Iris Barry

(1895 – 1969)

England-born Iris Barry was a film critic for The Daily Mail, and one of the founders of London's Film Society in 1925, before she moved to New York in 1930. There she established, with her then husband John Abbott, the MoMA Film Library in 1935 – he became its Director, she its Curator. During a key trip around Europe in the summer of 1936, she established contacts with other several of the very first European film archivists, with whom she would found FIAF in Paris two years later. She resumed contacts with her European counterparts at the end of the war, and was elected Founding President of FIAF in 1946 (and would later be referred to as "Honorary President"). She retired from MoMA in 1950 and moved back to Europe, but still represented the Museum at FIAF congresses until the mid-1960s. In 1950 she settled in Fayence, in the South of France, where she lived until her death in Marseille on 22 December 1969.

Read More

Henson, Bruce, "Iris Barry: American Film Archive Pioneer", The Katharine Sharp Review, No.4, 1997, pp.1–6

Lindgren, Ernest, "Homage to Iris Barry", Minutes: XXVIth FIAF Congress and General Meeting, 26-29 May 1970, FIAF, 1970, pp.7-10

Montagu, Ivor, "Birmingham Sparrow: In Memoriam, Iris Barry", Sight and Sound, Spring 1970, pp.106-108

Sitton, Robert, Lady in the dark: Iris Barry and the art of film, Columbia University Press, 1994

Remembering Iris Barry, New York: MoMA, 1980

Wasson, Heidi, "The Woman Film Critic: Newspapers, Cinema and Iris Barry", Film History, Vol. 18, N° 2, 2006, pp.154-162