Persistence of Vision

Rochelle Slovin and the Museum of the Moving Image
by Carter Ratcliff  posted February 25, 2011
Email  |  Print  
A  A  A

Rochelle Slovin, the Founding Director of the Museum of the Moving Image, is retiring this month after a 30-year tenure. This essay by critic Carter Ratcliff, which recounts the founding of the Museum and its mission as Slovin envisioned it, appears in a commemorative book, Museum of the Moving Image, published to mark the 30th anniversary of the Museum's founding and its reopening after a major expansion. On sale in the Museum store, the book also features essays by J. Hoberman, J.C. Herz, and Michael Webb; photographs from the Museum's collection; and photo portfolios surveying 25 years of the annual Musuem of the Moving Image Salute. 

Museums have designs on us. They want to turn our gazes in certain directions, guide our thoughts along certain paths. Resistance is easy enough. The Museum of Modern Art, in New York, would like us to see Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) as crucial to the development of painting in the 20th century. Most of the Museum's visitors are willing to see it that way, yet there is nothing to stop us from saying, for example, "Let's meet in front of Les Demoiselles at three o'clock." Modernist masterpiece becomes urban landmark. Despite their designs on us, museums are what we make of them. A museum succeeds by persuading us to make its purposes our own.

There is another criterion for success: a museum's purposes must be commendable. We often overlook this criterion, on the assumption that the very idea of a museum is shaped by good intentions—that museums collect, display, and elucidate in some responsible manner artifacts that deserve the effort. Granted, a museum's focus may be narrow. McLean, Texas, is home to The Devil's Rope Museum, which concentrates on barbed wire in all its variety. There is a surfing museum in Honolulu. Chico, California, features a museum devoted to the yo-yo. Interested audiences can only approve of these institutions, and the rest of us cannot object. A yo-yo museum harms no one. Yet not all museums are innocuous.

Before the middle of the 20th century, ethnographic museums served as showcases for trophies gathered in the course of colonial adventures. Curators offered these artifacts as exotic proof of Western culture's superiority. Aside from such avant-garde artists as Picasso and André Derain, few visitors questioned these curatorial arguments. With the dissolution of empires, the premises of colonialism were repudiated and the ethnographic museum was redefined to reflect a new belief in the equality of cultures. Good curatorial intentions replaced bad ones, but only under pressure from historical events. Of course, history is not always so helpful.

In the case of motion pictures, history casts a distracting spell, for movie stars are glamorous and the medium itself has a magical aura. The moving image succeeds by enchanting us. How, then, can a museum give us a clear-eyed view of it? During the colonial period, it seemed natural for ethnographic museums to define their subject in terms supplied by colonialism. Likewise, it makes a kind of sense for a museum devoted to film to immerse us in the glamour of that medium—to become, in effect, an extension of the entertainment industry. Rochelle Slovin, the founding director of the Museum of the Moving Image, in Astoria, Queens, New York, took her institution in another direction. Her unique achievement has been to illuminate a subject designed to convince us that illumination is unnecessary, that all we need is to be dazzled.

Slovin was not hired to found a museum. She was hired to direct the Astoria Motion Picture and Television Center Foundation. Established in 1977, the Foundation had a mandate to preserve and reopen the Astoria Studio, which was built in 1920 by Adolph Zukor and Jesse Lasky, then the heads of Paramount Pictures. An important center of film production in the 1920s and during the transition from silent films to "talkies," the Studio was taken over by the Army Signal Corps at the outbreak of the Second World War for the production of training films. This output continued at a dwindling pace until 1971, when the Army shut down the facilities and they were turned over to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. HEW tried, for a time, to come to an arrangement with a unit of the City University of New York, which was interested in developing an audiovisual curriculum. But budget woes intervened and these plans were abandoned.

When the Astoria Motion Picture and Television Center Foundation assumed responsibility of the site—in 1977, at which point the facilities were largely derelict—it set about its mission of saving the Astoria Studio, and secured a major breakthrough in 1978, with the production of The Wiz, Sidney Lumet's variation on The Wizard of Oz. Around that time the Foundation also made an effort to introduce an educational and cultural component to its work. One member of the board favored a school for training students in the production of animated film. Pieces of equipment and other artifacts from the set of The Wiz suggested the possibility of a museum about the history of the Studio. All these ideas were vague at best. Worse, from Slovin's point of view, they were not sufficiently ambitious. As she saw it, nothing less than a fully fledged museum would realize the site's potential.

