Modern Artifacts 1


With this issue, Esopus inaugurates “Modern Artifacts,” a series presented in partnership with the Museum of Modern Art Archives which features examples from MoMA’s extensive holdings of documents relating to the history and development of modern and contemporary art. This initial offering features a series of preparatory sketches from the papers of the museum’s first director, Alfred H. Barr, Jr., all leading to the iconic chart Barr devised for the cover of the catalog of the 1936 MoMA exhibition “Cubism and Modern Art.”

Michelle Elligott is Chief of Archives, Library, and Research Collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Museum Studies at New York University. Her award-winning publications include Modern Artifacts (2020), René d’Harnoncourt and the Art of Installation (2018), and Art in Our Time: A Chronicle of the Museum of Modern Art (2004). Elligott was a Center for Curatorial Leadership International Fellow in 2016 and a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, in 2005. She holds a B.A. from Smith College and an M.A. from Hunter College, CUNY, both in Art History.