Stored away between the paintings and sculptures in MoMA’s storage facility lay a forgotten treasure from the Museum’s past: 11 disassembled pieces of the original stretcher from a Pablo Picasso masterpiece. Museum registrars rediscovered the group of stretcher bars during routine organization earlier this year, and since stretchers are occasionally replaced to ensure that a canvas is adequately supported, the discovery did not immediately strike them as significant. However, the large size and design of the parts of one stretcher were very unusual.
Posts tagged ‘From the Archives’
From the Archives: Faith Ringgold, the Art Workers Coalition, and the Fight for Inclusion at The Museum of Modern Art
After seeing Faith Ringgold’s monumental, harrowing painting, American People Series #20: Die (1967), currently installed in the Museum and reading Thomas J. Lax’s incredibly thoughtful and moving post (as well as this recent notice from ARTnews, I was inspired to reflect upon this new acquisition.
“A mere glimpse restores my sagging soul,” wrote Lillian Gerard, Special Projects Coordinator at MoMA, of The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden in a letter to Richard Shepard at The New York Times in 1975. She went on to describe it as “as a meeting place for young lovers, senior citizens, jumping children, foreign travelers, and out-of-towners” and in particular singled out “…its evenings with performers as ardent and free as the trees and the sculpture that thrive in this oasis of fountains and pools, with the sky above and cement below.”
During WWII, The Museum of Modern Art played an integral role in assisting artists, art historians, dealers, and their immediate families in escaping from Europe to America. After the fall of Paris to the Nazis in June 1940 the Museum began to receive numerous requests for help to flee to the U.S.
It’s no secret that Ray Johnson’s tongue-in-cheek and often ambiguous style was meant to both highlight and obscure meaning through an appropriation of words and images. His life-long commitment to that practice is visible in a collection of correspondence sent to Robert Rauschenberg between the years 1952 and 1965, which is newly available in MoMA’s Archives. This collection—which includes small collages, newspaper clippings, postcards, and flyers—serves as an excellent example of Johnson’s enigmatic mail art of the 1950s and 1960s.
The Museum of Modern Art’s Christmas card program was initiated in 1954 by the Museum’s Junior Council. The Junior Council, an affiliate group, had been founded five years earlier “to bring together a group of younger people who have a common interest in the arts and a desire to see them fostered soundly and liberally in this country.”
That all-caps title was the message relayed by MoMA staff from Alfred H. Barr, Jr., the Director of Museum Collections, to René d’Harnoncourt, the Museum’s director, confirming that the landmark exhibition The Sculpture of Picasso would indeed
Dance and performance are enjoying a renaissance at MoMA—take for example, performances happening at MoMA this fall, such as Trajal Harrell’s The Return of La Argentina or Walid Raad’s Scratching on things I could disavow: Walkthrough. This tendency is apparent at other modern and contemporary arts organizations around the world as well, like the Live program at Tate Modern. But at MoMA the interest in dance and theater is not new. In fact, since its inception in 1929, The Museum of Modern Art has adopted a radical approach to presenting the art of our time.
The Margaret Scolari Barr Papers, which document the life and career of Margaret Scolari Barr—noted art historian, teacher, supporter of the arts, and wife of MoMA’s founding director, Alfred H. Barr, Jr—are now open for research at the MoMA Archives.
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