Modern Artifacts 3: Tentative and Confidential


“…the show is not an ephemeral one. The need for its message will grow. Millions of people will take part in it; millions more will be influenced by it.”

In the third installment of “Modern Artifacts,” an ongoing series presented in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art Archives, we reproduce the never-before-seen notes, blueprints, sketches, and correspondence relating to “Exhibition X,” a fascinating top-secret project hatched (and ultimately shelved) by museum trustees in 1940.

Chief of Archives, Library, and Research Collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Michelle Elligott recently organized Devenir moderne, part of the MoMA exhibition Être moderne at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. She coedited the book Art in Our Time: A Chronicle of the Museum of Modern Art and cocurated MoMA’s 1969 exhibition; her book on Rene d’Harnoncourt will be published this fall.