The Museum of Modern Art, also known as MoMA, is widely regarded as one of the world's largest and most influential museums in the world. It has six curatorial departments at MoMA. Each of these departments is responsible for the development, restoration, and display of the particular field. The departments at MoMA are Architecture and Design, Drawings and Prints, Film, Media and Performance, Painting and Sculpture, and Photography.
Since its inception in 1929, The Museum of Modern Art has been at the forefront of film preservation and curation, shaping the way we perceive and appreciate the cinematic medium. In 1935, the museum established its Film Library, marking a significant step in its commitment to cinema. John Hay Whitney, a Museum Trustee and film producer, served as the first chairman of the Museum's Film Library from 1935 to 1951. Alongside cinema curator Iris Barry, Whitney curated a remarkable collection of films. The success of Whitney's collection was evident when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded MoMA in 1937, recognizing its impact on the film world.
Today, MoMA's Film Department boasts a collection of over 30,000 films and 1.5 million film stills, making it the strongest international film collection in the United States. The collection includes original negatives from the Biograph and Edison companies, as well as the world's largest collection of films by D. W. Griffith.
The Circulating Library at MoMA’s Film Department, established in 1935, collects films showcasing the historical and artistic evolution of cinema, aiming to establish it as a significant art form. Initially, the library offered a circulating collection at affordable rates to colleges, museums, and other educational institutions.
Today, the Circulating Library remains unique, providing access to films by renowned independent filmmakers not easily found on 16mm. It has expanded its outreach to include regional and international film festivals, Museum exhibitions, and other film organizations that can still screen 16mm film, thus enhancing the accessibility of its exceptional collection. The library currently offers only 16mm prints for rental, including distribution prints used in movie theaters. It houses the Warhol 16mm collection and Richard Serra titles, working closely with rights holders.
The following screenings and exhibitions would be of interest to you if you are a film buff:
The MoMA Film Department was established in 1935.
The MoMA Film Department collection includes more than 30,000 films and 1.5 million film stills.
The MoMA Film Department collection includes films and movie stills from numerous rare and legendary works of the modern era.
Some of the filmmakers whose works can be found at MoMA are Andy Warhol, D. W. Griffith, Fred Halsted, and Chris Cunningham.
Yes, MoMA hosts various film screenings, including ongoing series like ‘Modern Mondays’.
MoMA hosts several film festivals every year. This year, look out for ‘To Save and Project’, ‘Doc Fortnight’, and ‘New Directors/New Films’.