There is an old-fashioned expression about “honor among thieves.” What does this mean exactly? Perhaps this group swears an oath that no one criminal will interfere in the nefarious actions of another? If the question leaves you flummoxed, be sure to see the 1932 film Trouble in Paradise for an enjoyable resolution.
Posts by Anne Morra
Long before The Museum of Modern Art Department of Film was so named, it was called the Film Library. The entity to be known as the Film Library was officially announced on June 27, 1935, and on July 2 The Museum of Modern Art Film Library Corporation was formalized with documents signed by trustees A. Conger Goodyear, John Hay Whitney, and Nelson A. Rockefeller.
The discovery of new artists and the rediscovery of established ones are key components of curatorial work. An exhilarating part of curatorial work is the ability to be something of a cultural archeologist and bring to the fore an artist whose work has been consigned to the past due to changing critical taste, shifts in technology, and the demands of motion picture economics. As a longtime Fox Films contract director, Hamilton MacFadden (American, 1901–1977) is indeed worthy of thoughtful rediscovery.
I’ve recently discovered a sassy feature that has been in the MoMA collection for more than 40 years. Don’t Bet on Women, a drawing-room comedy produced by the Fox Film Corp. in 1931, encompasses all of the risqué behaviors, modes of dress, suggestive situations, and freewheeling alcohol consumption that the Motion Picture Production Code hoped to curtail.
Those of you who follow my blog posts know I generally write about issues relating to the MoMA film collection. When my colleague and dear friend Art Wehrhahn announced his retirement this summer, it seemed fitting to devote a blog post to an interview with Art that examines an extraordinary career spanning more than four decades.
A key component of curatorial work is the discovery of a new artist, the study of their continued output, and the development of a long-term, supportive relationship. Following an artist’s work over many years and investigating their growth or, in certain cases, their failure to evolve, is an essential endeavor for a curator.
For a number of years now I’ve been meaning to engage in a research project to learn more about the American film editor Irene Morra (1893–1978). This interest first began because we share the same last name. I don’t think we’re related, but as a wise friend once told me, trees have lots of branches!
I have a vague recollection of attending a classmate’s birthday party when I was about six or seven and in the gift bag there was a paper dress perfectly sized to fit me! The dress was neatly folded in a flat plastic package; it was a simple, A-line, sleeveless shift dress with brightly colored circles. I can’t recall the manufacturer, but the material was something like a thick, stretchy paper towel.
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