In the late 1920s, three progressive and influential patrons of the arts, Miss Lillie P. Bliss, Mrs. Cornelius J. Sullivan, and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., established an institution devoted exclusively to modern art.
The Museum of Modern Art was founded in 1929, its founding Director, Alfred H. Barr, Jr., intended the Museum to be dedicated to helping people understand and enjoy the visual arts of our time, and that it might provide New York with "the greatest museum of modern art in the world."
Over the next 10 years, the Museum had to move to larger locations to provide enough space for the accumulating modern art pouring in. In 1939 they moved to their current location in midtown Manhattan.
The first Director was Alfred Barr Jr., and his idea was to create a series of separate art departments including architecture history, film and photography, as well as more traditional painting, sculpture, drawings, and prints.
During the early years of development, MoMA held a number of major art shows, including the Vincent van Gogh exhibition in November 1935, the celebrated Picasso retrospective of 1939-40, which was staged in partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago.
The aim of the MoMA's film library was to