It has long been recognized that the career of the late Alfred H. Barr, Jr. was an uncommonly important one. As the founding director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the man most responsible for assembling its incomparable collections and for devising its influential exhibition programs, Barr played a greater role than any other figure in our history in shaping our understanding of the artistic achievements of the modern age. In the institution he created at MOMA, he succeeded in making those achievements an integral part of American cultural life, and in the standards he set for the scholarly study of modern art, he laid the foundations for an intellectual discipline that could hardly be said to have existed before him. It was not only on the cultural life of the public and on the world of scholarship and connoisseurship, moreover, that Barr’s audacious innovations had a...


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