The public appreciation of cinema as art had been slowly gaining ground for several decades. As early as 1929, the board of trustees at MoMA had formed a committee to study the feasibility of establishing a curatorial department for film; a film library was established four years later. In London, the British Film Institute set up the National Film Library (later renamed the National Film Archive) in 1935, the same year that Henri Langlois and others founded the Cinémathèque française. (Langlois had plans for an American version—in a space under the Queensboro Bridge—and at the time of his death in 1977, still hoped the project would reach fruition.)

But resistance was strong to Slovin's idea. Those who produce moving images live in the present with an eye on the future. Board members representing unions and guilds in the film and television industries were interested mainly in the Studio and saw no need for a museum, with its retrospective view. Motion picture executives from whom Slovin tried to raise money had no interest in developing an institution of that sort in Astoria. Slovin remembers being told, time and again, that her ideas were too "high-falutin'." A few scholars had launched cinema studies early in the 1950s, yet three decades later the field was still marginal and it was widely believed that the movies were not proper matters of academic or curatorial concern. Slovin was proposing to dedicate a museum to a subject that, in the United States, at any rate, was not generally thought to deserve it.

One thing was clear to Slovin right away: given the existence of the film collections at MoMA and other such institutions, the Museum should not collect films and should focus instead on material culture. Her next step was to expand the Museum's focus to include not only film but also television and video (further expanded to include digital media in 1991). This was an audacious move. By the 1980s, film scholars, cinephiles, and movie buffs had isolated the motion picture as an object of cult-like devotion. Noting that the movies share a great deal—aesthetically, technically, economically—with television and other moving-image media, Slovin designed the new museum to engage this "unified field," as she calls it.1 Naming the institution the American Museum of the Moving Image2, she asserted this inclusiveness—and delivered an affront to film purists, who were especially disturbed when, in 1989, she presented the first museum exhibition of video games. By then, the Museum's "unified field" of interest was solidly established; its core exhibition, "Behind the Screen," was open to the public; and Slovin had begun to develop the further resources, ranging from educational programs to online research facilities, that give the Museum its present-day preeminence.

In the beginning, Slovin had little more than a building in need of extensive rehabilitation and the support of several board members who shared her belief in the need for a museum of the kind she envisioned. She had, as well, a list of questions. What would the Museum collect? How it would exhibit its collections and what policies would guide its film screenings? Who would constitute the Museum's audience? As it turned out, Slovin's answers to these questions imply a powerful and sophisticated definition of the very idea of a museum. This is important, for "museum" is an honorific and meanings are lost, values are blurred, if the name is carelessly bestowed—or unjustifiably claimed.

A museum exhibits objects to the public. Yet we do not call an institution an art museum if it offers exhibitions of art but has no holdings of its own. In German, it would be called a Kunsthalle. In the United States, the names of such venues usually include the phrase "art center." To count as a museum, an institution must collect and put some part of its collection on view. As obvious as this may be, there is no widely-agreed upon standard that a collection must meet if it is to qualify as a museum collection. If there can be a museum of barbed wire—and there are at least two of them—then it is tempting to say that there is no such standard. Any collection qualifies as a museum collection, if a portion of it is made available to the public. Yet doubts persist. Shouldn't a museum collection have a point to make or, perhaps, a story to tell?

Exhibitions at the Devil's Rope Museum, in Texas, give the visitor an idea of barbed wire's importance in the American West. But one is reminded of the carpet salesman's movie review, which talks of little but the suspense that builds up as the camera ignores, from one scene to the next, the carpeting under the actors' feet. The trouble is not that the carpet salesman's movie review is wrong. Within its narrow range, it makes several accurate observations. The trouble, of course, is that its range is far too narrow.

If one were interested in the role of barbed wire in the settlement of the West, one would be interested, as well, in any number of that history's other shaping factors. One would want to see objects of several kinds in the contexts they provide for one another. Wouldn't it be fair, then, to expect an institution calling itself a museum to collect across a wide range of artifacts?3 Granted, this may be a matter of definition. Yet the word "museum" implies compendiousness. It seems misused when applied to institutions that collect within the confines of one narrow category, whether barbed wire, yo-yos, or surfboards.

