directed by Boris Sagal

In conjunction with MoMA’s career retrospective of artist and filmmaker Tim Burton, the Department of Film presents Tim Burton and the Lurid Beauty of Monsters, a series of films that have influenced, inspired, and intrigued Burton, and which reflect the motifs, themes, and sensibilities of his work. Taking as its starting point horror-movie screenings that Burton organized in his youth, the series spans five decades and includes landmark films of stop-motion animation, German Expressionism, Grand Guignol horror, Universal monsters, and B-grade science-fiction. Burton has said of watching these movies while growing up, “I loved the lurid beauty of these monster movies. They spoke to me. I didn’t understand the world, and these films were somehow symbolic of the way I felt.”

Organized by Jenny He, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film. Special thanks to Wayne Titus, Alice Remsnyder, Elizabeth Quilter, and Charlie Achuff.


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 or moma.org, 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].