Modern Artifacts 18: The Young Turks


“Originally intended by the Museum’s founding director Alfred Barr to be “a way of getting all these Young Turks sort of contained and out of his hair and not meddling around in what he was doing” (as described by the Council’s longtime chair Barbara Jakobson), the Council, a number of whose members went on to become Museum trustees, actually was far from a passive group of “friends” of the museum or an excuse for a social gathering. Instead, this group, predominantly female in its membership and leadership, upended traditional museum practices and innovated and experimented with strategies to interact with broad and diverse audiences in multiple and deep ways.”—Michelle Elligott

This latest installment of a series copresented with the MoMA archives features a range materials—and a removable greeting card featuring Robert Indiana's iconic LOVE artwork—related to the Museum’s vital Junior Council.

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.