Modern Matinees: Earliest Days

In September 2015 we introduce Modern Matinees, a new series of afternoon screenings, drawn from MoMA’s collection, organized around themes from big names and personalities to major movements, time periods, genres, and more. These anthology programs may change on a monthly basis or emerge in longer arcs, and they will often be accompanied by posts on MoMA’s Inside/Out blog.

The Department of Film—originally called the Film Library—was founded in July 1935. The incorporation documents were signed by Trustees John Hay Whitney, A. Conger Goodyear and Nelson A. Rockefeller, establishing a collection that, in “An Outline of a Project for Founding the Film Library of The Museum of Modern Art,” library director John Abbott and curator Iris Barry vowed would be “inclusive, yet selective.”

This inaugural edition of Modern Matinees celebrates the Department of Film’s 80th anniversary with a selection of films that broadly illustrate the scope of donations the motion picture industry made to MoMA following Iris Barry’s momentous 1935 visit to Hollywood.

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