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Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern

March 17 – June 15, 2019

The Museum of Modern Art

Floor Three, The Robert B. Menschel Galleries

The Museum of Modern Art announces Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern, an exhibition exploring Lincoln Kirstein’s sweeping contributions to American cultural life in the 1930s and ’40s, on view from March 17 through June 30, 2019. Best known for co-founding the New York City Ballet, Kirstein (1907–1996), a polymathic writer, curator, editor, impresario, tastemaker, and patron, was also a key figure in MoMA’s early history. With his prescient belief in the role of dance within the museum, his championing of figuration in the face of prevailing abstraction, and his position at the center of a New York network of queer artists, intimates, and collaborators, the impact of this extraordinary individual remains profoundly resonant today. Seen through the lens of Kirstein, the works in the exhibition reveal an alternative and expansive view of modern art.

Organized by Jodi Hauptman, Senior Curator, and Samantha Friedman, Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints.

The exhibition is supported by the Annual Exhibition Fund with major contributions from the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Alice and Tom Tisch, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

Press Kit

Images

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Antonio Berni (Argentine, 1905–1981). New Chicago Athletic Club (Club Atlético Nueva Chicago). 1937. Oil on canvas, 6′ 3/4″ × 9′ 10 1/4″ (184.8 x 300.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Inter-American Fund, 1942. © 2018 Fundación Antonio Berni and Luis Emilio De Rosa, Argentina

Paul Cadmus (American, 1904–1999). Set design for the ballet Filling Station. 1937. Cut-and-pasted paper, gouache, and pencil on paper, 8 × 10 7/8″ (20.3 × 27.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1941. © 2018 Estate of Paul Cadmus

Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975). Lincoln Kirstein. c. 1931. Gelatin silver print, 6 3/8 × 4 1/2″ (16.2 × 11.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist. © 2018 Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gaston Lachaise (American, born France. 1882–1935). Woman Walking. 1922. Bronze, 18 1/2 × 10 3/4 × 7″ (47 × 27.3 × 17.7 cm) including base. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1939. Courtesy Lachaise Foundation

Honoré Sharrer (American, 1920–2009). Workers and Paintings. 1943. Oil on composition board, 11 5/8 × 37″ (29.5 × 94 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1944. © 2018 Adam Zagorin

Pavel Tchelitchew (American, born Russia. 1898–1957). Hide-and-Seek. 1940–42. Oil on canvas, 6′ 6 1/2″ × 7′ 3/4″ (199.3 × 215.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund, 1942

Paul Cadmus (American, 1904–1999). Ballet Positions, drawing for the primer Ballet Alphabet. 1939. Ink, pencil, colored ink, and gouache on paper, 13 x 8 ½ in. (33 × 21.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein © 2019 Estate of Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus (American, 1904–1999). Greenwich Village Cafeteria. 1934. Oil on canvas, 25 1/2 x 39 ½ in. (64.8 x 100.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Extended loan from the United States WPA Art Program. Fine Arts Collection, Public Buildings Service, General Services Administration © 2019 Estate of Paul Cadmus

José Bernardo Cardoso, Jr. (Brazilian, 1861–1947). Still Life with View of the Bay of Guanabara. 1937. Oil and pencil on paper, 21 1/4 × 29 ½ in. (54 × 74.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Inter-American Fund

Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975). Main Street Block, Selma, Alabama. 1936. Gelatin silver print, 6 5/8 × 9 1/16 in. (16.9 × 23 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Willard Van Dyke © 2019 Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975). Mansard Houses, South End, Boston, Massachusetts. 1932. Gelatin silver print, 6 5/16 x 4 9/16″ (16 x 11.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein © 2019 Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Raquel Forner (Argentine, 1902–1988). Desolation (Desolación). 1942. Oil on canvas, 36 7/8 × 28 7/8 in. (93.7 × 72.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Inter-American Fund © 2019 Fundación Forner-Bigatti

Jared French (American, 1905–1988). Billy. Costume design for the ballet Billy the Kid. 1938. Gouache and pencil on board, 17 1/2 × 8 5/8 in.(44.5 × 21.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein

Harvard Society for Contemporary Art pamphlet. 1931–32. Harvard Society for Contemporary Art Scrapbooks, vol. 2 (Autumn 1930–33). The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York

Frances Benjamin Johnston (American, 1864–1952) Physiology. Class in emergency work. From The Hampton Album, 1899–1900. One from an album of 159 platinum prints. 7 9/16 × 9 1/2 in. (19.2 × 24.2 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein

George Platt Lynes (American, 1907–1955). Lew Christensen in “Apollon Musagète.” June 24, 1937. Gelatin silver print, 13 1/4 × 11 ¾ in. (33.7 × 29.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Russell Lynes © 2019 Estate of George Platt Lynes

George Platt Lynes (American, 1907–1955). Lincoln Kirstein. c. 1948. Gelatin silver print, 9 1/2 × 7 ¾ in. (24.2 × 19.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York.  Gift of Russell Lynes © 2019 Estate of George Platt Lynes

Elie Nadelman (American, born Poland, 1882–1946). Man in the Open Air. c. 1915. Bronze, 54 ½ in. (138.4 cm) high, 11 3/4 x 21 1/2 in. (29.9 x 54.6 cm) at base. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of William S. Paley (by exchange) © Estate of Elie Nadelman

Elie Nadelman (American, born Poland, 1882–1946). Tango from The Drypoints of Elie Nadelman. 1951, published 1952. One from a portfolio of 22 drypoints, Sheet: 14 × 9 in. (35.6 × 22.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Curt Valentin Bequest © Estate of Elie Nadelman

PaJaMa [Paul Cadmus (American, 1904–1999) Jared French (American, 1905–1988) Margaret French (American, 1906–1998)]. Paul Cadmus. c. 1945. Gelatin silver print, 7 × 5 in. (17.8 × 12.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photography Purchase Fund © 2019 Estate of Paul Cadmus

Bernard Perlin (American, 1918–2014). The Lovers. 1946. Gouache and ink on paper faced board, 30 x 37 ¾ in. (76.2 x 95.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase © 2019 The Estate of Bernard Perlin

Kurt Seligmann (American, born Switzerland, 1900–1962). Theme 3 (Female). Costume designs for the ballet The Four Temperaments. c. 1946. Watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paper, 13 3/4 × 9 ¾ in. (34.9 × 24.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Extended loan, 1948 © 2019 Orange County Citizens Foundation/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pavel Tchelitchew (American, born Russia, 1898–1957). Study for a backdrop for the ballet Apollon Musagète. 1942. Gouache, ink, and pencil on paper, 20 x 28 ½ in. (50.8 x 72.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein

Pavel Tchelitchew (American, born Russia, 1898–1957). Nervous System. Designs for the ballet The Cave of Sleep. 1941. Gouache and watercolor on paper, 13 1/4 × 11 in. (33.7 × 27.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist

George Tooker (American, 1920–2011). Sleepers, II. 1959. Tempera on wood panel, 16 1/8 x 28 in. (40.8 x 71.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Larry Aldrich Foundation Fund © 2019 Estate of George Tooker. Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York

Ben Shahn (American, born Lithuania, 1898–1969). Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco. 1931–32. Gouache on paper on board, 10 7/8 × 14 5/8 in. (27.6 × 37.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller © 2019 Estate of Ben Shahn / VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

José Pancetti (Brazilian, 1904–1958). Self-Portrait. 1941. Oil on canvas, 32 × 24 in. (81.3 × 60.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Inter-American Fund © 2019 Ula Pancetti