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Modern Matinees: Iris Barry’s History of Film

October 21, 2019 – December 31, 2019

The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, and the MoMA Stores in New York City have closed temporarily. 

The founding of the MoMA Film Library (now the Department of Film) on June 25, 1935, was a catalyst for the study of the motion picture as art in the United States. The function of the Film Library, according to Iris Barry, its first curator, was to “trace, catalog, assemble, exhibit and circulate to museums and colleges single films or programs of films.” These are methodologies the Department adheres to more than 80 years after its establishment.

Screening descriptions are excerpted from Barry’s Film Notes.

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



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Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. 1927. USA. Directed by F.W. Murnau. Courtesy Photofest

All Quiet on the Western Front. 1930. USA. Directed by Lewis Milestone. Courtesy Photofest

Intolerance. 1916. USA. Directed by D.W. Griffith. Courtesy MoMA Film Stills Archive

Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth (Queen Elizabeth). 1912. France/Great Britain. Directed by Louis Mercanton. Courtesy MoMA Film Stills Archive

The Jazz Singer. 1927. USA. Directed by Alan Crosland. Courtesy MoMA Film Stills Archive

The Last Command. 1928. USA. Directed by Josef von Sternberg. Courtesy MoMA Film Stills Archive

The Taking of Luke McVane. (The Fugitive). 1915. USA. Directed by William S. Hart. Courtesy Photofest

A Fool There Was. 1914. USA. Directed by Frank Powell. Courtesy MoMA Film Stills Archive

Der Golem. 1920. Germany. Directed by Carl Boese, Paul Wegener. Courtesy MoMA Film Stills Archive