Modern Matinees: In the Beginning

Oct 1–30, 2015


The Marriage Circle. 1924. USA. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
  • Education Center The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building

This month, Modern Matinees continues celebrating the Department of Film’s 80th anniversary by focusing on the collecting efforts of its founding curator, Iris Barry, and founding library director, John Abbott, who maintained an informal list of directors whose work they felt was essential for the study of film—and for building the Film Library’s holdings. This “wish list,” which included René Clair, G. W. Pabst, D. W. Griffith, Vsevolod Pudovkin, and others, inspired Barry to declare that “the films which these and other men have made have had an immeasurably great influence on the life and thought of the present generation.” The films Barry and Abbott targeted for the Film Library began to trickle in during the 1930s and 1940s, and the 35mm prints now in the MoMA collection were made from those early nitrate materials, many of which were donated by the filmmakers themselves.

Organized by Anne Morra, Associate Curator, Department of Film.

  • This film series is part of Modern Matinees.
  • Licensing

    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).

    MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

    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].