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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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Settling In

Settling In

(p.187) 17 Settling In
Lady in the Dark

Robert Sitton

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes how the founding of a film department at the Museum of Modern Art became Iris Barry's consuming interest after 1935. In the winter of 1934–35, Iris and Abbott conducted a survey of educators to gauge their interest in having films to show on their campuses. Over 80 percent of about two hundred replies to the survey expressed a desire to exhibit film programs. This information was combined with arguments for a need to preserve and exhibit films to convince the Rockefeller Foundation to offer its support. On April 17, 1935, Abbott and Barry turned in their final report, which resulted in a $100,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Together the two set up the Film Library as a separate corporation, with its stock wholly owned by the Museum. Abbott became the corporation's director and Barry was named curator.

Keywords:   America, film department, Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller Foundation, Film Library, Dick Abbott

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