A difficulty of another kind arises when a museum serves as the repository of a collection formed before the institution was established—as in Sir John Soane's Museum, in London. Soane was a Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy. Late in the 18th century, he built himself a house in Lincoln's Inn Fields. For years, he refurbished and expanded this residence, devoting a portion of it to a display of pedagogical materials. On the days before and after his lectures, he opened the collection to his students. During his lifetime, these quasi-public rooms were known as an "Academy of Architecture." After his death, in 1837, the house and its contents were established by an Act of Parliament as Sir John Soane's Museum, and the public in general was granted free access.

Over the centuries, there has been an attempt to preserve not only the objects that Soane collected but also the configurations in which he arranged them. Juxtaposing ancient Greek and Egyptian antiquities with statues from later periods, Soane filled his house with glorious clutter. Bits of architecture from all periods are crowded together with models of entire buildings. Paintings keep company with elaborately bound books, intricately wrought urns, and marble portrait busts in tableaux that reflect not a museological program but the impulses of an individual with a taste for the more refined varieties of grandeur. Sir John Soane's Museum is not a museum so much as a sensibility's shrine to its own brilliance.

Likewise, the Barnes Foundation, in a suburb of Philadelphia, overflows with museum-quality works of art—major canvases by Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters. Interspersed with pieces of antique metalwork and other bric-à-brac, the paintings are arranged in a grandly quirky order that no academically trained curator would countenance. The installation is by Albert C. Barnes, the businessman and collector who acquired these objects and stipulated, in his will, that nothing be changed after his death.4 With their flamboyant peculiarity, Barnes and Soane recall Henri Langlois, the founder and presiding spirit of the Cinémathèque française and its museum, the Musée du Cinéma, which reflected his idiosyncratic love of the movies.

During the mid-1980s, when Slovin was formulating the programs and goals of the Museum of the Moving Image, she visited a variety of exhibiting institutions, mainly in the United States and in Europe. She sought out history museums, science museums, museums of anthropology and ethnography—perhaps more than 20 in all. Her primary interest was in an institution's style of exhibition, its method of generating—or trying to generate—coherent meaning from the display of objects and images. Naturally, her itinerary included museums in her area of interest, notably the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt, the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin, cinematheques holding material culture collections as well as films, including those in Brussels and Rio de Janeiro, and of particular importance, the Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin, founded by Maria Adriana Prolo, and Langlois's Musée du Cinéma, which was situated in those days in the Palais de Chaillot, in Paris.

From the 1930s until his death, in 1977, Langlois accumulated an extraordinary collection of movie memorabilia—costumes, sets, cameras and movie-making equipment, scripts, still photographs, posters. Some of this material was donated, some was purchased with funding provided by the state. He acquired the rest with his own money. Functioning not only as the Secretary-General of the Cinémathèque française but also as the curator-in-chief of the Musée du Cinéma, Langlois displayed selections of these immense holdings with a minimum of museological method. Labels were few, catalogs were non-existent.

Langlois designed his installations with the flair of a connoisseur, less to illuminate the subject of the cinema than to generate excitement about—even reverence for—the movies. If he lacked an original piece, he would sometimes have it built. The Musée's set from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, for example, was a reconstruction. His purpose, chiefly, was to pay homage to the medium of film and all its associated paraphernalia.

Slovin admired the passion that drove Langlois to assemble such a large and varied collection. Yet she was dismayed by the absence of order, the subordination of the museum's ostensible subject to the quirks of the presiding spirit. It was as if cinema existed for Langlois solely as the object of his devotion.

In acquiring films for the Cinémathèque française, Langlois aimed for all-inclusiveness. Collecting for the Musée du Cinéma, he was guided—or driven—by his taste, of which his museum provided an oblique image. Similarly, Sir John Soane's Museum and the Barnes Foundation are mirrors held up to their founders' tastes and personalities. Slovin was not interested in self-portraiture of this kind. For she understood that the task of a museum properly so-called is to create an environment where the intentions of curators and educators can engage the interests and expectations of an audience. Of course, the "unified field" of the moving image formed a new subject of museological interest, and so it wasn't clear what shape this environment ought to take. How should a movie camera be exhibited? Which technologies should be demonstrated by interactive displays? In search of cues, possibilities, and useful precedents, Slovin visited a remarkable number of museums and other exhibiting institutions.

