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.
Posts tagged ‘Museum Archives’
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.
As an intern in the MoMA Archives, my favorite part of the day is paging through the material that our researchers have requested. Though pulling document files doesn’t seem like the most exciting task in the world, it is for me, because it’s the exact moment when archives come alive. Sitting in the stacks in hundreds of archival boxes, these documents are inactive forces of potential energy waiting to be picked up.
As Archives Specialist in the MoMA Archives, I am always on the prowl for images depicting how our exhibitions were installed. Sadly, up until the 1960s only about 75% of MoMA’s exhibitions were documented with official installation photographs, usually due to budget constraints. So imagine my excitement on one dark, drab winter day earlier this year when, while working in the Photographic Archive, I came across a folder labeled, “Visitors in Galleries,” and discovered that these visitors were in galleries for an exhibition for which we had no visual record
On May 5 The Metropolitan Museum of Art held its annual star-studded Costume Institute Gala, complete with red carpet and paparazzi, timed to coincide with the opening of a new fashion exhibition about a legendary couturier: Charles James: Beyond Fashion. But possibly the first gallery exhibit of James’s work opened 33 years ago at MoMA PS1,
This past year the MoMA Archives processed and opened to the public the full record history of MoMA’s International Council and International Program, a collection so large that it required the work of three staff members to complete it in one year. One benefit of processing a large collection as a team was the opportunity to share our most interesting discoveries with one another.
If you are interested in reproducing images from The Museum of Modern Art web site, please visit the Image Permissions page (www.moma.org/permissions). For additional information about using content from MoMA.org, please visit About this Site (www.moma.org/site).
© Copyright 2016 The Museum of Modern Art