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Lady in the DarkIris Barry and the Art of Film$
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Robert Sitton

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165785

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165785.001.0001

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Museum Men

Museum Men

(p.171) 15 Museum Men
Lady in the Dark

Robert Sitton

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes the two men who were most influential in Iris Barry's life after 1932. These were A. Everett “Chick” Austin, director of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, and Museum of Modern Art director Alfred Barr. Barr was scholarly, austere, exacting, and utterly dedicated to the institution he was building. Austin had charm and imagination that endeared him to many in the art world. It was for Chick and the Atheneum that Iris would present her first film program in the United States. At Chick's invitation and to test the waters for museum film exhibition, Iris put together a retrospective of films under the title, “The Motion Picture (1914–1934).” The programs, presented between October 28 and December 30, 1934, were a huge success and led to requests for showings from universities and museums throughout the country. It also marked the beginning of the film art movement in the United States and was the first collaboration between Iris and Chick Austin.

Keywords:   Chick Austin, Wadsworth Atheneum, Alfred Barr, Museum of Modern Art, museum directors

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