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MoMA Announces the Acquisition of More Than 200 Films and Videos by Ken Jacobs, Becoming the Major Repository of His Work

The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art has purchased 212 films and videos by the American artist Ken Jacobs (b. 1933). These join 14 titles by Jacobs that were already in the Museum’s collection, making MoMA the singular repository of works by one of the great moving-image artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Jacobs has credited his discovery of the movies to his youthful trips to MoMA in the late 1940s, recalling that “The Museum of Modern Art plunged me, when a teenager, into the unexpectedness of art.” In the decades since, for more than 50 years, MoMA has presented Jacobs’s own moving-image work in nearly every context and format, from the theatrical projection of 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm films to cutting-edge computer technologies of his own devising, gallery installations, Nervous System and Nervous Magic Lantern performances, and screenings in the Museum’s Sculpture Garden.

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Joan Mitchell: Departures. 2018. USA. Directed by Ken Jacobs. Courtesy the filmmaker

Star Spangled to Death. 1956-60/2001-2004. USA. Directed by Ken Jacobs. Courtesy the filmmaker

Orchard Street. 1955/2015. USA. Directed by Ken Jacobs. Courtesy the filmmaker

Razzle Dazzle. 2006–2007. USA. Directed by Ken Jacobs. Courtesy the filmmaker