Among the most helpful was the Musée national des Arts et Traditions populaires. If Langlois's Musée du Cinéma was personal and evocative, this museum, also in Paris, was the opposite. Moreover, its formal and scientific organization of materials struck Slovin as well suited to the exhibition of objects that do not count as works of art. Because a painting is one of a kind, a museum of art will display it in a way that renders its singularity intelligible. Strictly speaking, a christening gown or a kitchen implement is as unique as a painted canvas—no object is precisely the same as any other—yet its uniqueness is incidental. So the challenge in displaying a non-art object is to illuminate the type of which it is an instance. The Musée national des Arts et Traditions populaires met this challenge in ways that Slovin found impressive. Rather than exhibit a single example of a hoe, for example, the museum (which was recently closed5) would present a large selection, giving the visitor not only concrete examples of this category of object but also a sense of the range of variations that the category permits.

This museum was launched in 1937 by Georges Henri Rivière, who had overseen the transformation of the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro, with its colonialist approach to non-European artifacts, into the Musée de l'Homme, which even before the end of the colonial era was shaped by ethnological precepts that undermine Western assumptions of cultural superiority. In Rivière's egalitarian view, every culture is defined by its own values and should be judged by its own standards. With no cultural hierarchy to defend, he established the Musée national des Arts et Traditions populaires as the French section of the Musée de l'Homme.

In this setting, Rivière presented everyday objects on their own terms, rather than displacing them to a realm of narrowly aesthetic appreciation. For he believed that the interest of a mason's trowel, for example, lies in its ordinary meanings, as these emerged from a study collection of many objects of the same type or from a reconstruction of a traditional interior. At his museum, Slovin saw how non-art objects could be freed from styles of installation that make sense only in museums of fine art. And she clarified an intuition that had guided her from the beginning: art and non-art have different functions, and exhibition designs ought to acknowledge those differences.

Among the many other things they do, artworks tell us about the individuals who made them. As an obliquely revealing image of its maker, Langlois's Musée du Cinéma can be understood as a work of art of the kind that came to be called an installation piece. Much the same could be said of Sir John Soane's Museum, though we could just as well call it a house-size Wunderkammer or cabinet of curiosities. By contrast, a farmer's hoe or a cobbler's awl at the Musée national des Arts et Traditions populaires tells us little about the individual who used it. Rather, it testifies to a way of life—the social and economic role to which individuals adjusted themselves, much as each example in a massed array of hoes or awls was adjusted to a generic idea of that tool. This play of the specific against the generic was particularly important to Slovin as she installed those parts of the Museum of the Moving Image's core exhibition devoted to extensive displays of single kind of thing—the motion picture camera, for example, or the fan magazine or such licensed merchandise as board games bearing images of movie heroes and heroines.

In addition to the core exhibition, the Museum includes interactive displays. In developing these exhibits, Slovin found guidance in museums of science and technology, which are of course quite different from Rivière's museum and other museums of ethnology. The difference turns on the idea of process. For an ethnologist, a process—planting, for example, or wood carving—is intricately woven into the structure of a society. Scientific and technological processes, too, can be understood socially, yet they are usually defined in ways that allow them to be carried out in isolation. Thus a chemist might legitimately focus on the beginning, middle, and end of an experiment that takes place entirely within the confines of a test tube.

This concept of process was brought home to Slovin with particular force at the Palais de la découverte, in Paris, where museum-goers could carry out investigative procedures in chemistry, physics, biology, and other sciences. Equally striking to her were the interactive exhibits at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, created by Frank Oppenheimer, who believed in the engagement of the visitor in a step-by-step process (as opposed to simply pressing a button and watching something happen). Adapting these examples to the Museum of the Moving Image, Slovin and her staff designed exhibits that guide visitors through the process of dubbing lines of dialogue onto a film, or supplying a film with a musical score.

As visitors to the Museum make their way through the core exhibition, they occasionally encounter a niche containing interactive exhibits of this kind. Each is an invitation to shift the nature of one's response from contemplative to actively engaged. The Museum's program of film screenings provides occasions for engagement, and there are still more to be found in Moving Image Source, its online magazine and research resource. Further opportunities for participation are provided by panels and discussions and in the course of tours of the exhibition.

