In 1940, with funds and input from David McAlpin, the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art was born--the first photography department at a major museum. A Rockefeller, a promoter of photography and an early champion of Ansel Adams, McAlpin convinced Adams to head east and help put the department together. McAlpin became chairman, Adams vice-chairman and Newhall was named curator (though he had to continue his duties as librarian.)
The department eventually became the most influential institution for the medium, but it's inaugural exhibition was only slated for a two-week run in a small gallery and it had to continually fight for survival until Steichen was hired to head it in 1947.
What follows is a look at The Bulletin of The Museum of Modern Art, VIII(2), 1940/1941 December/January, in which the "The New Department of Photography" is discussed and the department's first show is surveyed.
16 pages, 7.25 x 9.25 inches, stapled.
At a later point, I'll mount the 1942 "Road to Victory" bulletin. The show was curated by Edward Steichen and represented the point at which the museum decided that maybe photography wasn't art after all.