The Jazz Singer. 1928. USA. Directed by Alan Crosland

Modern Matinees: The Film Library Grows

MoMA December 2–31, 2015
  • Education Center

We continue the celebration of the Department of Film’s 80th anniversary with a selection of films donated to the Museum by the major film studios in the 1940s, as well as some that founding curator Iris Barry chose for exhibition and hoped to acquire during her tenure.

In Museum Movies: The Museum of Modern Art and the Birth of Cinema, author Haidee Wasson notes an October 1935 MoMA press release containing comments by studio chief Harry Warner on the birth of the MoMA film department: “An authentic record of the growth and development of the motion picture industry is, I feel, highly desirable, and I wish you all success in your enterprise.” The November 1936 Screen Actors Guild bulletin also ran an article written by Iris Barry herself, titled “So You Are in a Museum,” in which she wrote, “The chief purpose of The Museum of Modern Art Film Library...is to create awareness of tradition and history within the new art of the film.” This month’s screenings capture the early development of that history at MoMA.

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

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