MoMA Latin American Library

MOMA Latin american library

Scope of the Bibliography

This bibliography contains the Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino holdings in the Library of The Museum of Modern Art. It is updated regularly so that scholars and students will have current information regarding what is available. This bibliography contains only what is Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino within the collection, and as such, it represent only one aspect of the library holdings of The Museum of Modern Art. To reach the general Library database, please go to DADABASE

In many ways, this bibliography is meant to be an update of James A. Findlay’s Modern Latin American Art: A Bibliography, published by Greenwood Press in 1983. Findlay was Bibliographer of Latin American Art at MoMA from 1979 to 1982 and his important book drew heavily, though not exclusively, from the MoMA Library collection. The Library, however, now holds over 15,000 volumes of literature on Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino art, which has thus necessitated this automated Web-based bibliography in order to help researchers best access this material. 

The Library’s collection holdings, and hence, this bibliography, is devoted primarily to literature on modern and contemporary art, dating from the 1880s to the present. The strength of the Museum’s collection lies in its exhibition catalogues and artists’ monographs. For those books and catalogues dealing with a number of international artists or art movements, the Editor has chosen only those items that contain a significant amount of information concerning Latin American, Caribbean, and/or U.S. Latino artists. Not available in this bibliography are serials and artists’ books, which can be accessed through DADABASE. The Library also contains a wealth of important and unique ephemera, located in the Library’s artists’ files. These artists’ file records will be the next addition to this on-line bibliography, to be added during the 2004 year. For the time being, to ascertain if MoMA has a file on a particular artist, please consult DADABASE

History of MoMA’s Latin American Library Collection

The collection of books on Latin American art found in the Museum of Modern Art Library was developed over the course of the twentieth century, beginning practically with the inception of the Museum in 1929. Alfred H. Barr, Jr., MoMA’s first director, had an early interest in the art of Latin America, and made a number of important trips to Latin America and the Caribbean. During these trips, Barr and members of his entourage began collecting material related to the modern art of Latin America, initially in order to support early Latin American exhibitions held at MoMA. There have been two specialists in the field of Latin American art hired by the Museum Library to specifically continue to build this aspect of the collection. In 1979, the Museum hired James A. Findlay as the Library’s first full-time Latin American bibliographer. As mentioned earlier, it was in this capacity that Findlay published Modern Latin American Art: A Bibliography (1983), a work reflecting MoMA’s Library. In 2001, Donald L. Woodward was appointed to be Findlay’s successor. Woodward has been working with cultural partners in the United States and Latin America in order to both augment the collection of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino art, as well as to make it more accessible to the greater public. After Barr, later Museum Directors, Museum Trustees, and other friends of The Museum of Modern Art have continued to collect books, catalogues, and ephemera on modern Latin American art and artists, and have thus created one of the finest collections of its kind.

© Copyright 2003 The Museum of Modern Art