Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Barr, Margaret Scolari, 1901-1987  Search this
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Clark, Stephen C. (Stephen Carlton), b. 1882  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene, 1901-1968  Search this
Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, 1903-1987  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979  Search this
69 Pages (Transcript)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
1974 February 22-May 13
Scope and Contents:
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.
Biographical / Historical:
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.
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 46 min.
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.
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women art historians  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sound recordings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art