November 12, 2012
SLIDESHOW: Visiting the MoMA Library
by Claire Kelley
One of my favorite places to spend the afternoon is the Museum of Modern Art library. To get in to do research, make an appointment by emailing the MoMA library staff in advance. Once the access request is approved, you can visit the library on the 6th floor of the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building at 4 West 54th Street.
Inside, there are tables with lamps, and walls of art periodicals. A librarian at the check in desk will gather any materials requested via the catalog system the night before.
Most recently, I visited the library to take a look at some innovative books from the historical avant grade in Russia (El Lissitzky), Italy (Marinetti) and Germany (Maholy-Nagy). While there, I discovered some children’s books on display—notably a first edition of Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies which is part of this set, and a die cut A-Z Book by Tom Ockerse. If you need a MoMA Library fix without physically visiting, you can peruse the images on their Tumblr.
This slideshow includes a little bit of everything mentioned above so you can see some of my recent discoveries for yourself.
This image is from the MoMA Library tumblr, and shows that they used to have unfortunate stamping practices.
László Moholy-Nagy’s Malerei, Photographie, Film (Painting, Photography, Film), published in 1925 as the eighth in the fourteen-volume Bauhaus Books series.
The next three pages are from Edward Gorey’s book The Gashlycrumb Tinies.
Italian Futurist Fortunato Depero’s book bound by two bolts from 1927.
This is the Futurists’ manifesto. They were crazy!
Dlia golosa (For the Voice) by El Lissitzky, 1923
A stack of books in the MoMA Library.
Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.