Early on, cinema-studies scholars and historians consulting for the Museum suggested shaping the core exhibition through the precepts of social history. Objects were to be chosen and arranged to advance certain points about the socioeconomic impact of film and television. Slovin had no objection to most of the arguments that would have been made by installations of this kind. She directed her objections, rather, at a curatorial approach that renders museum collections secondary to ideological programs. Objects, in all their inexhaustible palpability, are reduced to illustrations of narrowly defined theses. Social-history installations take a reductive view of the audience, as well, treating its members as empty vessels to be filled with a prescribed set of ideas and attitudes.

Slovin's view is different. Seeing the Museum's audience as self-selected and highly motivated, she has refused to mark any prescribed path through a field that is at once unified and vast. Exhibitions and programs are designed to bring facets of the moving image to the verge of interpretation and invite the audience to make further sense of what it sees—and hears, in discussions and interviews. The result is a collaboration, as visitors define for themselves what is significant about the moving image. An institution with no rigidly defined designs on us, the Museum of the Moving Image offers endless chances to amplify and refine what we already know about its subject, which is considerable, as Slovin has always understood.

Film, television, and, more recently, digital imagery are pervasive presences—indeed, forces—in our culture. Visually compelling, they shape us so intimately that their power is, in a sense, invisible. Slovin's ambition has been to encourage us to establish a certain distance from that power, the better to understand the processes of production and distribution, of advertisement, publicity, and audience response. She wants to give us a feel for what she calls the "texture" of the moving image. To that end, she has structured the Museum of the Moving Image as a porous labyrinth, through which each visitor takes a singular path—and, very likely, a complex one, for the real spaces of the exhibitions galleries lead easily, if not seamlessly, to the fictive spaces of projected films, to the discursive space of lectures, interviews, and interchanges with the Museum's educational staff, and to the virtual space of the Museum's web-based resources.

If there is a precedent for this mixture of spatial modes, it may lie in Les Immatériaux, an exhibition Slovin saw in 1985 at the Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris. Organized by the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard, Les Immatériaux advanced a number of propositions. Chief among them was the claim that the modern era was over. Having begun in the 18th century with the Enlightenment, it had given way to post-modernity. It was further claimed that the self defined by modernity had collapsed, rendering traditional notions of personal identity irrelevant. Further still, the kinds of materials—physical and conceptual—over which modern individuals asserted mastery had given way to "‘immaterials' . . . generated from computer and electronic technosciences or at least from techniques which share their approach."6 Subliminal and ultimately incomprehensible, these "immaterials" defy mastery. Consequently, our modern sense of ourselves as the agents who shape our world is not only irrelevant but also delusional. In the post-modern era, we are helpless functions of all that we mistakenly believe we control.

A pragmatist, not a theorist, Slovin was neither deeply engaged nor violently put off by the theses advanced by Les Immatériaux. Her deepest response was to the show's installation, largely the work of Lyotard himself. The objects on view ranged from clothing to foodstuffs, from robotics to quantum physics, astronomy, and beyond. Wall panels and computerized displays provided a wealth of commentary and still more was broadcast by a series of radio transmitters. Wearing headphones as they went from one exhibit to the next, visitors would find themselves in series of clearly separated audio zones. Even more than this exhibition's mixture of media, Slovin admired its non-prescriptive structure. Visitors had no choice but to follow their curiosity wherever it led. Slovin learned much from Georges Henri Rivière's installations at the Musée national des Arts et Traditions populaires. Yet Lyotard's Les Immatériaux, this one exhibition, was just as important, for it showed a way to the openness that characterizes the Museum of the Moving Image.

In September 1988, the core exhibition, "Behind the Screen," was installed and the Museum opened its doors to the public. That same month, another Museum of the Moving Image was inaugurated in London. Closed in 2002, this museum shared much with its American counterpart. It, too, offered interactive exhibits and a collection of pre-film devices for setting images in motion. Yet MOMI, as it came to be known, was quite different in spirit from the institution Slovin had created. The London museum featured a shrine to movie glamour called the Temple to the Gods of Silent Cinema, the roof of which was supported by caryatids representing such stars as Theda Bara, Lillian Gish, and Buster Keaton. Charlie Chaplin's hat and cane were presented in a manner reminiscent of the treatment traditionally accorded to the relics of a saint. Replicas were mixed with authentic objects and there were fanciful recreations of familiar movie motifs—a model of an agitprop train with actors playing the parts of Soviet propagandists, for example, and an immense hand crawling with ants, in homage to Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel's Un Chien andalou. More like a theme park than a museum, MOMI was designed not to reveal but to dazzle.

