This book has been prepared by the Museum of Modern Art on the occasion of its Twenty- fifth Anniversary. Intended as a tribute to the art of our time, it deals with many branches seventy-five years. Obviously such a vast subject cannot be treated exhaustively in any one volume, but we believe that this book will serve its purpose if it conveys an idea of the variety, excellence of That it was possible to select the illustrations for this book entirely from the Museum's Twenty-five years is a short period in the history of most of the world's great art museums. Yet within that time the Museum of Modern Art has assembled great collections, some of them unsurpassed, in a variety of well-designed furniture and utensils, posters and photography.
Originally it was the Museum's stated policy to keep the collection fluid by passing on to other institutions even its best works as they matured and became 'classic'. Recently the Museum has adopted a radically new policy which will be implemented by the creation of a highly selective permanent collection of masterworks both by twentieth-century artists and nineteenth-century forerunners, particularly in painting. The selection and acquisition of these masterworks will be one of the major goals of the Museum, but the experimental collecting of new forms of art will continue in spite of the limited confines of The Museum's collection is a living testimony to the courage, the generosity, and the community -- its Trustees, its patrons, its staff. We are proud of past achievement but realize fully how much there is still to be done.
To help people enjoy, understand, and use the visual arts of our time is the stated purpose of the Museum of Modern Art. Particularly during a time when conformity enforced through authoritarian pressure is a constant threat to the development of a free society, it is most heartening to turn to the arts and to find in them the vitality and diversity that reflects freedom of thought and of faith. We believe that the collection of the Museum of Modern Art and this publication represent our respect for the individual and for his ability to contribute to society as a whole through free use of his individual gifts in his individual manner. This freedom we believe fundamental to democratic society.
JOHN HAY WHITNEY Chairman of the Board of Trustees