Laurence Kardish to Retire From The Museum of Modern Art After 40 Years

Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator in the Department of Film at The Museum of Modern Art, will retire on October 15, after a 44-year career at MoMA. Mr. Kardish joined the Museum as Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Film in 1968, and was promoted to Assistant Curator in 1971, Associate Curator in 1977, Curator in 1984, and Senior Curator in 1999. During his career at MoMA, he organized hundreds of film exhibitions and special screenings, established a number of important annual film series, and was responsible for coordinating more than 60 film exhibitions each year in the Museum's Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters.

"Larry has made a major impact on the appreciation and understanding of the moving image, especially for the generations of cinephiles and scholars who have been touched by his encyclopedic research and programming" said Rajendra Roy, the Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at MoMA. "His broad knowledge of cinema history and his unwavering dedication to the art form have made him a pillar in the field. His work at MoMA will serve as an inspiration for many years to come."

Throughout his career Mr. Kardish has championed auteurist filmmakers from around the globe, both contemporary and classic. His expertise includes German cinema of the Weimar era, American avant-garde cinema of the 1960s and '70s, and French cinema from Louis Feuillade to Agnès Varda. In addition to establishing annual presentations of new cinema from Germany, Canada, and South Korea, he served on the selection committee of the annual New Directors/New Films festival, co-organized with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, since its inaugural season in 1972.

"During my years at the Museum, I have enjoyed many extraordinary opportunities to work with independent curators and scholars, representatives of national film organizations, and film festivals from around the world," said Mr. Kardish. "But above all, I have been enriched and supported by the amazing team of colleagues throughout the Museum who make MoMA such a remarkable place."

Some of the more notable exhibitions he has organized for MoMA are: The Films of Shirley Clarke (1972), Raoul Walsh (1974), Francesco Rosi (1975), American Comedy (with Leonard Maltin) (1976), Senegal: Fifteen Years of an African Cinema (1978), Les Blank (1979), John Cassavetes: Filmmaker and Actor (1980), Satyajit Ray (1981), Michael Balcon: The Pursuit of British Cinema (1984), Rudy Burckhardt (1986), FluxFilms (1988), Marin Karmitz and MK2 (1989), Melvin Van Peebles (1990), Colombian Cinema: From Magic to Realism (1990), Junction and Journey: Train and Film (1991), Cannes 45 Years: Festival international of Film (1992), Jean-Luc Godard: Son+Image (1992), Denys Arcand (1994), Strictly Oz: A History of Australian Film (1995), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1997), Agnès Varda (1998), Alfred Hitchcock (1999), Luis Buñuel (2000), Positif: 50 Years (2002), Im Kwon-Taek (2004), Roberto Rossellini (2006), Pere Portabella (2007), Goran Paskaljevic (2008), Critical Favorites: The New York Film Critics Circle at 75 (2009), Weimar Cinema: Daydreams and Nightmares, 1919-1933 (2010), Lucian Pintilie (2012), and the upcoming Gaumont Thrillers: From Fantomas to A Gang Story, 1912 -2011 (August 2012).<

Mr. Kardish also launched Cineprobe, a forum for independent and avant-garde filmmakers, which without interruption has evolved into Modern Mondays, an ongoing series of international new and experimental moving-image work.

Gallery installations of media works organized by Mr. Kardish include The Wind by Eija Liisa-Ahtila (2006), and Aernout Mik (2009). From 2000 to 2006, he coordinated Projects, a museum-wide exhibition series organized by MoMA's junior curatorial staff and devoted to the work of emerging and cutting-edge artists in all media.

Awards and honors for his work at MoMA include the Verdienskreuz am Bande des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (The Order of Merit with Ribbon) from the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, and being made an Officer dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer in the Order of Arts and Letter) by the government of France.

Mr. Kardish has written extensively for catalogues and publications by MoMA and other film archives and festivals. Among his published works are Of Light and Texture: Andrew Noren/James Herbert (1981), Berlinart: 20 Films (1987), Junction and Journey: Trains and Film(1991), Aernout Mik (2009), and Weimar Cinema: Daydreams and Nightmares, 1913 -1933 (2010).