Histories of Film

The Circulating Film and Video Library

Nov 21–Dec 4, 2019


Railroad Turnbridge. 1969. USA. Directed by Richard Serra. 16mm
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1, Film Center The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

Currently celebrating 85 years of service to the film and education community, The Museum of Modern Art’s Circulating Film and Video Library holds the unusual position of providing access outside MoMA to a rare collection of films and videos. Established in 1935 as the Film Library, it was intended to provide a circulating collection at reasonable rates to colleges, museums, and other educational institutions, as well as festivals, galleries, collectors, and enthusiasts. To this day, it continues to provide access to films that tell the history of the medium, works by important independent filmmakers, and much more—all of which would otherwise not be readily available. Although Circulating Film has always had a broad-based collection, including early silent films, pivotal documentaries, avant-garde and independent works, animation, and video art, certain areas otherwise available only to scholars have been enriched. This includes important works by and about artists such as Andy Warhol, Richard Serra, and Jerome Hill. Several recently preserved works have also been included. All titles in this series remain available through the Circulating Film and Video Library.

Organized by Kitty Cleary, the Circulating Film and Video Library.

Support for the exhibition 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, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Karen and Gary Winnick, 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].