Oral history interview with Margaret Scolari Barr concerning Alfred H. Barr, 1974 February 22-May 13
Barr, Margaret Scolari, 1901-1987
Cummings, Paul, 1933-
Barr, Alfred H.
Clark, Stephen C. (Stephen Carlton),
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich)
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Transcript: 69 pages
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformated in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 46 min.
An interview of Margaret Scolari Barr conducted 1974 February 22-1974 May 13, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
The interview primarily concerns her husband, Alfred Hamilton Barr, Jr., the director of the Museum of Modern Art, but also touches upon her childhood in Italy, her educational background, and teaching at Vassar. She discusses her husband's career with the Museum of Modern Art, including his travel and entertaining for the museum, borrowing works of art, installing exhibitions, his work methods and published writings, the Rescue Committee for European Artists in World War II, and the 1958 fire at the Museum of Modern Art.
She describes Alfred Barr's firing from the Museum of Modern Art in 1943. She recalls Steven Clark, Rene D'Harnoncourt, Henry Russell Hitchcock, Philip Cortelyou Johnson, Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Margaret Scolari Barr concerning Alfred H. Barr, 1974 February 22-May 13. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Margaret Scolari Barr (1901-1987) was married to Alfred Barr, the director of the Museum of Modern Art and lived in New York. Mrs. Barr taught at Vassar (Italian) and the Spence School (art history), wrote several books, and translated others. She worked closely with her husband, on numerous of his projects.
These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and others.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001