Walker Evans, Lincoln Kirstein. c. 1931. Gelatin silver print, 6 3/8 × 4 1/2″ (16.2 × 11.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist. © 2018 Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern is an exhibition exploring Lincoln Kirstein’s sweeping contributions to American cultural life in the 1930s and ’40s, on view from March 17 through June 30, 2019. Best known for co-founding the New York City Ballet, Kirstein (1907–1996), a polymathic writer, curator, editor, impresario, tastemaker, and patron, was also a key figure in MoMA’s early history. With his prescient belief in the role of dance within the museum, his championing of figuration in the face of prevailing abstraction, and his position at the center of a New York network of queer artists, intimates, and collaborators, the impact of this extraordinary individual remains profoundly resonant today. Seen through the lens of Kirstein, the works in the exhibition reveal an alternative and expansive view of modern art.