Slovin's museum is engaging, illuminating, and thereby entertaining. Yet she has always ensured that no part of its program serve as a branch of the entertainment industry. Just as important, she has excluded didacticism of the kind proposed by those who wanted to see the Museum of the Moving Image as a means of inculcating "social history." Nothing in this institution tells us what to think. Though she accords Henri Langlois all due respect, Slovin rejected his definition of a curator as a collector driven by the ardor of a fan. And of course she avoided the narrow focus that characterizes so many institutions that call themselves museums. From these strictures we can extract a positive definition of a museum and its functions.

It ranges widely through its subject, and in the process develops generous designs on its audience. Of course, every museum wants to focus our attention on certain objects. It lays out certain paths for us. Ideally, however, these paths are so many and so wide that they leave us free to devise our own itineraries. Unencumbered—and encouraged, perhaps, by interaction with the Museum's educational staff—one takes the initiative, finding meaning in exhibitions and programs friendly to independent interpretation. One arrives on one's own at "concretized abstractions," to use Slovin's phrase, which refers to the ideas, intuitions, and speculations that follow from an engagement with the objects and images on view in the Museum. In a more didactic setting, abstractions would impose meanings on concrete things. At the Museum of the Moving Image, things come first, as in ordinary experience. What one already knows about a movie projector, for example, interacts with insights gained from immediate contact with an array of these objects. From aroused curiosity follows new knowledge.

Earlier, it was suggested that a collection can have mimetic force. Sir Joan Soane's houseful of objects represents Soane himself. Museums, too, are representational—imitations of nature in the old, Aristotelian sense, though of course they must be selective. No museum can supply us with a life-size map of everything. Museums of fine art represent the realm of the aesthetic. A science museum pictures another field and a history museum yet another. This picturing is metonymic: the museum's holdings have their meaning as parts working together to signify a whole, an entire field of inquiry. There is, furthermore, a subtler representation to be glimpsed when a collection is as well chosen and well displayed, and as well integrated with other resources, as is the collection of the Museum of the Moving Image. This institution is exemplary, which means that it represents the very idea of the museum—a place where perceptual experience is at once immediate and a prelude to enlightenment.

1. Direct quotations are from conversations between the author and Rochelle Slovin from September to November, 2010

2. It was renamed Museum of the Moving Image in 2005.

3. Among the museums devoted to this subject are the Museum of the American West, in Lander, Wyoming; the Hubbard Museum of the American West, in Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico; and the Autry National Center, in Los Angeles.

4. Over the years, there have been attempts to abrogate Barnes's will, so that his collection could be exhibited in a less eccentric manner. In 2004, a judge ruled that the collection could be reinstalled in a facility, presently under construction, in the heart of Philadelphia. When this happens, Barnes's imprint on his collection will be lost. What will be gained, presumably, is an installation responsible to the idea of a museum.

5. Its collections are being transferred to the Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée in Marseilles.

6. Jean-François Lyotard, "Les Immatériaux," Thinking About Exhibitions, ed. Rosa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, Sandy Nairne, London: Routledge, 1996, p. 116. 


Fighting Words

Fighting Words
by Imogen Sara Smith
posted August 12, 2014

Fighting Words, Part 2

Fighting Words, Part 2
by Imogen Sara Smith
posted August 20, 2014

On the Margins: The Films of Patrick Lung Kong

On the Margins: The Fil…
by Andrew Chan
posted August 12, 2014

Robin Williams: A Sense of Wonder

Robin Williams: A Sense…
by David Schwartz
posted August 12, 2014

John Tracy
Sidney Lumet and Rochelle Slovin in the Museum's galleries
Photo Gallery: Persistence of Vision


Poet and art critic, Carter Ratcliff is a contributing editor of Art in America. Among his recent publications are Andy Warhol: Portraits (Phaidon Press, London, 2007) and Rafael Ferrer in the Tropical Sublime (El Museo del Barrio, New York, 2010).

More articles by Carter Ratcliff