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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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Going Public

Going Public

(p.221) 21 Going Public
Lady in the Dark

Robert Sitton

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes how the film library connected with the public. The first public film exhibitions of the Film Library in January 1936 were a disaster, failing to generate in audiences an appreciation of film art. As a result, the Film Library turned away from public exhibition and concentrated on developing programs for colleges and museums. Iris and Abbott were invited by the Extension Division of Columbia University to teach a course on the “history and aesthetics of the motion picture,” using the Film Library collection as its base. The first meeting of the class on film as an art form was held on September 28, 1937, in the reading room of the Film Library at 485 Madison Avenue. Iris' initial address to the students remains significant not only for its deft summarization of her point of view on film but also as a model, still valid, for how film could be taught in universities.

Keywords:   film exhibitions, films, motion pictures, Museum of Modern Art

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