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Alfred H. Barr, Jr., and the intellectual origins of the Museum of Modern Art

Author: Sybil Gordon Kantor
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, ©2002.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Growing up with the twentieth century, Alfred Barr (1902-1981), founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, harnessed the cataclysm that was modernism. In this book--part intellectual biography, part institutional history--Sybil Gordon Kantor tells the story of the rise of modern art in America and of the man responsible for its triumph. Following the trajectory of Barr's career from the 1920s through the 1940s,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Biography
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Kantor, Sybil Gordon.
Alfred H. Barr, Jr., and the intellectual origins of the Museum of Modern Art.
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2002
(DLC) 2001044034
(OCoLC)47254277
Named Person: Alfred H Barr, Jr.; Alfred H Barr, Jr.
Material Type: Biography, Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Sybil Gordon Kantor
ISBN: 9780262276696 0262276690 1423729951 9781423729952
OCLC Number: 62150109
Description: 1 online resource (xxiii, 472 p.) : ill.
Responsibility: Sybil Gordon Kantor.

Abstract:

Growing up with the twentieth century, Alfred Barr (1902-1981), founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, harnessed the cataclysm that was modernism. In this book--part intellectual biography, part institutional history--Sybil Gordon Kantor tells the story of the rise of modern art in America and of the man responsible for its triumph. Following the trajectory of Barr's career from the 1920s through the 1940s, Kantor penetrates the myths, both positive and negative, that surround Barr and his achievements. Barr fervently believed in an aesthetic based on the intrinsic traits of a work of art and the materials and techniques involved in its creation. Kantor shows how this formalist approach was expressed in the organizational structure of the multidepartmental museum itself, whose collections, exhibitions, and publications all expressed Barr's vision. At the same time, she shows how Barr's ability to reconcile classical objectivity and mythic irrationality allowed him to perceive modernism as an open-ended phenomenon that expanded beyond purist abstract modernism to include surrealist, nationalist, realist, and expressionist art. Drawing on interviews with Barr's contemporaries as well as on Barr's extensive correspondence, Kantor also paints vivid portraits of, among others, Jere Abbott, Katherine Dreier, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Philip Johnson, Lincoln Kirstein, Agnes Mongan, J.B. Neumann, and Paul Sachs.

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