Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Neumann, Morton G.

titleArchives pamphlet file: Neumann, Morton G.: miscellaneous uncataloged material.
repositoryThe Museum of Modern Art
descriptionThe folder may include clippings, correspondence, memoranda, press releases, brochures, announcements, reviews, invitations, obituaries and other ephemeral material relevant to the Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) and its history.

MoMA Manhattan Archives Pamphlet File

Call Number
Neumann, Morton G.
extent1 folder
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
updated03/16/2023 10:29:56

titleCollectors Records, 1929-1987
repositoryThe Museum of Modern Art
descriptionThe processed Collectors Records are contained in ten 5" document boxes (4 linear feet) and include correspondence; lists of private collections; notes about collections (frequently in Barr's handwriting); press clippings; photographs; and exhibition announcements, invitations, and brochures. The records date from 1929 through 1987; the majority of the material dates from the 1950s and 60s.

The bulk of the Collectors Records consists of correspondence between Museum staff and collectors. The principle staff correspondent is Barr, but the Record Group also includes material from Dorothy C. Miller (Curator, 1943-1967; Senior Curator, 1968-1969), and Betsy Jones (Executive Secretary 1952-1962; Executive Secretary and Assistant Curator, 1963-1966; Associate Curator and Executive Secretary of Collections, 1967-1969). Correspondence with the collectors participating in the Visits to Private Collections series and lists of the collections visited are also included.

Historical Note
During his tenure as Director of Museum Collections, Alfred H. Barr, Jr., and his staff maintained files on private collectors and collections (ca. 1947 through ca. 1967). This documentation reflects the Museum's interest in private collections from which it could potentially borrow, purchase, or receive gifts or bequests to enhance the Museum's collection.

A Committee on the Museum Collections, established by the Board of Trustees in May 1944, consisted of approximately ten members, all of whom were collectors and/or Museum staff members. The founding members of the Committee were: Alfred H. Barr, Jr., William A. M. Burden, Stephen C. Clark, A. Conger Goodyear, Mrs. Simon Guggenheim, Bartlett H. Hayes, Jr., Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn, Miss Agnes Rindge, James Thrall Soby (Chairman), James Johnson Sweeney (Vice Chairman), Edward M. M. Warburg, and Mrs. George Henry Warren, Jr. The Committee, which replaced the Acquisitions Committee, advised the Board of Trustees on which works to acquire, by gift or purchase, for the Museum's collection. Several members gave works of their own and/or financial contributions for purchases. Documentation on the collections of nearly all of the Committee Members can be found in this Record Group.

An annual series, Visits to Private Collections, was organized by the Department of Membership as a special privilege for Contributing Members. Members were invited to spend three afternoons a year touring the private homes and collections of select collectors, who were frequently members of the Committee on the Museum Collections. This series was suggested by a Membership Committee member in 1939, and the program lasted through 1966. Documentation for this program can also be found throughout the Record Group.

After Barr's retirement in 1967, the Committee on the Museum Collections was divided into five separate committees, each one focusing on a curatorial department: Painting and Sculpture; Prints and Illustrated Books; Photography; Architecture and Design; and Film. These five committees exist to the present day.

Related Collections at MoMA and Elsewhere
For related collections see also, The Museum of Modern Art Archives, Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Papers, Series 1. Personal Correspondence; the James Thrall Soby Papers, Series III: Museum Matters; the Dorothy C. Miller Papers, Series III: Museum Matters; the Public Information Scrapbooks; catalogues of private collections and PASITMOMA in the Library; Object Files in the Department of Painting and Sculpture; and lenders records in the Department of the Registrar.

Preferred Citation
Collectors Records, [folder]. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.
extent4 linear feet
formatsClippings Correspondence Ephemera Photographs Administrative Records
accessThe records are open for research and contain no restricted materials.
record link
record source
finding aidIn the repository and on the Web site.
acquisition informationThe Collectors Records were compiled and maintained by Barr and his staff until his retirement in 1967, when they were brought under the aegis of the Department of Painting and Sculpture. They became part of the Museum Archives holdings in 1998 and were processed in June 1998.
updated11/29/2022 15:49:50

titleAlfred H. Barr, Jr. Papers, 1927-1984
repositoryThe Museum of Modern Art
descriptionThe Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Papers are composed of files kept during Barr's tenure at the Museum of Modern Art, including personal and professional correspondence with museum officials, curators, writers, historians, critics, art associations, foundations, magazines, artists, and collectors such as John Canaday, Stanton Catlin, Camilla Gray, René d'Harnoncourt, John Hightower, Roland Penrose, and James Thrall Soby. Office files cover staff, exhibitions, publications and collections of MoMA, and abstract art, cubism and futurism (some related to Barr's book Cubism and Abstract Art, 1936.) There are files present on the Foundation for Arts, Religion and Culture (ARC), Barr's travels, lectures, speeches, exhibitions, publications, political controversies, and artists and collections in the U.S.S.R.; writings, including travel notebooks regarding his trip to Russia, 1959, visits with Pablo Picasso, 1956, and Henri Matisse, 1952; exhibition catalogs, clippings and printed material; and photographs.

Also included are materials collected by Margaret Scolari Barr, including Alfred's obituaries, A Memorial Tribute, 1981, an invitation and guest list to the memorial service, and condolence letters; and photocopies of autograph letters, ca. 1920s-1970s, from the Barr collection sold to Arthur A. Cohen in 1975.

Biographical Note
Alfred H. Barr, Jr. spent nearly his entire professional career with The Museum of Modern Art; following is brief chronology of his decades-long association with the Museum.

MoMA Museum Archives
extent95 linear ft. (55 boxes)
formatsAdministrative Records Correspondence Ephemera Writings Subject Files
accessThe records are open for research and contain few restricted materials. Contact museum archivist for an appointment.
record link
record source
finding aidFinding aids in the repository.
acquisition informationTransferred from Barr's office, gifts of Margaret S. Barr, 1975-1980, and gift of Andrew W. Barr, 1986. Forms part of: Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.). Archives. Records.
updated11/29/2022 15:49:50